- Media stocks lead the rebound, ITV jumps
- Mining stocks fall, Anglo downgraded
- Eurozone industrial data beats forecasts
- Iraq tensions keep risk appetite subdued
techMARK 2,845.86 +0.18%
FTSE 100 6,841.76 +0.04%
FTSE 250 16,111.37 +0.15%
A late-morning bounce pushed UK stocks into positive territory by Thursday lunchtime. However, markets were still trading within a tight range with global equities trading at cyclical and record highs.
Weakness in the heavyweight mining sector was being offset by a decent performance among media stocks today, helping the FTSE 100 to erase losses by midday. The index was trading just 0.04% higher at 6,842 by noon.
After coming within reach of a 14-year closing high earlier in the week, the FTSE 100 suffered a steep fall on Wednesday to finish at 6,838.87 as investors booked profits following a global growth downgrade by the World Bank.
Nevertheless, a pick-up in Eurozone industrial production helped markets this morning after it was revealed that output grew by a seasonally adjusted 0.8% in April. This was a decent rebound after the revised 0.4% contraction in March and ahead of the 0.5% growth expected by analysts. Apolline Menut from Barclays said that the industrial production "starts the second quarter on a strong footing".
Upside, however, was limited on indices across Europe with a flare-up in Iraq keeping a lid on risk appetite. David Madden, Market Analyst at IG, said: "the apparent unravelling of the post-2003 settlement in Iraq has sent oil prices
surging for the second time in a week; a signal of how sensitive investors are to the prospect of higher oil prices that could act as a dramatic drag on global growth."
ITV rises, miners fall
were on the rise after it was reported that Omnicom has pulled all media spend with Channel 5 until the end of 2014 and will redirect it towards ITV. A 'buy' rating from Liberum on the stock today could have also been helping the shares after the broker cited media buyer feedback that suggests that June TV ad revenues are expected to be strong.
Other media stocks were also performing well after Goldman Sachs said it sees "selective value opportunities" in the European media industry. It said that cash returns could "increasingly become a focus" and said that share buybacks will double in 2014-18.
British Sky Broadcasting and Reed Elsevier were also in demand today.
Miners were among the worst performers this morning with Anglo American, BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto and Antofagasta falling sharply. Anglo was the hardest hit after its rating was cut from 'equal weight' to 'underweight' at Morgan Stanley.
Shares in AstraZeneca rose after the pharmaceutical group signed a licence agreement with AIM-listed Synairgen for the development of SNG000l, a treatment for respiratory tract viral infections in patients with severe asthma.
Halma impressed with record annual revenue as the safety, health and environmental technology group achieved growth across all its sectors.
Provident Financial was on the rise after Citigroup lifted its recommendation on the stock to 'buy' and hiked its target price by nearly 38%, saying that the financial services outfit "offers some exciting growth prospects".
FTSE 100 - Risers
ITV (ITV) 181.40p +2.72%
Admiral Group (ADM) 1,541.00p +2.05%
G4S (GFS) 256.00p +1.51%
Reckitt Benckiser Group (RB.) 5,200.00p +1.46%
Rolls-Royce Holdings (RR.) 1,031.00p +1.38%
Unilever (ULVR) 2,711.00p +1.23%
Reed Elsevier (REL) 958.50p +1.05%
AstraZeneca (AZN) 4,444.50p +1.01%
British Sky Broadcasting Group (BSY) 876.50p +0.92%
London Stock Exchange Group (LSE) 1,986.00p +0.91%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Anglo American (AAL) 1,414.50p -3.41%
Rio Tinto (RIO) 3,060.00p -3.06%
International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 392.00p -2.00%
Sainsbury (J) (SBRY) 327.10p -1.77%
BHP Billiton (BLT) 1,861.00p -1.66%
Antofagasta (ANTO) 759.50p -1.30%
Glencore (GLEN) 320.00p -1.30%
Morrison (Wm) Supermarkets (MRW) 193.00p -1.28%
Vodafone Group (VOD) 196.85p -1.28%
ARM Holdings (ARM) 896.00p -1.27%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Alent (ALNT) 340.30p +3.12%
PayPoint (PAY) 1,151.00p +3.04%
Provident Financial (PFG) 2,235.00p +2.90%
Fidessa Group (FDSA) 2,408.00p +2.73%
Halma (HLMA) 606.50p +2.62%
Premier Farnell (PFL) 213.30p +2.35%
Genus (GNS) 1,096.00p +2.24%
Synthomer (SYNT) 255.10p +2.24%
ITE Group (ITE) 240.20p +2.21%
Elementis (ELM) 286.10p +2.00%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Lonmin (LMI) 226.20p -4.44%
Imagination Technologies Group (IMG) 243.30p -2.68%
Ophir Energy (OPHR) 234.90p -2.49%
Polymetal International (POLY) 544.00p -1.98%
Afren (AFR) 141.40p -1.94%
Atkins (WS) (ATK) 1,302.00p -1.81%
Evraz (EVR) 97.75p -1.81%
Home Retail Group (HOME) 197.00p -1.79%
Supergroup (SGP) 1,044.00p -1.79%
Booker Group (BOK) 137.80p -1.78%