- Results across Europe lift sentiment
- Centamin suspended after court voids Sukari contract
- US markets still closed as Sandy batters the East Coast
The FTSE 100 rebounded strongly on Tuesday morning after the impact of Hurricane Sandy on equity markets subsided temporarily, with corporate earnings across Europe managing to lift sentiment.
"Some positive news in Europe this morning has managed to draw some attention away from the carnage caused by Hurricane Sandy on the east coast," said market analyst Craig Erlam from Alpari.
Spanish gross domestic product (GDP) figures showed that the country remained in recession in the third quarter, contracting by 0.3% quarter-on-quarter, although expectations were for a 0.4% decline.
German unemployment, however, gained for a seventh consecutive month in September despite the jobless rate remaining stable at 6.9%. Unemployment increased by 20,000, double the 10,000 gain expected. The rise in the unemployment rate was the first in three years.
"This is going to be a concern as growth has been dropping this year and the country is widely expected to fall into recession next year, an election year in Germany. With countries all around them, including some of their largest export partners, being forced into more austerity, these figures are likely to worsen," Erlam said.
As for Hurricane Sandy, markets Stateside are still suspended and volumes are likely to remain low, according to market strategist Ishaq Siddiqi.
"US markets are still closed, the second day of closure and we witnessed a lack of volumes yesterday given Wall Street's absence - we can expect a bit of that later, however we have had some upbeat developments in Europe which have kicked the bulls into action. Earnings from leading blue-chips BP, ENI, Deutsche Bank, Bayer and Imperial Tobacco have all impressed the market, a rare surprise in this generally underwhelming earnings season so far," Siddiqi said.
In other news, the Bank of Japan has expanded its asset-purchase programme for the second consecutive month. Markus Huber, the head of German HNW trading at ETX Capital, said this morning that the news was "less well-received as many had hoped for much more aggressive easing to counteract renewed weakness seen in the Japanese economy."
FTSE 100: BP jumps after Q3 beat and raised divi
Oil giant BP gained 5% in morning trade after profits came in well ahead of forecasts in the third quarter and the company moved early on a dividend increase to nine cents per share (up 12.5%). In its first quarterly announcement since the recent deal with Rosneft, BP reported a clean net income of $5,170m on an underlying replacement cost (RC) basis, well ahead of Investec's $4,020m estimate.
Profit growth at Imperial Tobacco was broadly in line with expectations in the year to the end of September, helping the firm to raise its payout ratio and increase its full-year dividend by over a tenth. Shares gained in the opening hour.
Banking stocks were mixed this morning with Barclays and Lloyds making gains whilst Standard Chartered disappointed with its third-quarter results. Nomura said that StanChart's results were broadly in line but a "touch below if we are nit picking". StanChart said that third-quarter ALM income was slightly down on the first half run rate due to lower reinvestment yields; Nomura highlighted this this would be a "negative read-across for BSM at HSBC" whose shares
were flat by midday.
Babcock International and Rolls-Royce gained after signing preliminary contracts with Hitachi - which has bought the UK nuclear project Horizon - to plan and deliver the new nuclear reactors at Wylfa and Oldbury in Gloucestershire.
Airline group IAG was being dampened after having to cancel flights as a result of Hurricane Sandy. Meanwhile, it was being reported that the firm could add more wide-body planes at Gatwick in a review of capacity at a base dominated by ageing single-aisle jets that generate lower profit margins than operations at its main Heathrow hub, one of the company's Managing Directors has told Bloomberg.
FTSE 250: Centamin plummets on Sukari concerns
Centamin tanked shortly before trading in the shares was suspended on concerns that it could lose its flagship Sukari gold mine in Egypt. According to media reports, an Egyptian court has said that the gold miner's contract to mine Sukari has been withdrawn, after a decision in 2005 to award the company the contact was over-ruled. "The impact is considerable as the Sukari mine is the company's primary source of revenue," said Rik Thakrar, risk manager and senior dealer at Spread Co.
Heading the other way was office space firm Regus after saying it plans to open more offices this year than originally expected in order to meet growing demand for flexible and mobile working.
FTSE 100 - Risers
BP (BP.) 445.95p +4.93%
Resolution Ltd. (RSL) 213.50p +3.04%
Weir Group (WEIR) 1,756.00p +2.09%
Aggreko (AGK) 2,143.00p +2.00%
Barclays (BARC) 235.55p +1.95%
Kazakhmys (KAZ) 726.00p +1.89%
Rio Tinto (RIO) 3,133.00p +1.72%
Burberry Group (BRBY) 1,183.00p +1.72%
CRH (CRH) 1,139.00p +1.70%
GKN (GKN) 207.10p +1.27%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Standard Chartered (STAN) 1,467.00p -2.04%
United Utilities Group (UU.) 705.00p -1.26%
National Grid (NG.) 700.00p -1.13%
Schroders (SDR) 1,510.00p -1.11%
Polymetal International (POLY) 1,111.00p -0.71%
International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 158.00p -0.50%
Tullow Oil (TLW) 1,380.00p -0.36%
Bunzl (BNZL) 1,025.00p -0.29%
Severn Trent (SVT) 1,646.00p -0.24%
Capital Shopping Centres Group (CSCG) 334.00p -0.24%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Regus (RGU) 102.00p +3.55%
Man Group (EMG) 80.85p +3.06%
AZ Electronic Materials SA (DI) (AZEM) 363.00p +2.66%
Lonmin (LMI) 491.10p +2.31%
Premier Oil (PMO) 358.00p +2.17%
Galliford Try (GFRD) 761.50p +2.08%
Playtech Ltd. (PTEC) 412.00p +1.73%
Kenmare Resources (KMR) 38.30p +1.67%
Ophir Energy (OPHR) 554.50p +1.65%
Rank Group (RNK) 149.90p +1.63%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Centamin (DI) (CEY) 63.83p -35.40%
New World Resources A Shares (NWR) 267.30p -4.40%
COLT Group SA (COLT) 115.40p -2.37%
Computacenter (CCC) 365.30p -2.12%
Rathbone Brothers (RAT) 1,275.00p -2.07%
Restaurant Group (RTN) 374.50p -1.96%
Dignity (DTY) 932.00p -1.89%
IP Group (IPO) 117.00p -1.68%
Talvivaara Mining Company (TALV) 132.10p -1.49%
Hays (HAS) 80.80p -1.46%