- Chinese HSBC PMI at seven-month high
- Eurozone composite PMI misses forecasts
- Sports Direct founder sells 106m-pound stake
techMARK 2,629.17 +0.18%
FTSE 100 6,706.61 +0.48%
FTSE 250 15,526.08 +0.20%
UK stocks were performing well on Thursday as some improving data from China fuelled some decent gains in the banking and mining sectors.
Market Analyst Craig Erlam from Alpari said: "Anything that's good for Chinese growth is viewed as positive for the global economy, which is why we're seeing European indices on the rise again this morning, following the brief pull-back yesterday."
The FTSE 100 slipped on Wednesday, recording its first day in the red in 10 trading sessions, as traders took profits after the index hit a five-month high the day before. The index rebounded today, trading at around 6,700 by midday.
The Chinese HSBC manufacturing purchasing managers' index (PMI) improved from 50.2 to a seven-month high of 50.9 in October, ahead of the consensus forecast for 50.4. HSBC economist Qu Hongbin that this momentum is likely to continue in the coming months, "creating favourable conditions for speeding up structural reforms".
However, Chinese stocks fell overnight after the country's central bank refrained from injecting extra liquidity into markets for the third auction in a row, causing the seven-day bond repurchase rate - an important measure of short-term liquidity - to jump 47 basis points to 4.05% during today's session. This was biggest rise since late-July and has reignited fears over a liquidity squeeze that hammered global financial markets in the summer.
In the Eurozone, the Composite PMI, which measures activity in both the services and manufacturing sectors, fell from 52.2 to 51.5 in October, missing the forecast of 52.4. Nevertheless, the index remains in growth territory (above 50), which is likely to lift confidence as the region moves out of recession.
Sports Direct drops as founder trims stake
Sports Direct, the High Street retailer which impressed the market with its first-half trading update yesterday, sunk sharply today. The firm revealed that MASH Holdings, a company wholly owned by founder and Deputy Chairman Mike Ashley, sold 16m shares
(a 2.7% stake) at 662.5p each, a 7.5% discount to Wednesday's closing price. The £106m sale reduced MASH's holding to 61.7%.
Banking stocks were higher this morning, rebounding after the announcement of European Central Bank stress tests scared investors yesterday. Lloyds, RBS and Barclays were among the best performers.
Meanwhile, increased risk appetite helped the share prices
of miners Antofagasta and Fresnillo higher.
Advertising giant WPP advanced after reporting a 7.2% rise in revenue to £8.2bn pounds in the first nine months on the back of acquisitions and new business wins.
Power systems group Rolls-Royce rose after winning a contract for the supply of thrusters and deck machinery for use in drilling offshore Korea.
Consumer products giant Unilever edged higher after a weak start as the firm reported underlying sales growth of 3.2% during the third quarter, well below the 5% growth seen in the first half after a slowdown in emerging-market growth.
Ophir Energy surged after confirming reports that it will sell a part interest in gas field blocks one, three and four in Tanzania.
Copper miner Kazakhmys gained after saying that copper cathode equivalent output is on track to meet the upper-end of guidance after a decent third quarter.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Aberdeen Asset Management (ADN) 445.90p +4.77%
Rolls-Royce Holdings (RR.) 1,171.00p +2.36%
Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY) 79.65p +2.23%
Coca-Cola HBC AG (CDI) (CCH) 1,821.00p +1.90%
Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS) 358.80p +1.90%
Standard Chartered (STAN) 1,527.50p +1.83%
Fresnillo (FRES) 1,011.00p +1.71%
British Land Co (BLND) 623.00p +1.63%
Antofagasta (ANTO) 877.50p +1.39%
Petrofac Ltd. (PFC) 1,443.00p +1.33%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Sports Direct International (SPD) 685.50p -3.72%
Marks & Spencer Group (MKS) 478.70p -1.38%
William Hill (WMH) 393.90p -1.28%
easyJet (EZJ) 1,332.00p -1.19%
ITV (ITV) 192.80p -1.13%
Centrica (CNA) 356.60p -1.05%
Severn Trent (SVT) 1,856.00p -1.01%
Randgold Resources Ltd. (RRS) 4,605.00p -0.75%
Sage Group (SGE) 324.60p -0.73%
Burberry Group (BRBY) 1,542.00p -0.71%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Ophir Energy (OPHR) 324.80p +8.48%
Kazakhmys (KAZ) 263.50p +4.81%
Ferrexpo (FXPO) 193.00p +4.49%
Hochschild Mining (HOC) 167.00p +4.44%
Essar Energy (ESSR) 124.50p +3.58%
Man Group (EMG) 91.05p +3.35%
Inchcape (INCH) 642.50p +3.21%
Telecity Group (TCY) 801.00p +2.76%
TR Property Inv Trust (TRY) 232.00p +2.75%
IP Group (IPO) 153.00p +2.68%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Debenhams (DEB) 104.10p -5.96%
Spirent Communications (SPT) 117.50p -4.86%
De La Rue (DLAR) 856.00p -3.33%
Ocado Group (OCDO) 421.30p -2.93%
Keller Group (KLR) 1,060.00p -2.57%
Moneysupermarket.com Group (MONY) 151.20p -2.14%
888 Holdings (888) 164.10p -2.09%
Petra Diamonds Ltd.(DI) (PDL) 119.80p -2.04%
Genus (GNS) 1,350.00p -1.75%
Alent (ALNT) 349.00p -1.69%