- China, UK manufacturing PMIs show improvement
- Eurozone manufacturing PMI at seven-month low
- Mining stocks rise strongly
- St. Modwen impresses, Ocado disappoints
techMARK 2,825.76 +0.30%
FTSE 100 6,780.32 +0.54%
FTSE 250 15,798.59 +0.48%
Improving manufacturing activity in the UK and China gave London stocks a lift on Tuesday morning, putting the FTSE 100 on track to hit its highest level in a week.
Purchasing managers' indices (PMIs) from both the UK and China showed that manufacturing expanded in June, though figures from the Eurozone revealed a slight slowdown. Manufacturing data from the States is also due out this afternoon and is predicted to show a small pick-up in activity last month.
The FTSE 100 was trading 0.5% higher at 6,780 by around midday; it has not closed above this level since June 24th when it settled at 6,787.07.
The National Bureau of Statistics said that the official Chinese manufacturing PMI edged higher from 50.8 in May to 51.0 last month, as expected by analysts. This was its fourth straight monthly improvement and the highest since December 2013.
Closer to home, Markit's UK manufacturing PMI unexpectedly rose from 57 to 57.5, reaching its second highest level of the last 40 months. The consensus forecast was for a small decline to 56.8.
However, the final reading of the Markit Eurozone manufacturing PMI was revised lower to 51.8, down from a flash estimate of 51.9 and the 52.2 the month before. The revised figure was a seven-month low but still showed that the sector has grown for 12 straight months.
As well as a host of economic data today, traders were keeping a close eye on developments in Ukraine where President Petro Poroshenko called an end to a ceasefire with pro-Russian militants in the east. He said: "We will attack, we will free our land [...] The decision not to continue the ceasefire is our answer to terrorists, militants and marauders."
Minutes from the Financial Policy Committee's June 17th meeting released this morning showed that policymakers differed over measures to cool the housing market.
Miners jump on China data
Mining stocks were the best performers this morning in reaction to the decent economic data from top metals user China. Rio Tinto was rising strongly on reports about upside potential at its South of Embley bauxite project in Queensland.
Producers Randgold, Fresnillo, BHP Billiton and Anglo American were also all putting in solid gains this morning.
Drinks group Diageo was continuing to rise as speculation continued about a potential merger with brewer SABMiller, which could create a beverages giant worth over £100bn.
UK regeneration specialist St. Modwen Properties jumped as it beat forecasts with a 32% increase in half-year pre-tax profit. The company also said that improving valuations, particularly in the residential sector, underpin its confidence for the full year.
Online grocer Ocado slumped despite moving into the black with a pre-tax profit of £7.5m compared with a £3.8m loss the year before. However, the company did note a slowdown in sales and said that growth was limited by "subdued and cautious consumer spending".
Supermarket group Wm Morrison, which has a long-term partnership with Ocado, fell in sympathy today, along with rivals J Sainsbury and Tesco which both have significant online offerings.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Fresnillo (FRES) 899.50p +3.15%
Anglo American (AAL) 1,469.00p +2.73%
Rio Tinto (RIO) 3,192.50p +2.70%
BHP Billiton (BLT) 1,930.00p +2.14%
Randgold Resources Ltd. (RRS) 4,977.00p +2.13%
Diageo (DGE) 1,898.00p +1.71%
Travis Perkins (TPK) 1,663.00p +1.53%
BG Group (BG.) 1,252.50p +1.42%
Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY) 75.26p +1.36%
Glencore (GLEN) 329.75p +1.29%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Royal Mail (RMG) 488.60p -2.08%
Morrison (Wm) Supermarkets (MRW) 179.90p -1.91%
Pearson (PSON) 1,139.00p -1.30%
Tesco (TSCO) 280.50p -1.30%
Sainsbury (J) (SBRY) 312.40p -0.98%
Associated British Foods (ABF) 3,022.00p -0.89%
Burberry Group (BRBY) 1,471.00p -0.81%
Shire Plc (SHP) 4,538.00p -0.70%
TUI Travel (TT.) 395.40p -0.65%
Standard Chartered (STAN) 1,187.00p -0.59%
FTSE 250 - Risers
African Barrick Gold (ABG) 219.00p +6.47%
St. Modwen Properties (SMP) 374.30p +4.38%
Entertainment One Limited (ETO) 322.00p +3.87%
BlackRock World Mining Trust (BRWM) 480.60p +3.78%
Poundland Group (PLND) 328.50p +3.63%
Supergroup (SGP) 1,093.00p +3.50%
UDG Healthcare Public Limited Company (UDG) 354.00p +3.36%
Polymetal International (POLY) 597.50p +3.28%
Greencore Group (GNC) 272.80p +2.71%
Enterprise Inns (ETI) 129.50p +2.45%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Ocado Group (OCDO) 355.80p -4.17%
Exova Group (EXO) 237.10p -3.62%
Genus (GNS) 1,117.00p -2.62%
Riverstone Energy Limited (RSE) 901.50p -2.54%
Investec (INVP) 526.50p -2.32%
Imagination Technologies Group (IMG) 207.30p -1.80%
AL Noor Hospitals Group (ANH) 1,007.00p -1.47%
Lancashire Holdings Limited (LRE) 644.50p -1.45%
Synthomer (SYNT) 229.00p -1.34%
Spirax-Sarco Engineering (SPX) 2,704.00p -1.06%