- Chinese growth picks up to 7.5% in Q2
- Meggitt jumps on M&A speculation
- Analysts continue to digest Yellen comments
- Rio Tinto rises after "very strong" first half
techMARK 2,796.59 +0.59%
FTSE 100 6,741.30 +0.46%
FTSE 250 15,502.90 +0.40%
Stronger-than-expected economic growth in China helped UK stocks rise on Wednesday morning, while M&A speculation saw the share price of blue chip Meggitt surge.
The FTSE 100 was trading 0.5% higher at 6,741 early on.
Chinese gross domestic product (GDP) grew at an annual rate of 7.5% in the second quarter of 2014, surprising analysts who had expected growth to remain unchanged from 7.4% in the first quarter.
Other data from China also showed that fixed asset investment and industrial production both came in above analysts' estimates in June, while retail sales growth of 12.1% was unchanged, slightly lower than expected.
"The release of Chinese growth, industrial production and fixed asset investment all gave us a pleasant surprise, showing that the slowdown within China was largely overstated and gives me greater confidence that within H2, the Asian powerhouse will be able to really kick on," said Market Analyst Joshua Mahony from Alpari UK.
Comments from Janet Yellen will continue to be analysed today after the Federal Reserve Chair hinted yesterday the central bank could hike interest rates sooner than the markets current expect if labour-market data continues to surprise to the upside. However, she said the recovery is not yet complete and that monetary stimulus is still required.
Looking ahead to the rest of the day, unemployment figures are due out in the UK, while industrial production data will be released in the States later on.
Meggitt jumps on M&A hopes
Aircraft parts group Meggitt surged around 7% this morning on reports that the company could attract a US bidder such as United Technologies. According to market chatter, speculation has emanated from the Farnborough Air Show this week.
Mining giant Rio Tinto impressed with a "very strong first half" with productivity gains across the business. The iron ore division, which accounts for around half of group revenues, registered record shipments, production and rail volumes in the six months to June 30th.
British Land also rose after it reported a good start to the year as it continues to make the most of strong markets, with the occupational and investment markets in London and retail both strengthening.
Postal group Royal Mail declined on the news that it is facing a potentially "material" impact from a competition investigation in France. Royal Mail said some of its group companies had received a notice from the French competition authority alleging breaches of antitrust laws by one of its subsidiaries, GLS France.
Mike Ashley, the billionaire founder and retail tycoon who founded Sports Direct, has told the board of the sportswear chain that he will withdraw his name from its controversial bonus scheme. Shares were slightly lower this morning.
Imperial Tobacco was among the worst performers this morning this morning as it goes ex-dividend.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Meggitt (MGGT) 525.50p +7.22%
easyJet (EZJ) 1,303.00p +2.04%
Rio Tinto (RIO) 3,297.50p +1.63%
ARM Holdings (ARM) 845.00p +1.38%
British Land Co (BLND) 700.50p +1.30%
Hammerson (HMSO) 591.50p +1.28%
Tullow Oil (TLW) 799.50p +1.20%
Unilever (ULVR) 2,642.00p +1.15%
Aviva (AV.) 493.30p +1.15%
Weir Group (WEIR) 2,673.00p +1.10%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Shire Plc (SHP) 4,751.00p -2.34%
Fresnillo (FRES) 899.00p -1.59%
Royal Mail (RMG) 481.00p -1.58%
Imperial Tobacco Group (IMT) 2,606.00p -1.21%
RSA Insurance Group (RSA) 462.70p -0.98%
Aberdeen Asset Management (ADN) 450.30p -0.90%
Kingfisher (KGF) 332.60p -0.66%
AstraZeneca (AZN) 4,358.00p -0.60%
Burberry Group (BRBY) 1,404.00p -0.57%
Coca-Cola HBC AG (CDI) (CCH) 1,384.00p -0.50%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Oxford Instruments (OXIG) 1,254.00p +4.41%
Senior (SNR) 269.40p +2.67%
Workspace Group (WKP) 605.00p +2.46%
Imagination Technologies Group (IMG) 203.10p +2.27%
Crest Nicholson Holdings (CRST) 345.10p +2.10%
Synthomer (SYNT) 215.10p +2.09%
Fidessa Group (FDSA) 2,154.00p +1.99%
Perform Group (PER) 226.40p +1.98%
Renishaw (RSW) 1,588.00p +1.86%
Hochschild Mining (HOC) 164.20p +1.80%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Euromoney Institutional Investor (ERM) 1,049.00p -2.15%
Telecom Plus (TEP) 1,310.00p -2.09%
Homeserve (HSV) 296.90p -1.53%
BTG (BTG) 616.50p -1.44%
Investec (INVP) 525.50p -1.13%
AL Noor Hospitals Group (ANH) 990.00p -1.00%
WH Smith (SMWH) 1,112.00p -0.89%
Enterprise Inns (ETI) 115.00p -0.86%
Moneysupermarket.com Group (MONY) 185.50p -0.80%
Genus (GNS) 1,084.00p -0.73%