Miners are back in fashion today and driving Footsie higher, as investors venture back into the market following yesterday's shake-out.
Reports that China's central bank has pumped record amounts of liquidity into the banking system sent the Shanghai and Hong Kong stock markets into overdrive overnight, and have lit a fire under the share prices
of mining companies, such as Rio Tinto, Xstrata and Anglo American. Fellow travellers such as Russian steel maker Evraz and commodities trader Glencore also take the high road.
In company news, sweeteners group Tate & Lyle said first half adjusted operating profit will be similar to last year's level, in line with expectations. The company saw an improved performance in the second quarter in its Speciality Food Ingredients business. "Overall, while recognising the current level of uncertainty around the wider economy and volatile corn markets, we continue to expect to make progress this financial year," the group said.
Sticking with the food theme, contract caterer Compass said expectations for the full year remain unchanged after a strong performance in the fourth quarter as its US and emerging markets continue to underpin growth. In an update ahead of its annual results, Compass said constant currency revenue growth for the year to September 30th 2012 is expected to be around 8% and organic revenue growth should be 5.5%. Operating profit is expected to increase 8%.
Package tour operator TUI Travel is flying high after it said it remains on track to meet its full year expectations, following strong trading in the summer high season, with improved margins and load factors versus the prior year.
ICAP, which on Wednesday warned of subdued trading levels in its core business, has bought CTI Shipbrokers (India) from Captain Jaideep Kapoor and Tradex Chartering & Trading Private. The assets acquired have a gross value of $2.464m, the inter-dealer broker disclosed. CTI India's main business is in dry, tanker and sale and purchase broking. The acquisition provides ICAP Shipping with a subsidiary in India with offices in New Delhi and Mumbai employing 28 people.
Investors could be forgiven for keeping more than one eye out for news of the Spanish austerity budget, due to be unveiled later today, while in the UK the Office for National Statistics has another stab at estimating UK gross domestic product (GDP).
The market is not expecting any revision to the previous GDP reading for the second quarter, which indicated a 0.5% quarter-on-quarter decline.
Out at the same time (09:30) is UK trade data, which will see the nation's supplies of red ink run low.
"Monthly external trade data are not as bad as assumed in the second GDP estimate, which also marginally eases its negative effect on the current account (by £0.2bn to -£10.9bn), but with income struggling (£2.5bn) and current transfers persistently negative (-£5.5bn) in our forecast, we expect a current account balance of -£13.9bn. Trade revisions lead us to expect a small worsening in the Q1 deficit too," broker Nomura said.
Metals prices are on the rise on the futures markets. The most actively traded gold contract is up $7 to $1,760.80 an ounce, while the copper counterpart is up $2.30 to $373.30 a pound.
Brent crude for November delivery is 22 cents dearer at $110.26 a barrel in early London trading.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Evraz (EVR) 243.30p +2.14%
Glencore International (GLEN) 344.80p +1.88%
Rio Tinto (RIO) 2,890.00p +1.72%
Xstrata (XTA) 972.50p +1.69%
Shire Plc (SHP) 1,823.00p +1.56%
Anglo American (AAL) 1,858.50p +1.50%
Eurasian Natural Resources Corp. (ENRC) 316.30p +1.41%
Kazakhmys (KAZ) 700.00p +1.38%
National Grid (NG.) 701.00p +1.37%
Tate & Lyle (TATE) 663.00p +1.30%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Vodafone Group (VOD) 176.65p -0.42%
GKN (GKN) 213.80p -0.19%
Next (NXT) 3,438.00p -0.17%
Compass Group (CPG) 710.50p -0.14%
Old Mutual (OML) 172.90p -0.12%
Kingfisher (KGF) 267.60p -0.11%
Royal Dutch Shell 'A' (RDSA) 2,175.00p -0.11%
Unilever (ULVR) 2,270.00p -0.09%
Royal Dutch Shell 'B' (RDSB) 2,237.00p -0.07%
Morrison (Wm) Supermarkets (MRW) 289.70p -0.07%
FTSE 250 - Risers
TUI Travel (TT.) 237.40p +3.17%
PayPoint (PAY) 759.50p +3.12%
Oxford Instruments (OXIG) 1,363.00p +2.64%
Jardine Lloyd Thompson Group (JLT) 778.50p +2.03%
Centamin (DI) (CEY) 91.25p +2.01%
Ferrexpo (FXPO) 200.80p +1.88%
Paragon Group Of Companies (PAG) 207.60p +1.86%
Domino Printing Sciences (DNO) 578.50p +1.85%
Hochschild Mining (HOC) 489.50p +1.77%
RIT Capital Partners (RCP) 1,156.00p +1.76%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Perform Group (PER) 376.80p -4.37%
JD Sports Fashion (JD.) 700.00p -4.11%
Brown (N.) Group (BWNG) 268.70p -2.26%
Ted Baker (TED) 890.00p -2.09%
Unite Group (UTG) 245.60p -2.00%
Telecom Plus (TEP) 835.00p -1.76%
F&C Asset Management (FCAM) 93.80p -1.26%
BH Macro Ltd. USD Shares (BHMU) 18.95 -1.04%
Domino's Pizza Group (DOM) 535.00p -1.02%
Hays (HAS) 79.50p -1.00%