- LSE jumps after $2.7bn purchase of Frank Russell
- bwin.party surges on sale rumours
- Barclays facing allegations of fraud
- Carney in focus amid housing market concerns
techMARK 2,802.08 +0.47%
FTSE 100 6,743.00 +0.14%
FTSE 250 15,529.44 +0.49%
Strong gains from London Stock Exchange (LSE), bwin.party and the mining sector were able to offset a heavy fall from Barclays on Thursday, with UK stocks edging higher in early morning trade.
The FTSE 100 was 0.14% higher at 6,743 within the opening hour.
The index was recovering after a 0.8% drop on Wednesday as investors reacted to a much-worse-than-expected downwards revision to US gross domestic product (GDP) estimates for the first quarter. The FTSE 100 fell to 6,733.62, its lowest close in two months.
However, despite the news that the world's largest economy shrunk at an annualised rate of 2.9% in the first three months of 2014, US stocks performed well on Wall Street yesterday evening.
"An extremely disappointing first quarter GDP revision was brushed aside by US markets yesterday, with markets choosing to hang their hats on more recent economic data, which continues to show improvements in patches," said Michael Hewson, Chief Market Analyst at CMC Markets UK.
Today's session will see the announcement of the most recent Financial Stability Review, at which Bank of England Governor Mark Carney is widely expected to unveil plans aimed at reducing high-risk mortgage lending.
LSE and bwin.party rise, Barclays slumps
LSE is spending $2.7bn in cash on buying Frank Russell Company in a deal that will combine the groups' Russell and FTSE indices businesses. Investors seemingly gave a thumbs up to the acquisition with shares
rising strongly despite the announcement that it will be part-financed by a $1.6bn rights issue, which is intrinsically dilutive.
Online gaming group bwin.party has denied reports it is considering a full or partial sale. Media speculation had sent the stock surging early on.
Heading the other way was Barclays after confirming that it is subject to a lawsuit from the New York Attorney General related to alleged fraud in the bank's 'dark pool' equity-trading business.
Mining stocks were mostly on the rise with Rio Tinto, Anglo American and Antofagasta making decent gains. Randgold and Fresnillo, however, fell as precious metal prices declined.
Energy services firm Wood Group dropped after reporting a mixed performance from its PSN division in the first half. In a trading update, the company said that the Production Services unit of PSN has performed ahead of expectations, but Turbine Activities has disappointed.
Ophir Energy's 50%-owned Okala-1 well did not find significant hydrocarbons in the target areas, the company said today, marking a disappointing end to its 2014 exploration campaign in Gabon.
Consumer goods packaging firm DS Smith declined despite saying that full-year pre-tax profit more than doubled to £167m in the 12 months to April 30th.
FTSE 100 - Risers
London Stock Exchange Group (LSE) 1,954.00p +4.49%
ITV (ITV) 174.00p +2.65%
Vodafone Group (VOD) 193.50p +1.95%
IMI (IMI) 1,483.00p +1.92%
Travis Perkins (TPK) 1,607.00p +1.64%
Rio Tinto (RIO) 3,141.00p +1.40%
Smiths Group (SMIN) 1,281.00p +1.26%
GKN (GKN) 365.90p +1.25%
WPP (WPP) 1,253.00p +1.21%
St James's Place (STJ) 758.50p +1.20%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Barclays (BARC) 219.75p -4.46%
British American Tobacco (BATS) 3,467.00p -1.56%
Reckitt Benckiser Group (RB.) 5,070.00p -1.07%
Capita (CPI) 1,129.00p -0.70%
Tullow Oil (TLW) 841.00p -0.65%
Randgold Resources Ltd. (RRS) 4,838.00p -0.60%
Experian (EXPN) 963.00p -0.57%
Rolls-Royce Holdings (RR.) 1,039.00p -0.57%
ARM Holdings (ARM) 881.00p -0.56%
G4S (GFS) 253.60p -0.43%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Bwin.party Digital Entertainment (BPTY) 99.05p +6.91%
Supergroup (SGP) 1,010.00p +6.37%
Xaar (XAR) 547.00p +4.79%
CSR (CSR) 568.50p +3.18%
Alent (ALNT) 363.00p +2.98%
St. Modwen Properties (SMP) 346.90p +2.69%
Dunelm Group (DNLM) 856.50p +2.57%
Inchcape (INCH) 626.00p +2.29%
Ferrexpo (FXPO) 128.10p +2.15%
IP Group (IPO) 195.70p +1.98%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Ophir Energy (OPHR) 228.70p -4.91%
Imagination Technologies Group (IMG) 227.80p -3.80%
Euromoney Institutional Investor (ERM) 1,085.00p -3.56%
Wood Group (John) (WG.) 788.00p -1.19%
Soco International (SIA) 416.30p -0.72%
Tate & Lyle (TATE) 654.00p -0.61%
Brit (BRIT) 240.50p -0.58%
AO World (AO.) 262.30p -0.57%
UK Commercial Property Trust (UKCM) 81.35p -0.55%
Cobham (COB) 305.80p -0.52%