- Miners rise on Chinese stimulus hopes
- Li Keqiang hints at possible easing
- Insurers fall on FCA investigation
techMARK 2,779.04 +0.58%
FTSE 100 6,621.74 +0.51%
FTSE 250 16,239.90 +0.23%
UK stocks were making decent gains on Friday morning after a positive session in Asia overnight as comments from Chinese Premier Li Keqiang sparked hopes that measures to stimulate growth in the region could be on their way.
Heavyweight mining stocks were performing well on the back of this speculation as metal prices advanced, lifting the FTSE 100 0.5% higher to 6,622 in early trading. The index is set to finish at its highest closing level since March 11th.
Li, speaking at a government meeting in Shenyang, reportedly said that policymakers "should launch well-targeted, effective measures one after another according to our tasks stated in the Government Work Report".
He said that the government should not overlook "downward risks" to the economy and has the "ability, confidence and conditions to make sure the economy runs within a reasonable range".
"Analysts believe China could implement measures to boost stimulus after a string of deteriorating data has shown the economy is struggling," said Lee Mumford, Financial Sales Trader at Spreadex.
On today's economic data calendar, there will be a final revision to UK gross domestic product growth forecasts this morning, along with economic confidence figures from the Eurozone and spending data in the US.
Miners jump on Chinese stimulus hopes
Mining stocks were leading the risers this morning as investors ramped up their appetite for risk amid hopes of Chinese stimulus. Fresnillo, Anglo American, Rio Tinto, Glencore Xstrata, Antofagasta and BHP Billiton were all putting in decent gains.
Royal Mail was also higher after RBC Capital upgraded its rating for the postal group to 'outpeform'.
Leading the downside were insurance stocks on reports that the Financial Conduct Authority is investigating 30m policies sold by insurers between the 1970s and 2000. Resolution, Legal & General, Aviva, Standard Life, Prudential, Phoenix and Partnership Assurance falling sharply.
On AIM, the share price of radiation technology group Kromek plummeted after it warned that revenue for the year ending April 30th will be "significantly below current market expectations" due to delays in a number of large contracts. Kromek, which listed in London in October, had previously expected to break even this year but now predicts making a loss.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Fresnillo (FRES) 862.50p +2.99%
Glencore Xstrata (GLEN) 315.75p +2.82%
Anglo American (AAL) 1,526.50p +2.66%
Rio Tinto (RIO) 3,343.50p +2.09%
Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS) 308.20p +2.09%
Smith & Nephew (SN.) 918.00p +2.00%
Randgold Resources Ltd. (RRS) 4,566.00p +1.78%
Antofagasta (ANTO) 841.50p +1.69%
BHP Billiton (BLT) 1,863.00p +1.66%
Sports Direct International (SPD) 878.00p +1.50%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Resolution Ltd. (RSL) 286.30p -10.25%
Aviva (AV.) 453.10p -6.29%
Legal & General Group (LGEN) 201.70p -5.04%
St James's Place (STJ) 824.00p -2.54%
Standard Life (SL.) 376.60p -2.51%
Prudential (PRU) 1,292.00p -1.75%
Kingfisher (KGF) 420.60p -0.71%
Old Mutual (OML) 200.40p -0.40%
Babcock International Group (BAB) 1,270.00p -0.39%
Petrofac Ltd. (PFC) 1,429.00p -0.21%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Ocado Group (OCDO) 463.50p +3.78%
Evraz (EVR) 73.20p +3.32%
Capital & Counties Properties (CAPC) 362.90p +2.92%
Kier Group (KIE) 1,644.00p +2.37%
Kazakhmys (KAZ) 257.20p +2.35%
Paragon Group Of Companies (PAG) 409.30p +2.30%
Ferrexpo (FXPO) 152.90p +2.00%
Polymetal International (POLY) 612.50p +1.91%
Croda International (CRDA) 2,570.00p +1.90%
Interserve (IRV) 718.50p +1.84%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Phoenix Group Holdings (DI) (PHNX) 690.00p -6.38%
Partnership Assurance Group (PA.) 130.50p -2.61%
Cairn Energy (CNE) 169.40p -2.25%
Afren (AFR) 139.80p -2.24%
Grafton Group Units (GFTU) 645.00p -2.05%
Tullett Prebon (TLPR) 277.30p -1.56%
Man Group (EMG) 100.60p -1.28%
Just Retirement Group (JRG) 133.00p -1.19%
Cranswick (CWK) 1,228.00p -1.13%
Scottish Mortgage Inv Trust (SMT) 1,012.00p -1.08%