- Next shares
charge higher after Q3 impresses
- Tesco and Sainsbury go to court
- All eyes on Fed meeting
techMARK 2,659.40 +0.13%
FTSE 100 6,805.38 +0.45%
FTSE 250 15,560.62 +0.16%
The FTSE moved higher in early trade today, tracking gains seen in the US overnight ahead of the Federal Reserve policy announcement due this evening.
The gains were led by retailer Next, which impressed with its third quarter results, while a contract win by Petrofac also pleased the market.
The UK Treasury is reportedly considering the possibility of capping pension fund fees to ensure there is no exploitation of its auto-enrolement system, it was reported this morning.
Meanwhile, two of the Big Four supermarkets, Sainsbury and Tesco, are going head-to-head in a court battle over the latter's Price Promise campaign.
Merlin Entertainment, the owner of attractions such as Madame Tussauds, Legoland, and Thorpe Park, has been valued at between £2.8bn and £3.3bn ahead of its stock market floatation. The stock is expected to begin trading on November 12th.
Investors keep close eye on action in US
The Fed is expected to announce that it will maintain its $85bn in monthly asset purchases and keep the interest rate at 0.25% after the two-day meeting wraps.
The market does not see the central bank tapering stimulus until March 2014 after a 16-day government shutdown earlier this month took at least $24bn out of the economy.
"[...] the majority of economists surveyed so far believe that the Fed will resist tapering until March 2014 earliest," said Spreadex Trader Max Cohen.
Acting as a backdrop to these events will be the release of inflation figures for September. The US consumer price index (CPI) is expected to fall to 1.2% year-on-year last month from 1.5% in August.
Meanwhile, in Germany, the CPI for October is tipped to remain unchanged at 1.4% year-on-year.
Next impressed with increase in Q3 sales
High Street clothing and homeware retailer Next topped the leader board after it reported an increase in third quarter sales, despite ongoing trading volatility, as it upwardly revised its earnings forecasts for the full year. Next Brand sales in the third quarter rose 4.3% after Next Directory jumped 10.7% and Next Retail rose 0.4%.
Banking group Barclays posted a strong rise in its nine-month pre-tax profits from £962m to £2.85bn, while its mis-sold personal protection insurance (PPI) pay-outs were steady at £3.95bn.
Oilfield service provider Petrofac was also higher after it won a share of a $650m contract to provide engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) services for the Algerian government. The group is leading a partnership with Italian contractor Bonatti to provide a 32-month contract to extend the life of the Alrar gas field in south east Algeria for Sonatrach, the Algerian state-owned resources company.
Meanwhile, sales slowed in constant currencies at Pearson in the third quarter but the publisher remained on track to hit its full year earnings targets. Although the Financial Times owner saw 4% sales growth in the first nine months at constant currencies, down from 5% in the first half of the year, but on an underlying basis it remained at 2%.
Standard Life shares declined despite the fund manager reporting "good progress" in the first nine months of the year, in which it delivered "substantial growth in net flows, assets and fee based revenue". Group assets under administration increased by 9% to £237.6bn, while fee-based revenue increased by 15% to £1,059m.
Standard Chartered shares were also retreating, with investors profit-taking one day after the company reported a slight increase in operating profit for the year-to-date due to tight cost controls. In a trading update for the nine months ended September 30th, the financial services company said it delivered a strong performance despite an uncertain market environment.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Next (NXT) 5,535.00p +6.34%
Petrofac Ltd. (PFC) 1,525.00p +3.88%
Barclays (BARC) 273.50p +2.80%
Experian (EXPN) 1,257.00p +2.20%
Marks & Spencer Group (MKS) 496.10p +2.16%
BP (BP.) 487.10p +2.01%
easyJet (EZJ) 1,334.00p +1.75%
Kingfisher (KGF) 381.10p +1.60%
Tullow Oil (TLW) 951.00p +1.60%
GKN (GKN) 368.50p +1.40%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Pearson (PSON) 1,322.00p -3.15%
Standard Life (SL.) 361.40p -2.11%
RSA Insurance Group (RSA) 127.30p -1.16%
Standard Chartered (STAN) 1,526.50p -1.10%
British Land Co (BLND) 627.00p -0.79%
Land Securities Group (LAND) 992.50p -0.65%
Fresnillo (FRES) 1,014.00p -0.49%
SABMiller (SAB) 3,276.00p -0.33%
Coca-Cola HBC AG (CDI) (CCH) 1,792.00p -0.33%
Johnson Matthey (JMAT) 2,985.00p -0.27%
FTSE 250 - Risers
African Barrick Gold (ABG) 184.00p +8.17%
Thomas Cook Group (TCG) 142.60p +3.03%
Debenhams (DEB) 101.30p +2.32%
Ocado Group (OCDO) 439.60p +2.11%
Menzies(John) (MNZS) 806.50p +1.96%
ICAP (IAP) 381.80p +1.81%
Dunelm Group (DNLM) 890.00p +1.54%
Afren (AFR) 148.80p +1.50%
Paragon Group Of Companies (PAG) 335.10p +1.48%
Inchcape (INCH) 643.00p +1.42%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Morgan Advance Materials (MGAM) 285.50p -4.83%
IP Group (IPO) 149.20p -3.12%
Carpetright (CPR) 610.50p -2.94%
Go-Ahead Group (GOG) 1,690.00p -2.76%
KCOM Group (KCOM) 98.65p -2.71%
Synthomer (SYNT) 246.80p -2.18%
Xaar (XAR) 800.50p -2.14%
Countrywide (CWD) 559.00p -1.93%
Perform Group (PER) 550.00p -1.61%
Provident Financial (PFG) 1,572.00p -1.50%
FTSE TechMARK - Risers
Puricore (PURI) 48.00p +2.13%
SDL (SDL) 258.00p +1.08%
Wolfson Microelectronics (WLF) 143.50p +0.70%
Anite (AIE) 88.75p +0.28%
Vectura Group (VEC) 112.00p +0.22%
Gov Bond 7-10YR UCITS ETF (IEGM) € 179.20 +0.17%
FTSE TechMARK - Fallers
XP Power Ltd. (DI) (XPP) 1,560.00p -2.80%
Vislink (VLK) 49.25p -1.75%
Kofax (KFX) 371.25p -1.00%
NCC Group (NCC) 160.75p -0.62%
Ricardo (RCDO) 598.88p -0.44%
Microgen (MCGN) 127.00p -0.39%