- Vodafone, RBS and Glaxo provide a lift
- IHG, Glencore Xstrata hit by downgrades
- FTSE 100 at highest intraday level in month
techMARK 2,891.98 +0.55%
FTSE 100 6,840.31 +0.40%
FTSE 250 16,419.58 +0.31%
Strong gains from heavyweights Vodafone, RBS and GlaxoSmithKline gave UK markets a boost on Friday with stocks rising to levels not seen in a month.
The FTSE 100 was trading 0.4% higher at 6,840 early on, its highest intraday level since January 22nd.
A decent performance on Wall Street last night has helped to spur buying this morning, as US indices turned around after a poor start as data showed that manufacturing activity Stateside rose to a four-year high.
"I think this clearly highlights the fact that the market is still generally bullish and is once again looking for any excuse to buy," said Market Analyst Craig Erlam from Alpari.
After a data-heavy week, today's session is set to be a little quieter on the macro front, though UK retail sales and public-sector borrowing figures will catch investors' attentions this morning.
Vodafone, RBS and Glaxo provide a lift
Telecoms titan Vodafone was making decent gains this morning with shareholders set to receive a windfall from the company's sale of its 45% stake in Verizon Wireless. The $130bn cash and shares
deal is set to complete today.
RBS was higher amid reports that the bank will announce plans to slash as many as 30,000 jobs, reducing its staff count to the lowest levels in more than 10 years.
Pharmaceuticals giant GlaxoSmithKline was higher after European regulators recommended marketing authorisation for umeclidinium, its once-daily treatment to relieve symptoms in adult patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Millennium & Copthorne, the FTSE 250 hotel firm, jumped after reporting record revenues and profits for 2013 as fourth-quarter results were boosted by the one-off sale of the bulk of the Glyndebourne development in Singapore.
Sector peer InterContinental Hotels Group, however, was trading in the red after Credit Suisse lowered its recommendation to 'underperform', pointing out that the shares are trading within just 4% of their all-time high at a price-to-earnings ratio of 23.
Glencore Xstrata was also lower after JPMorgan Cazenove downgraded its rating on the stock to 'neutral', saying that its peers have overtaken it in terms of capital returns potential.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Vodafone Group (VOD) 236.00p +2.79%
Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS) 361.70p +1.69%
ARM Holdings (ARM) 962.50p +1.64%
Persimmon (PSN) 1,459.00p +1.53%
Prudential (PRU) 1,370.00p +1.11%
Barclays (BARC) 258.05p +1.10%
Aviva (AV.) 473.40p +1.09%
BAE Systems (BA.) 404.70p +1.07%
British Land Co (BLND) 702.50p +0.93%
Compass Group (CPG) 925.50p +0.93%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Glencore Xstrata (GLEN) 333.05p -2.17%
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) 1,934.00p -2.08%
Smiths Group (SMIN) 1,366.00p -1.73%
IMI (IMI) 1,544.00p -1.34%
Mondi (MNDI) 1,032.00p -1.24%
Anglo American (AAL) 1,536.50p -1.13%
Morrison (Wm) Supermarkets (MRW) 239.50p -1.07%
Fresnillo (FRES) 975.00p -1.02%
easyJet (EZJ) 1,732.00p -0.92%
Antofagasta (ANTO) 942.50p -0.84%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Millennium & Copthorne Hotels (MLC) 598.00p +4.64%
Essentra (ESNT) 875.00p +3.55%
IP Group (IPO) 221.00p +3.22%
Petra Diamonds Ltd.(DI) (PDL) 170.10p +3.03%
Centamin (DI) (CEY) 51.70p +2.48%
Morgan Advanced Materials (MGAM) 341.40p +1.88%
Laird (LRD) 328.30p +1.77%
Informa (INF) 531.00p +1.72%
Afren (AFR) 156.10p +1.63%
AL Noor Hospitals Group (ANH) 917.50p +1.61%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Vesuvius (VSVS) 462.70p -1.91%
Telecity Group (TCY) 669.50p -1.69%
Electra Private Equity (ELTA) 2,439.00p -1.45%
Dechra Pharmaceuticals (DPH) 675.50p -1.39%
Xaar (XAR) 1,095.00p -1.35%
Evraz (EVR) 82.10p -1.20%
Crest Nicholson Holdings (CRST) 375.00p -1.19%
Debenhams (DEB) 74.25p -0.93%
UK Commercial Property Trust (UKCM) 78.00p -0.83%
Domino's Pizza Group (DOM) 543.50p -0.82%