- Busy week for economic data
- German retail sales rise, Eurozone CPI ahead
- Insurance stocks rebound after heavy falls
techMARK 2,778.57 +0.59%
FTSE 100 6,657.68 +0.64%
FTSE 250 16,276.97 +0.59%
UK stocks were trading at a three-week high on Monday morning as investors began the week in a bullish mood ahead of some key economic indicators across the globe in the coming days.
"Whilst much of the strength seen throughout the latter half of last week seemed to show both technical and fundamental elements, there is more of a feeling that we will return to the economics this week as a key driver of market direction," said Joshua Mahony, Research Analyst at Alpari UK.
The FTSE 100 was trading 0.6% higher at 6,658 in early trading, following a near-1% gain for the index over the past five sessions. The FTSE 100 has not closed above this level since March 11th when it finished at 6,685.52.
Mahony said that today "marks the first of five very notable days which should help spell out exactly where we stand in relation to almost all major current market themes".
Helping sentiment this morning were German retail sales figures which rose at 1.3% over February, down from a revised 1.7% gain the previous month but much better than the 0.5% decline expected by analysts.
Consumer price inflation figures from the Eurozone will be released later this morning with markets watching closely to see whether deflationary pressures have stepped up over the last month. The 'core' consumer price index is expected to have risen at an annual rate of 0.8% in March, down from a 1.0% increase in February.
A host of key purchasing managers' indices in China will also be in focus over the coming days as investors look to gain a better perspective of the slowdown in the world's second-largest economy. Meanwhile, there will be a barrage of economic data from the US this week, including the all-important non-farm payrolls report on Friday.
Insurance stocks were among the best performers today as share prices
attempted to recover from the sell-off that ensued on Friday on the news of a regulatory investigation into billions of pounds worth of policies dating back four decades. The Financial Conduct Authority is set to outline its report today.
Resolution, which fell over 7% the previous session, was making small gains this morning, along with St James's Place, Prudential and Aviva.
Mining stocks were also on the rise, including Anglo American, Rio Tinto and African Barrick Gold.
Power systems giant Rolls-Royce rose after winning a $50m one-year contract to support the US Marines Corps fleet of KC-130J air-to-air refuelling tankers.
GlaxoSmithKline declined after saying the third phase of its study of darpladib failed to meet its target for the prevention of stroke.
Investment firm 3i Infrastructure edged higher after saying in a pre-close trading update that its European portfolio has continued to perform well with deliver "good levels of income". Its India Fund remains affected by a number of macro-economic and market issues but its performance "stabilised" in the second half.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Resolution Ltd. (RSL) 304.80p +2.87%
Rio Tinto (RIO) 3,352.50p +2.23%
Johnson Matthey (JMAT) 3,322.00p +2.22%
Anglo American (AAL) 1,541.50p +2.15%
St James's Place (STJ) 856.50p +1.48%
ARM Holdings (ARM) 992.00p +1.48%
Aviva (AV.) 476.80p +1.40%
Ashtead Group (AHT) 964.00p +1.37%
Mondi (MNDI) 1,040.00p +1.36%
BG Group (BG.) 1,125.50p +1.26%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Centrica (CNA) 327.60p -0.30%
SSE (SSE) 1,508.00p -0.20%
Shire Plc (SHP) 3,017.00p -0.13%
HSBC Holdings (HSBA) 610.30p -0.11%
Sports Direct International (SPD) 865.50p -0.06%
Smith & Nephew (SN.) 921.00p -0.05%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Partnership Assurance Group (PA.) 142.00p +5.19%
Imagination Technologies Group (IMG) 203.30p +4.31%
Phoenix Group Holdings (DI) (PHNX) 679.00p +4.14%
Evraz (EVR) 74.45p +3.33%
African Barrick Gold (ABG) 255.40p +3.23%
AL Noor Hospitals Group (ANH) 1,068.00p +3.09%
Domino Printing Sciences (DNO) 796.50p +2.51%
Alent (ALNT) 313.70p +2.42%
Ferrexpo (FXPO) 156.50p +2.42%
Centamin (DI) (CEY) 50.80p +2.42%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Intu Properties (INTU) 277.80p -1.48%
IP Group (IPO) 207.00p -1.43%
Countrywide (CWD) 645.50p -1.00%
Computacenter (CCC) 651.50p -0.99%
Riverstone Energy Limited (RSE) 886.50p -0.95%
Wetherspoon (J.D.) (JDW) 853.50p -0.58%
RPS Group (RPS) 310.90p -0.58%
Infinis Energy (INFI) 238.70p -0.54%
ITE Group (ITE) 191.80p -0.52%
RPC Group (RPC) 617.50p -0.48%