- Barclays falls after unveiling two new US probes
- US stock market expected to open today
- Asian data lifts the mood
UK stock markets edged higher in early trading on Wednesday despite some poorly-received third-quarter figures from Barclays and Next early on,
The New York Stock Exchange is expected to open as usual this afternoon, following a two-day closure due to safety concerns as a result of Hurricane Sandy, which has killed dozens of people and left millions without power on the American East Coast.
"We have a green light," the NYSE Euronext's Chief Operating Officer, Larry Leibowitz, said in an interview with Reuters.
Economic data from Asia was lifting sentiment this morning: South Korean industrial output improved for the first time in four months; Taiwan swung back to growth in the most recent quarter; while the unemployment rate in Singapore declined.
Markus Huber, the head of German HNW trading at ETX Capital, said this morning: "Overall equities are expected to maintain their momentum possibly even pushing towards the higher end of the current trading however some profit taking is likely as the most recent move to the upside has taken place under relatively low volume and the general picture especially what Spain and Greece is concerned hasn't changed much still leaving plenty of uncertainty to be dealt with."
FTSE 100: Barclays hit by two new US probes
UK banking giant Barclays dropped early on despite meeting forecasts in the third quarter with strong growth seen in adjusted pre-tax profits, from £1.34bn to £1.73bn. The firm however revealed new "legal and regulatory matters" which include two new probes in the US.
High Street fashion and homewares retailer Next also fell after admitting that its sales performance was "volatile" in the third quarter with stronger sales in late September and early October offsetting an unusually quiet start to August.
Life assurance company Standard Life gained after saying inflows across its long-term savings businesses plus a strong performance at Standard Life Investments helped to increase both group assets under administration and Standard Life Investments third party assets to record levels.
Higher production at its Esperanza mine helped Chilean copper miner Antofagasta increase output in the third quarter, seeing shares
rise early on.
Mobile phone networks giant Vodafone was in demand after announcing that its NZ$840m (£429m) acquisition of TelstraClear, the New Zealand business of Australian telecoms group Telstra, has now gone through.
FTSE 250: St James's Place rises after Q3 update
Wealth management group St James's Place rose strongly after reporting a 6% increase n funds under management (FuM) in the third quarter as it reported good growth in new business despite the continuing macroeconomic uncertainty.
Energy company Essar was higher after gaining permission to chop down trees close to its Mahan coal block.
Soft drinks giants AG Barr and Britvic were out of favour this morning after extending the deadline for the conclusion of merger talks.
FTSE 100 - Risers
International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 163.00p +2.77%
Tullow Oil (TLW) 1,413.00p +2.24%
Evraz (EVR) 243.20p +2.23%
Petrofac Ltd. (PFC) 1,572.00p +1.55%
Antofagasta (ANTO) 1,283.00p +1.34%
ARM Holdings (ARM) 684.00p +1.26%
Wood Group (John) (WG.) 858.00p +1.18%
Amec (AMEC) 1,070.00p +1.13%
Standard Life (SL.) 288.60p +1.05%
BP (BP.) 447.45p +1.04%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
BG Group (BG.) 1,264.50p -4.89%
Barclays (BARC) 229.20p -4.02%
Severn Trent (SVT) 1,627.00p -1.45%
United Utilities Group (UU.) 686.00p -1.29%
Next (NXT) 3,559.00p -1.28%
Wolseley (WOS) 2,708.00p -1.17%
Imperial Tobacco Group (IMT) 2,351.00p -0.80%
Capita (CPI) 725.00p -0.75%
Intertek Group (ITRK) 2,819.00p -0.74%
G4S (GFS) 259.30p -0.61%
FTSE 250 - Risers
St James's Place (STJ) 398.00p +4.82%
Essar Energy (ESSR) 136.50p +3.80%
Afren (AFR) 137.10p +3.01%
Ferrexpo (FXPO) 205.50p +2.75%
JD Sports Fashion (JD.) 767.50p +2.33%
F&C Asset Management (FCAM) 96.60p +2.17%
Phoenix Group Holdings (DI) (PHNX) 495.80p +2.02%
Petra Diamonds Ltd.(DI) (PDL) 102.40p +1.99%
Ocado Group (OCDO) 65.90p +1.78%
Premier Oil (PMO) 363.40p +1.68%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Go-Ahead Group (GOG) 1,339.00p -2.48%
Provident Financial (PFG) 1,372.00p -2.28%
Menzies(John) (MNZS) 610.00p -1.61%
St. Modwen Properties (SMP) 198.60p -1.39%
Jupiter Fund Management (JUP) 258.90p -1.37%
IG Group Holdings (IGG) 432.50p -1.17%
TR Property Inv Trust (TRY) 166.10p -1.13%
Marston's (MARS) 122.70p -1.05%
ITE Group (ITE) 197.30p -1.05%
Dignity (DTY) 940.50p -1.00%