- Geopolitical tensions abate in Ukraine
- UK, US CPI in focus
- BHP Billiton fails to excite with demerger plans
techMARK 2,796.26 +0.51%
FTSE 100 6,771.42 +0.45%
FTSE 250 15,869.16 +0.46%
UK stocks rose for a fifth straight day on Tuesday, helped by easing geopolitical tensions in Ukraine.
The FTSE 100 was nearly 0.5% higher at 6,771 in early trading; it has not closed above this mark since 30 July.
"Geopolitics continues to be front and centre of minds at the moment [...] no bad news is certainly viewed as good news for now," according to analysts Colin Tan and Seb Barker from Deutsche Bank.
While crisis talks in Berlin between Ukrainian and Russian officials on Monday failed to result in a ceasefire agreement, investor sentiment has been boosted by reports of progress being made by the Red Cross on a plan to allow a Russian aid convoy into south-east Ukraine.
In economic news, Tuesday's session will see the release of the UK consumer price index (CPI) with the annual rate of inflation expected to fall to 1.8% in July from 1.9% the month before.
The US CPI, due out on Tuesday, is forecast to fall to 2% from 2.1%. US building permits and housing starts data is estimated to have improved in July after a weakness in June.
fall on demerger plans
Details of BHP Billiton's hotly-anticipated "portfolio simplification" were unveiled on Tuesday morning but failed to excite the market with the stock slipping into the red early on.
The miner announced plans to create an independent company comprising its aluminium, coal, manganese, nickel and silver assets. At the same time the company also reported a 10% rise in underlying attributable profit to $13.4bn for the 12 months to 30 June.
Building materials group CRH also underwhelmed with shares falling despite the announcement that it swung to a profit in the first half, as favourable weather in Europe and an ongoing recovery in the States helped to offset difficult conditions in the wider Americas region.
Profits rose 57% in the first half of the year at housebuilder Persimmon, which said trading in the early weeks of the second half remained ahead of tough comparative numbers from the prior year. The stock was making gains, along with sector peers Barratt Developments, Crest Nicholson and Bovis Homes.
Imperial Tobacco was also in demand after maintaining its full-year guidance for "modest" earnings growth despite revenues slipping in the first nine months.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Barratt Developments (BDEV) 370.70p +3.49%
Sports Direct International (SPD) 715.00p +1.71%
Whitbread (WTB) 4,403.00p +1.69%
Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS) 356.90p +1.62%
ITV (ITV) 210.80p +1.59%
Imperial Tobacco Group (IMT) 2,566.00p +1.58%
Carnival (CCL) 2,310.00p +1.36%
Randgold Resources Ltd. (RRS) 5,095.00p +1.29%
Antofagasta (ANTO) 821.50p +1.29%
Mondi (MNDI) 1,027.00p +1.28%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
BHP Billiton (BLT) 1,994.50p -3.51%
CRH (CRH) 1,436.00p -1.37%
Rolls-Royce Holdings (RR.) 1,047.00p -0.66%
Smiths Group (SMIN) 1,294.00p -0.46%
Meggitt (MGGT) 466.80p -0.45%
Rexam (REX) 498.00p -0.22%
Aggreko (AGK) 1,746.00p -0.17%
St James's Place (STJ) 737.50p -0.14%
Morrison (Wm) Supermarkets (MRW) 174.90p -0.06%
National Grid (NG.) 876.50p -0.06%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Wood Group (John) (WG.) 784.00p +4.32%
Centamin (DI) (CEY) 66.55p +3.50%
CSR (CSR) 547.50p +3.30%
Supergroup (SGP) 1,108.00p +3.26%
Hochschild Mining (HOC) 169.20p +2.73%
Polymetal International (POLY) 548.50p +2.43%
Evraz (EVR) 107.30p +2.19%
Howden Joinery Group (HWDN) 351.00p +2.09%
COLT Group SA (COLT) 147.10p +2.08%
RPS Group (RPS) 269.60p +1.70%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Perform Group (PER) 205.20p -4.07%
Exova Group (EXO) 220.20p -3.84%
Cairn Energy (CNE) 180.40p -3.74%
Rank Group (RNK) 164.50p -2.20%
Just Retirement Group (JRG) 147.20p -1.80%
Redefine International (RDI) 52.20p -1.51%
JD Sports Fashion (JD.) 392.00p -1.23%
Daejan Holdings (DJAN) 4,916.00p -1.13%
UDG Healthcare Public Limited Company (UDG) 345.70p -0.95%
Millennium & Copthorne Hotels (MLC) 589.00p -0.93%