- Kingfisher, easyJet, 888 and RSA rise early on
- UK inflation expected to ease
- US economic data in focus later on
- Russia out of G8, threaten more sanctions
techMARK 2,777.09 +0.84%
FTSE 100 6,579.14 +0.90%
FTSE 250 16,121.26 +0.64%
UK stocks surged on Tuesday morning ahead of a barrage of economic data as updates and results from Kingfisher, easyJet, 888 Holdings and RSA impressed investors.
The FTSE 100, which fell to a seven-week low the previous session, gained 0.9% to 6,579 in early trading.
The index declined by 0.6% to 6,520.39 on Monday, its worst closing level since February 5th when it finished at 6,457.89.
During today's session, the focus is likely to be on February UK inflation figures, which are likely to have fallen further away from the Bank of England's 2% target, economists have predicted. Consumer prices are expected to have dropped to 1.7% year-on-year in February, compared to 1.9% a month earlier.
There will also be data from the UK housing market out later this morning, as well as the CBI Distributive Trades survey on retail sales.
Investors will be also on the look-out for US economic data later on, including the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index, consumer confidence figures and new home sales, as well as speeches from two members of the Federal Reserve.
Despite today's rebound, the market's attention is still very much on Eastern Europe after Russian troops stormed more bases in Crimea in recent days following the annexation of the region last week.
The world's top industrial powers removed Russia from the G8 yesterday as they met in The Hague on the sidelines of a nuclear security summit. The G7 said it was ready to "intensify actions including coordinated sectoral sanctions that will have an increasingly significant impact on the Russian economy, if Russia continues to escalate this situation".
Kingfisher, easyJet, 888 and RSA impress
Shareholders of Kingfisher, Europe's largest home improvement retailer, celebrated this morning after the company said it would return £200m this year and expand into new markets after profits improved by 10% in the 12 months ended February 1st. The company, which owns B&Q and Screwfix in the UK, said it would embark on a new multi-year programme of additional capital returns.
Budget airline easyJet advanced after raising its first-half guidance as it worked to drive down costs. The carrier expects a pre-tax loss for the six months ended March 31st 2014 between £55m and £65m, compared with the previous guidance of a pre-tax loss of £70m to £90m and last year's £61m loss.
Online gaming group 888 also jumped after raising its full-year dividend by 56% and proposing a special dividend, as operating profits rose 13% in 2013.
RSA also gained after announcing plans for a fully underwritten rights issue to raise £773m to restore the UK insurer's capital position. The company said it will launch a three-to-eight rights issue at 56p per share, a substantial discount of around 405p on Monday's closing price.
Housebuiders Bovis Homes and Travis Perkins were also performing well after Citigroup upgraded its ratings on both stocks to 'buy'.
Royal Mail was the only significant faller this morning after saying it is to begin talks with its unions about cutting a net 1,300 back office jobs in order to save £50m per year from 2016 onwards. Cruise operator Carnvial edged lower ahead of its first-quarter results due out later on.
FTSE 100 - Risers
easyJet (EZJ) 1,709.00p +4.72%
Kingfisher (KGF) 420.30p +3.39%
SABMiller (SAB) 2,930.00p +3.35%
Travis Perkins (TPK) 1,862.00p +3.33%
Sage Group (SGE) 433.70p +2.41%
Barratt Developments (BDEV) 403.00p +2.36%
International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 420.30p +2.29%
Rio Tinto (RIO) 3,252.00p +1.98%
BT Group (BT.A) 390.40p +1.91%
Anglo American (AAL) 1,466.50p +1.84%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Royal Mail (RMG) 571.50p -2.14%
Carnival (CCL) 2,431.00p -1.02%
Systems (BA.) 401.30p -0.55%
Rexam (REX) 488.10p -0.35%
Marks & Spencer Group (MKS) 452.70p -0.29%
British Sky Broadcasting Group (BSY) 939.00p -0.27%
ARM Holdings (ARM) 976.50p -0.20%
WPP (WPP) 1,197.00p -0.08%
William Hill (WMH) 335.80p -0.03%
FTSE 250 - Risers
888 Holdings (888) 146.30p +8.37%
Cairn Energy (CNE) 155.80p +2.97%
Tullett Prebon (TLPR) 282.40p +2.50%
Laird (LRD) 298.10p +2.40%
Bovis Homes Group (BVS) 879.50p +2.39%
Renishaw (RSW) 1,931.00p +2.22%
Ted Baker (TED) 2,302.00p +2.22%
Carphone Warehouse Group (CPW) 329.80p +2.14%
Electrocomponents (ECM) 272.70p +2.13%
Playtech (PTEC) 685.00p +2.09%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Cranswick (CWK) 1,213.00p -2.10%
Infinis Energy (INFI) 240.10p -1.88%
IP Group (IPO) 209.80p -1.82%
Synthomer (SYNT) 271.20p -1.81%
Daejan Holdings (DJAN) 4,825.00p -1.21%
BH Global Ltd. USD Shares (BHGU) 11.71 -1.18%
Centamin (DI) (CEY) 57.05p -1.13%
AL Noor Hospitals Group (ANH) 1,057.00p -1.12%
Foxtons Group (FOXT) 376.90p -1.08%
Unite Group (UTG) 432.50p -1.03%