- UK GDP revision due out, positive surprise possible
- Bullard sees Fed lifting rates in Q1 15
- Imagination Technologies drops as Intel sells 9.3% stake
techMARK 2,806.89 +0.17%
FTSE 100 6,757.13 +0.33%
FTSE 250 15,671.51 +0.16%
London stocks opened tentatively on Friday morning, with small gains being registered ahead of the final revision to UK gross domestic product (GDP) estimates for the first quarter.
The FTSE 100 was trading 0.3% higher at 6,757 early on.
The GDP revision is widely expected to confirm the initial figure which showed that the UK economy expanded by 0.8% in the first three months of the year and grew 3.1% year-on-year. However, some have said that there could be a positive surprise when the figures are released at 09:30.
Chief UK & European Economist Howard Archer from IHG Global Insight said that it is possible that both quarterly and yearly growth figures could actually be revised 10 basis points higher, mainly due to higher-than-previously-estimated construction output.
"We currently forecast GDP growth at 3.1% in 2014, but we are likely to lift this to 3.2% or, very possibly, 3.3% if first-quarter expansion is revised up. Largely ongoing robust news on the economy also favours a further upgrading of the growth forecast for 2014," he said.
Stocks were on the rise despite a weak performance on Wall Street last night where US markets declined overnight after comments from Federal Reserve policymaker James Bullard, who said he expects the central bank to begin raising rates in the first quarter of 2015.
"Flat to marginally higher starts for the European indices as traders shrug off negative cues," said dealer Jonathan Sudaria from Capital Spreads.
"Whether markets are just taking [Bullard's] views as an outlier view or are pricing in the inevitable trotting out of one of the more dovish Fed members, possibly Williams on Monday, they don't seem to be too troubled or even believe that a hike is coming any time soon."
Imagination slumps on Intel sale
Chip designer Imagination Technologies fell sharply early on after microprocessor giant Intel sold a 9.3% stake in the business, leaving it with a remaining 5%. Intel raised over £51m from the sale of 25m shares
at just 205p per share, compared with Imagination's closing price of 224.8p yesterday.
Publishing and education group Pearson wobbled early on after releasing a statement that said adjusted profits in the first half would be lower than the previously year. However, the company reiterated that its profits would be "heavily weighed to the second half", helping shares to quickly bounce off their lows.
Publishing peer Reed Elsevier fell after Barclays Capital lowered its recommendation on the stock to 'equal weight' and trimmed its target price from 1,020p to 1,005p.
Engine maker Rolls-Royce was rising on rumours that Airbus it close to upgrading its A330 fleet with the Rolls as its sole engine supplier.
National Express gained after the Department for Transport announced that the transport firm has retained the Essex Thameside franchise for a further 15 years.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Barratt Developments (BDEV) 370.80p +2.18%
Barclays (BARC) 219.35p +2.02%
Babcock International Group (BAB) 1,164.00p +1.22%
Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS) 328.60p +1.20%
Persimmon (PSN) 1,274.00p +1.19%
Rolls-Royce Holdings (RR.) 1,058.00p +1.15%
Morrison (Wm) Supermarkets (MRW) 183.40p +0.99%
Sainsbury (J) (SBRY) 316.40p +0.93%
Randgold Resources Ltd. (RRS) 4,869.00p +0.85%
Aberdeen Asset Management (ADN) 447.80p +0.83%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Meggitt (MGGT) 503.00p -1.37%
Reed Elsevier (REL) 930.00p -1.33%
Pearson (PSON) 1,132.00p -1.05%
British Sky Broadcasting Group (BSY) 882.00p -0.84%
CRH (CRH) 1,519.00p -0.78%
Sage Group (SGE) 381.60p -0.73%
ITV (ITV) 175.10p -0.68%
Associated British Foods (ABF) 3,018.00p -0.66%
GKN (GKN) 367.70p -0.46%
BG Group (BG.) 1,269.00p -0.43%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Hellermanntyton Group (HTY) 310.00p +2.65%
Balfour Beatty (BBY) 239.40p +2.53%
Riverstone Energy Limited (RSE) 919.50p +2.51%
Cranswick (CWK) 1,285.00p +2.23%
Keller Group (KLR) 925.00p +2.21%
Perform Group (PER) 240.00p +2.13%
National Express Group (NEX) 253.20p +2.10%
Oxford Instruments (OXIG) 1,344.00p +1.90%
Infinis Energy (INFI) 237.20p +1.76%
NMC Health (NMC) 485.80p +1.65%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Imagination Technologies Group (IMG) 206.50p -8.14%
Ophir Energy (OPHR) 220.00p -4.84%
Restaurant Group (RTN) 577.50p -2.04%
Kazakhmys (KAZ) 299.50p -1.77%
Smith (DS) (SMDS) 282.70p -1.60%
Fisher (James) & Sons (FSJ) 1,384.00p -1.35%
Debenhams (DEB) 67.40p -1.32%
Laird (LRD) 285.90p -1.31%
Genus (GNS) 1,098.00p -1.26%
Supergroup (SGP) 1,030.00p -1.25%