1630:Close Markets ended the session firmly in positive territory on Friday, with investors making the most of cheaper prices one day after the biggest single session decline this year. The index ended seven points up on the week. The main reason for the day's advance was the endorsement given by the President of the US Federal Reserve bank of St.Louis to the current generous monetary policy stance. Serco Group was a strong riser after Citigroup shifted its target price from 670p to 680p, while Randgold Resources was once again taking a hit as the price of gold continued to slide. The FTSE closed up 44 points at 6,336.
1437: Shares of Serco are still leading on the Footsie after analysts at Citi lifted their price targets this morning on all three of the UK's large-cap outsourcers, Babcock, Capita and Serco. The broker told clients that it expects the shares
of these companies to continue to outperform the wider market during 2013. Shares of Aberdeen Asset Management, Schroders and Hargreaves Lansdown are also performing well this afternoon, climbing up the leaderboard. Randgold Resources is drifting lower after covering a 'bearish gap' left behind in yesterday's session. FTSE 100 up 41 to 6,332.
1142: With regards to recent events at Bumi analysts at Investec wrote this morning that: "We suspect that most investors will simply want to see an end to this saga. Bumi will retain its status as the largest pure coal play on the LSE, not necessarily a positive in the current thermal coal market, they added, but a strategic position nonetheless." JP Morgan, for its part, also saw positive aspects to the outcome of yesterday's shareholder votes, but added: "However, with uncertainty over NR Investments' next move, the pace of the separation talks, a tepid near-term coal market outlook and limited discounted cash-flow (DCF) valuation support, we retain our underweight recommendation." FTSE 100 up 52 to 6,343.
1000: The European Commission has lowered its forecasts for growth this year in the Eurozone to -0.3 per cent versus its previous estimate of an expansion of 0.1 per cent.
0948: Shares of Kazhakmys are now leading gains on the Footsie, bouncing back from several consecutive sessions lower. Antofagasta is in second place after analysts at RBC upgraded their view on the stock to outperform from underperform.
0833: UK stocks are bouncing back, benefiting from Wall Street's ability last night to finish off its lows for the session. Worth pointing out, in remarks yesterday evening the President of the US Federal Reserve bank of St.Louis gave his support to the current generous monetary policy. Similarly, Bloomberg reported that Fed President Bernanke recently - in a meeting with dealers - talked down the risk of spawning asset bubbles. Back in the UK, the Bank of England's own David Miles yesterday laid out the case for further asset purchases of possibly up to 175bn pounds. The IFO Institute's German business barometer - one of the few European indicators with the capacity to sway global stocks - is the main statistic due for release this morning. At least another two Fed speakers are scheduled for this evening. Miners are clearly in the vanguard this morning, along with shares of Sainsbury and Burberry. FTSE 100 up 30 to 6,321.