1630:Close It was revealed today the UK's GDP decreased by 0.4% in volume terms between the first and second quarters of 2012, revised from a previously estimated decline of 0.5%, according to the ONS. The main reason for the revision is that construction output grew by 3.0%, revised up from the previously estimated fall of 3.9%. Significantly, real household disposable income rose by 1.9% quarter-on-quarter, the biggest jump for three years. This led The Economist to write that: "The economic storms that have deluged Britain since 2008 have not cleared entirely. There is no reason for policymakers to relax, let alone celebrate. But the weather at last appears to be improving somewhat." In Spain the Deputy Prime Minister has begun her press conference by announcing 43 new measures to reform the economy. As well, she has announced that the Madrid government will tap its social security fund -to the tune of 3.0bn euros - to cover liquidity needs. The FTSE 100 closed up 11 points at 5,779.
1614: Spain's Deputy Prime Minister has begun her press conference by announcing 48 new measures to reform the economy. As well, she has announced that the Madrid government will tap its social security fund -to the tune of 3bn euros - to cover liquidity needs. FTSE 100 up 11 to 5,779.
1329: More on today's GDP data from Barclays: "Despite the modest upside news in the headline GDP growth rate, the configuration of demand in Q2 remains one of weakness in most of the core domestic and external final demand components offset only by volatile stockbuilding activity. In our view, this continues to suggest underlying demand weakness persisting into Q3."
12:11 The UK's main equity benchmark is now at very short-term technical support. This is Charles Stanley's take on it this morning: "(...) the FTSE topped out at 5915 and which now amounts to a loss of 2.5% - in other words, it is still just a minor pull-back. Technically, however, the picture is serious - at current levels the UK index is testing its short-term up-trend and 50-day moving average, and this is the level that it must hold to maintain its bullish trajectory."
1201: Shire is now leading the gains on the top share index, following on the back of an upgrade out from analysts at Jefferies. "We upgrade to Buy as pipeline news is warming-up and there are fewer uncertainties for the important ADHD franchise, after a challenging YTD for the stock down c.20 per cent (-33 per cent vs sector DRG). Robust +13 per cent 2013-16E EPS CAGR justifies a 15 per cent premium to peers, versus the currently depressed 10 per cent discount and 20 per cent haircut to its own historic forward PE. Heightened confidence in the mid-term growth trajectory should trigger a re-rating, in our view," they say. FTSE 100 up 22 to 5,790.
0933: Second quarter gross domestic product contracted at a 0.4% quarter-on-quarter rate of change (Consensus: -0.5%). In year-on-year terms economic activity fell by 0.5%, as forecast. Significantly, business investment experienced the largest revision, of 2.4 percentage points, which changed the sign to growth of 0.9% quarter-on-quarter. "In doing so, it helped explain part of the disparity between dire domestic demand and yet strong import growth," comment economists at Nomura. Furthermore, the household savings ratio improved to 6.7% from 6% before.
0807: Taking their lead from Chinese stock markets, UK equities are bouncing back from yesterday's shake-out. Shares in Shanghai and Hong Kong surged overnight on reports that China's central bank had pumped record amounts of liquidity into the banking system. Corporate news in Blighty has a food theme early on, with trading updates from contract caterer Compass and sweeteners group Tate & Lyle prompting small rises in their respective share prices. FTSE 100 is up 35 at 5,803.