- Yellen: Tapering to continue as long as incoming data supports
- Precious metal miners track metal prices higher
- Retailers gain after economic data
- Barclays drops seven per cent after 2013 results disappoint
techMARK 2,836.39 +1.06%
FTSE 100 6,672.66 +1.23%
FTSE 250 16,078.28 +1.05%
UK markets rose strongly after a further reduction in tensions, overnight, in Chinese interbank funding markets.
Investors also reacted coolly to new US Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen's remarks, in the afternoon, indicating that the US central bank will continue on its 'tapering' path in measured steps.
However, in her first monetary policy report to the House Financial Services Committee, she also said that "the recovery in the labour market is far from complete". She also explained to lawmakers that quantitative easing is not on a "pre-set course".
The FTSE 100 ended 1.23% higher at 6,673.
In a sign of the times, figures showed this morning that like-for-like (LFL) UK retail sales rose by 3.9% in January when compared with the year before, according to the British Retail Consortium/KPMG sales monitor. This was much higher than the 1.2% pace registered over 2013.
According to broker Jefferies food sales saw a 2% LFL decline, while non-food sales shot higher by close to 10%. The broker's suspicion was that some shoppers may be curtailing their expenditure on staples as they make space in their budgets for moving house.
Acting as a backdrop, interbank lending rates in China eased overnight following the week-long Lunar New Year holiday, despite the People's Bank of China refraining from conducting reverse-repurchase operations.
Lastly, earlier in the day analysts at Barclays Research wrote to clients telling them that, in their opinion, the time had come to go back into emerging market equities.
Barclays falls, Babcock and precious metals miners gain
Banking giant Barclays fell sharply after a worse-than-expected 32% fall in 2013 adjusted pre-tax profit to £5.16bn with costs coming in higher than predicted. Adjusted income fell 4% to £28.15bn. Various analysts called attention to the lender's lower than expected net asset value per share, with some indicating that its guidance on dividends had undershot their own calculations. Overall, however, analysts seemed to back management's current strategy.
Mining stocks were performing well as metal prices advanced with precious metal producers Fresnillo, Randgold and Centamin making decent gains.
Shares of Fresnillo were further bolstered on Tuesday afternoon after the precious metals miner announced the decision by a Mexican district court to deny the request by the Ejido El Bajío to prevent the lifting of the explosives permit covering its Herradura and Soledad mines.
Engineering group Babcock International rose after it said that third-quarter trading saw high activity levels in all divisions, helped by the improving economic climate. Sector peers Meggitt and Rolls-Royce were also higher.
A number of retailers were performing well after the strong retail sales data from BRC, with Sports Direct, Kingfisher, M&S and Debenhams trading higher. Homewares chain Dunelm wasn't far behind after lifting its interim dividend by 11.1% as profits edged higher in its first half.
Kazakhstan-focused copper miner Kazakhmys surged after Kazakhstan's central bank devalued the local currency, the tenge, by 19%. This, analysts at Investec said, will lead to a 10% reduction in costs for Kazakhmys given that around half of its costs are tenge-denominated. The broker, however, warned that the move could lead to high inflation in the coming years.
Imagination rose on the back of positive comments out of analysts at broker Investec.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Fresnillo (FRES) 911.50p +5.68%
Babcock International Group (BAB) 1,395.00p +3.95%
Randgold Resources Ltd. (RRS) 4,705.00p +3.86%
Amec (AMEC) 1,112.00p +3.63%
Sports Direct International (SPD) 708.00p +3.36%
Marks & Spencer Group (MKS) 485.60p +3.25%
Johnson Matthey (JMAT) 3,280.00p +3.21%
Kingfisher (KGF) 376.80p +3.20%
Persimmon (PSN) 1,434.00p +2.94%
William Hill (WMH) 353.10p +2.88%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Barclays (BARC) 264.70p -3.75%
RSA Insurance Group (RSA) 99.10p -3.32%
Sainsbury (J) (SBRY) 348.90p -2.05%
Tesco (TSCO) 318.70p -1.54%
Coca-Cola HBC AG (CDI) (CCH) 1,578.00p -1.44%
Morrison (Wm) Supermarkets (MRW) 237.20p -1.29%
Vodafone Group (VOD) 221.50p -0.23%
Associated British Foods (ABF) 2,805.00p -0.18%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Kazakhmys (KAZ) 208.40p +17.74%
Essar Energy (ESSR) 63.00p +11.41%
Imagination Technologies Group (IMG) 184.30p +7.21%
Centamin (DI) (CEY) 50.60p +6.28%
Home Retail Group (HOME) 190.40p +5.31%
Debenhams (DEB) 77.70p +5.14%
Ferrexpo (FXPO) 165.40p +4.35%
Polymetal International (POLY) 630.00p +4.30%
FirstGroup (FGP) 136.80p +4.03%
ICAP (IAP) 414.50p +3.88%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
JD Sports Fashion (JD.) 1,417.00p -4.26%
Rank Group (RNK) 142.50p -3.13%
Perform Group (PER) 219.00p -2.67%
Devro (DVO) 310.30p -2.42%
Laird (LRD) 305.00p -2.31%
Halma (HLMA) 581.50p -2.02%
NMC Health (NMC) 460.90p -1.94%
Greencore Group (GNC) 249.90p -1.92%
Xaar (XAR) 1,068.00p -1.75%
BH Macro Ltd. EUR Shares (BHME) € 19.36 -1.68%