London blue chips advanced in early trading on Tuesday as an unexpected rise in German consumer sentiment outweighed concerns over Cyprus and Spain.
Also helping the mood this morning was the news that the European Commission could be able to rewrite national budgets of countries that do not pass EU deficit rules. The idea is expected to be discussed at this week's summit.
The GfK forward-looking German consumer climate indicator improved from 5.7 in June to 5.8 in July; analysts were expecting a slight fall to 5.6. While economic expectations plummeted, there was a rise in both income expectations and willingness to buy.
Cyprus officially became the fifth Eurozone country to request a bailout yesterday, announcing last night that it would be applying for EU rescue funds for its banking sector and blaming the move on their exposure to Greece. According to a European official cited by Reuters, Cyprus could need up to €10bn, more than half the size of its economy.
Moody's has downgraded no less than 28 Spanish banks by one to four notches due to the weakening of the Spanish government's creditworthiness. The agency cut Spain's rating to Baa3 from A3 on June 13th and the country remains on review for a possible additional downgrade.
FTSE 100: Croda rises after broker upgrade
Speciality chemicals group Croda International was a high riser after JP Morgan Cazenove upgraded the stock to 'overweight', lifting its target price from 2,220p to 2,600p.
Shire was making gains, rebounding after a heavy sell-off the day before. The pharmaceuticals group announced that a rival had been given permission to make a generic version of its blockbuster treatment for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Adderall XR.
Oil and gas services provider Petrofac rose after reiterating its full-year net profit growth guidance of 15%. Both its Engineering, Construction, Operations and Maintenance (ECOM) and Integrated Energy Services (IES) divisions have made good progress in the first half, the group said.
International outsourcing firm Serco fell after saying it expects revenues in the first half to take a hit from tough conditions in America.
Banking peers Lloyds, RBS and Barclays were out of favour on Eurozone concerns, tracking their Spanish counterparts lower after the Moody's downgrade.
FTSE 250: Stagecoach up, Ocado down
Transport group Stagecoach was the best performer after revenues jumped 8.4% in the year to the end of April and the total dividend was raised by 10%. Pre-tax profit however dipped slightly.
Online grocer Ocado dropped early on after saying that third-quarter trading was hard to forecast; it has already seen some disruption from the Jubilee events and there is "uncertainty as to the effect of the forthcoming Olympic Games". Sales rose 12% in the first half to £332.3m.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Croda International (CRDA) 2,180.00p +2.59%
Petrofac Ltd. (PFC) 1,386.00p +2.14%
Admiral Group (ADM) 1,173.00p +2.09%
Shire Plc (SHP) 1,779.00p +2.07%
Randgold Resources Ltd. (RRS) 5,785.00p +1.85%
Kazakhmys (KAZ) 685.50p +1.71%
Vedanta Resources (VED) 891.50p +1.65%
Aberdeen Asset Management (ADN) 250.80p +1.58%
Anglo American (AAL) 2,039.50p +1.49%
CRH (CRH) 1,093.00p +1.39%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Serco Group (SRP) 527.00p -2.41%
ARM Holdings (ARM) 493.20p -1.30%
Capita (CPI) 639.00p -1.24%
Old Mutual (OML) 152.50p -0.78%
Smith & Nephew (SN.) 613.00p -0.73%
Burberry Group (BRBY) 1,321.00p -0.68%
Bunzl (BNZL) 1,015.00p -0.68%
Aggreko (AGK) 2,031.00p -0.64%
Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS) 235.30p -0.63%
Wolseley (WOS) 2,220.00p -0.54%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Stagecoach Group (SGC) 262.60p +5.12%
Rank Group (RNK) 121.00p +3.42%
Carpetright (CPR) 675.00p +3.29%
Smith (DS) (SMDS) 137.10p +2.93%
Daejan Holdings (DJAN) 2,570.00p +2.80%
Elementis (ELM) 193.00p +2.71%
TalkTalk Telecom Group (TALK) 181.50p +2.60%
Aquarius Platinum Ltd. (AQP) 50.10p +2.24%
SIG (SHI) 96.55p +2.06%
William Hill (WMH) 284.20p +2.05%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Ocado Group (OCDO) 95.95p -11.24%
Halfords Group (HFD) 229.50p -2.05%
Tullett Prebon (TLPR) 287.90p -1.47%
Atkins (WS) (ATK) 678.50p -1.24%
ITE Group (ITE) 187.80p -1.16%
Inmarsat (ISAT) 466.70p -1.12%
African Barrick Gold (ABG) 388.50p -1.02%
Moneysupermarket.com Group (MONY) 120.90p -0.90%
Menzies(John) (MNZS) 570.00p -0.87%
John Laing Infrastructure Fund Ltd (JLIF) 107.50p -0.83%
Mining stocks were under pressure as commodity prices declined with precious metals peers Fresnillo and Randgold tracking gold and silver lower early on. As well, in a research note issued today analysts at Citi wrote that: "We remain underweight the gold and base metals stocks and our least favoured name among the large-cap miners is Anglo American." Acting as a backdrop, November manufacturing sector purchasing managers´ survey results in China, the Eurozone and the US all [Mon 15:42]
Lloyds Banking Group on Monday confirmed that Lord Blackwell, who has been a Non-Executive Director of the group since June 2012, will succeed Sir Winfried Bischoff as Chairman with effect from April 3rd 2014, when Sir Winfried is due to retire. [Mon 13:16]
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