Banks were leading the risers on Wednesday after UBS hiked its targets for the Lloyds, Barclays and RBS, saying 'the UK is over its experiment of combining fiscal and monetary austerity'. The broker revised its price target on Lloyds to 60p (from 50p), for Barclays to 315p (from 255p) and RBS to 410p.
Aerospace components engineer Meggitt announced on Wednesday that its Chief Executive, Terry Twigger, has said he intends to retire from the role and the board is set to replace him with Stephen Young, who has been Finance Director of Meggitt since 2004. This morning Bank of America raised its target price on the stock from 430p to 470p and upgraded it from neutral to buy, prompting a strong rise in the share price.
Mining company Xstrata climbed after the Bank of America Merrill Lynch anticipated the merged Glencore-Xstrata would produce net earnings of more than $7bn per year by 2014, buoyed by coal and copper.
Meanwhile, Sainsbury may have enjoyed a record-breaking Christmas and increased its market share, but investors did not share the firm's celebratory mood. The company's shares were down as investors latched onto news that like-for-like sales growth of 0.9% in the third quarter had dropped markedly from the 1.9% rise in the previous three months. The firm also warned its festive bonanza would probably not last into the new year.
Aviva was lower over last night announcing that it had disposed of its remaining 19.4% stake in Delta Lloyd at a discount of 1.6% to the insurance group's closing price. The company is planning to reduce its underperforming businesses by a quarter.
Severn Trent dropped after Nomura cut its target price on the stock from 1,645p to 1,550p, and retained its neutral rating.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY) 54.01p +6.19%
Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS) 350.40p +3.98%
Meggitt (MGGT) 425.60p +3.93%
Standard Chartered (STAN) 1,664.50p +3.61%
Barclays (BARC) 297.35p +3.53%
Evraz (EVR) 280.80p +3.27%
Wood Group (John) (WG.) 774.00p +3.27%
Xstrata (XTA) 1,160.00p +2.56%
Kazakhmys (KAZ) 827.00p +2.54%
Glencore International (GLEN) 385.60p +2.29%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Sainsbury (J) (SBRY) 331.30p -2.27%
Weir Group (WEIR) 1,905.00p -1.65%
British Sky Broadcasting Group (BSY) 780.00p -1.58%
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