Date: Thursday 22 Dec 2011
- Market Movers
- techMARK 1,835.00 +0.64%
- FTSE 100 5,456.59 +1.24%
- FTSE 250 9,906.82 +0.65%
LONDON (ShareCast) - Gains were bolstered by midday on the FTSE 100 with some better-than-expected GDP data helping to boost sentiment. Financials were among the high risers of the day, with Schroders, Lloyds, RBS and Old Mutual among the best performers.
UK gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 0.6% in the third quarter in volume terms versus the previous three months, according to the latest data released this morning by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). Market consensus was for a reading of 0.5%.
When taking into account the different revisions to the data then at first glance the report could be said to be slightly better than expected, although the rise seen in inventory levels may detract from future growth, according to analysts at Digital Look.
Meanwhile, the UK current account deficit came in at £15.2bn in the third quarter, the highest on record, according to the Office for National Statistics. The trade deficit widened to £9.9bn, from £7.2bn the previous quarter.
Elsewhere, the most significant news seems to be reports regarding private investors' refusal to accept more losses on their loans to Greece. Madrid-based hedge fund Vega Asset Management is said to have threatened with suing if Greece continues to insist on write-downs of more than half the net present value of its debt.
Also, Fitch has warned of a downgrade of the United States’ triple-A rating because it says the country needs additional deficit reduction measures worth $3.5trn. The rating decision will likely not arrive until 2013, says Fitch.
IAG FLYS HIGHER AFTER LANDING BMI
In company news, International Airlines Group (IAG) rose after beating rival Virgin in the battle to land the British Midland (bmi) airline. IAG, the company formed by the merger of British Airways and Iberia, is to pay £172.5m in cash for British Midland (bmi). Crucially, from IAG's point of view, the purchase gives it 56 additional daily slot pairs at London's Heathrow airport.
IAG's previous target of making an operating profit of €1.5bn by 2015 has now increased by €100m with the bmi acquisition expected to become earnings per share enhancing by 2014. However, IAG will be forced to incur restructuring costs (in regards to bmi) but these will be spread over three years and are said to be significantly lower than bmi's current annual losses.
Media distribution group Perform rose after signing a four-year deal with the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) to manage and oversee the development of all media rights for the WTA from the start of 2013 to the end of 2016, outside of the USA and Canada. Perform plans to double the number of current live matches produced, by increasing both the number of courts and days covered.
Perform is a distributor of digital content, and its business model seems to be holding up better than that of Metrodome, the old-school DVD and film distributor. Metrodome's shares plunged in early trading after the company issued a profit warning.
Hansteen, the investor in UK and Continental European property, was firmer after buying up 88 property assets from The Spencer Group of Companies, a commercial property specialist. Hansteen is paying £150m for some 88 assets totalling 4.1m square feet of predominantly industrial property located across the UK.
AIM-quoted diagnostic tests and testing equipment supplier Avacta tumbled after conditionally placing 1.03m shares at 0.5p, and announcing the £1.48m acquisition of diagnostics firm Aptuscan.
FTSE 100 - Risers
BP (BP.) 452.10p +2.86%
Schroders (SDR) 1,303.00p +2.84%
Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS) 20.38p +2.83%
Kazakhmys (KAZ) 909.50p +2.71%
Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY) 25.59p +2.65%
Schroders (Non-Voting) (SDRC) 1,056.00p +2.62%
Evraz (EVR) 384.90p +2.56%
Old Mutual (OML) 133.50p +2.53%
International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (IAG) 148.70p +2.48%
Aviva (AV.) 298.60p +2.33%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Man Group (EMG) 124.70p -0.95%
Carnival (CCL) 2,118.00p -0.61%
Vedanta Resources (VED) 1,038.00p -0.38%
United Utilities Group (UU.) 587.00p -0.34%
Randgold Resources Ltd. (RRS) 6,680.00p -0.30%
Vodafone Group (VOD) 172.60p -0.26%
Wolseley (WOS) 2,049.00p -0.15%
Admiral Group (ADM) 818.00p -0.12%
Severn Trent (SVT) 1,454.00p 0.00%
Pearson (PSON) 1,185.00p +0.17%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Ocado Group (OCDO) 55.65p +5.30%
Hansteen Holdings (HSTN) 72.90p +4.37%
Spirent Communications (SPT) 114.00p +3.64%
Exillon Energy (EXI) 247.70p +3.64%
Barratt Developments (BDEV) 90.20p +3.32%
Morgan Crucible Co (MGCR) 260.30p +3.13%
Anglo Pacific Group (APF) 275.00p +3.00%
Afren (AFR) 85.35p +2.83%
Salamander Energy (SMDR) 202.00p +2.80%
Supergroup (SGP) 492.70p +2.65%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Stagecoach Group (SGC) 262.20p -2.96%
JD Sports Fashion (JD.) 600.50p -2.91%
Big Yellow Group (BYG) 241.80p -1.55%
Phoenix Group Holdings (DI) (PHNX) 509.50p -1.55%
Logica (LOG) 59.10p -1.50%
Regus (RGU) 80.50p -1.47%
Domino Printing Sciences (DNO) 507.50p -1.46%
New World Resources A Shares (NWR) 435.00p -1.38%
Diploma (DPLM) 336.70p -1.35%
Northgate (NTG) 193.70p -1.17%
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