Date: Wednesday 13 Jun 2012
Taking their lead from US and Asian markets, London's leading stocks have opened on the front foot.
Wall Street rebounded strongly yesterday on hopes that the US Federal reserve might do a bit more to stimulate the US economy. Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago President Charles Evans, speaking in an interview with a news agency, indicated he was in favour of measures to kick-start jobs growth.
Back in Blighty, Footsie's advance is being driven by financial stocks such as Resolution, Barclays, Royal Bank of Scotland and Legal & General, and miners such as ENRC and Antofagasta.
One blue-chip that is not heading higher is supermarket group Sainsbury. The keenly awaited trading update proved a bit anti-climactic with like-for-like (LFL) sales growth below expectations. LFL sales in the 12 weeks to June 9th were up 1.4% on the corresponding period of last year, below market expectations of growth of between 1.6% and 2.0%. Total sales for what is the first quarter of the supermarket chain's first quarter were up 3.6% year-on-year, or 3.8% excluding fuel.
Elsewhere in the retail sector, JD Sports is wanted after reporting a pick-up in LFL sales growth. The designer label sportswear retailer said LFL sales in the 19 weeks to June 9th were up 1.5% on the corresponding period of the previous year, which represents an improvement in the growth rate of 1.2% previously reported for the nine weeks to the end of March.
Scottish oil and gas giant Cairn Energy is to make an agreed takeover of North Sea oil producer Nautical Petroleum. Cairn is offering 450p per share in a deal which values Nautical at around £414m. The terms represent a 51.1% premium to the closing price of Nautical on the trading day prior to the announcement of the bid.
In other bid news, pharmaceuticals firm Proximagen has shot up after succumbing to a takeover offer from US firm Upsher-Smith Laboratories (USL). USL is offering 320p in cash per Proximagen plus either a further 192p in cash or an equivalent amount in loan notes. The terms value Proximagen at around £357m.
The bid is good news for intellectual property development firm IP Group, which has a 7.6% stake in Proximagen.
Ahead of its annual general meeting (AGM) later today in Dublin advertising and media conglomerate WPP has announced yet another acquisition. The group has bought a majority stake in Mumbai based Hungama Digital Services for an undisclosed sum.
Of more interest to the market, however, is the vote at the AGM on executive remuneration. Shareholders are angry about plans for its Chief Executive, Sir Martin Sorrell, to get a 30% pay rise to £1.3m, as well as increases in his bonus arrangements that could see him pocket an extra £6.5m a year.
If the vote at the AGM goes against the company it will mark a record sixth revolt against executive pay in one year as the so-called 'shareholder spring' continues. However, the vote will not be binding and every public utterance by Sorrell indicates he is unlikely to be shamed into forgoing any bonuses.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Resolution Ltd. (RSL) 201.60p +3.23%
Eurasian Natural Resources Corp. (ENRC) 410.40p +1.84%
Barclays (BARC) 192.70p +1.55%
Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS) 225.40p +1.53%
Tate & Lyle (TATE) 656.00p +1.31%
Legal & General Group (LGEN) 117.30p +1.30%
International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 144.80p +1.26%
SSE (SSE) 1,377.00p +1.25%
Antofagasta (ANTO) 1,066.00p +1.23%
Aberdeen Asset Management (ADN) 251.40p +1.17%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Sainsbury (J) (SBRY) 283.90p -2.47%
Intertek Group (ITRK) 2,634.00p -1.27%
Morrison (Wm) Supermarkets (MRW) 276.80p -1.21%
Centrica (CNA) 316.80p -0.75%
National Grid (NG.) 654.50p -0.46%
Capita (CPI) 653.00p -0.38%
British Land Co (BLND) 476.60p -0.36%
Land Securities Group (LAND) 712.50p -0.35%
IMI (IMI) 866.50p -0.34%
Hammerson (HMSO) 407.90p -0.32%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Bumi (BUMI) 344.60p +4.42%
EnQuest (ENQ) 124.50p +4.27%
Fidessa Group (FDSA) 1,505.00p +3.15%
Premier Oil (PMO) 358.30p +2.87%
New World Resources A Shares (NWR) 303.30p +2.85%
Centamin (DI) (CEY) 72.25p +2.85%
Talvivaara Mining Company (TALV) 148.10p +2.49%
Regus (RGU) 86.95p +2.41%
Atkins (WS) (ATK) 696.00p +2.35%
Brewin Dolphin Holdings (BRW) 141.10p +2.32%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
London & Stamford Property (LSP) 106.00p -2.93%
Big Yellow Group (BYG) 277.70p -1.28%
Edinburgh Inv Trust (EDIN) 479.90p -1.15%
Shaftesbury (SHB) 489.70p -1.07%
FTSE TechMARK - Risers
Kewill (KWL) 107.50p +12.57%
Sepura (SEPU) 69.00p +4.94%
Emblaze Ltd. (BLZ) 47.00p +3.87%
CML Microsystems (CML) 280.00p +2.94%
FTSE TechMARK - Fallers
E2V Technologies (E2V) 137.00p -0.72%
Dialight (DIA) 1,030.00p -0.68%
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