Date: Wednesday 20 Jun 2012
1630:Close London stocks managed to close higher on the back of positive expectations for tonight´s Fed meeting and an improved news-flow out of the Eurozone. Acting as a backdrop, the results of the G-20 summit seem to have gotten a mixed reception today; although there may be some indications that European authorities are now more aware of the risks surrounding their current situation. Sage and Aviva led on the upside on the Footsie. The former is to acquire a majority interest in Brazilian outfit Folhamatic Group, while the insurer benefitted from reports that European authorities will phase in new capital rules. Lastly, accoridng to the minutes of the BoE´s last rate setting meeting an increase in the size of the Bank´s quantitative easing program, in July, is now considered to be the most likely scenario by some economists. FTSE 100 up 36 to 5,622.
1603: The market looks like it will close with moderate gains today; on the back of a more favourable news flow coming out of the Eurozone, although there are those who still see significant differences between the Eurozone´s main powers over how to proceed in the current crisis. Aviva has moved into the leaderboard on reports that the European Union will impose new capital rules for the insurance industry more slowly, phasing them in over 7 years. Whitbread, for its part, is building on yesterday´s gains. At least four large brokers, BarCap, Oddo, Morgan Stanley and BNP have raised their target price on its shares today. FTSE 100 up 27 to 5,613.
1315: Footsie has edged above 5600, buoyed a little by expectations of a moderately firmer opening on all Street. In the mid-cap space two stocks which had tough days yesterday are bouncing back today: Chemring is topping the FTSE 250 leader-board, with Imagination Technologies not far behind. FTSE 100 is up 31 at 5,617.
1125: The Footsie has kept its head above water, trading seven points higher at 5,593, as investors await the policy decision in the US. The Federal Open Market Committee's (FOMC's) two-day meeting comes to an end late today, with markets hoping that members will vote on further easing measures in light of recent mixed economic data and Eurozone concerns. Meanwhile, a close eye will be kept on Greece with Pasok socialist party leader Evangelos Venizelos saying that an agreement could be reached on the formation of a coalition government in Greece by midday today.
1033: The close-run thing on the vote on quantitative easing and heavy hints that the Bank of England will beef up its asset purchase programme at next month's meeting of the Monetary Policy Committee gave a fillip to UK stocks, rescuing Footsie from a negative position. FTSE 100 is now up 8 at 5,595, helped by strength from miners such as Vedanta, Kazakhmys, FAGS (Antofagasta) and Rio Tinto. The latter has announced it is investing more than four billion dollars in expanding operations in Western Australia and Guinea.
0941: This month's vote on whether to beef up the Bank of England's asset purchasing programme (also known as quantitative easing, or QE) was closer than expected, with three committee members in favour of increasing the QE pot by a further 50 billion pounds, one in favour of a 25 billion pound increase and five voting for the status quo. Bank of England governor Mervyn King was among those voting in favour of more QE. The previous month the Bank's Monetary Policy Committee had voted 7-1 in favour of leaving the QE policy unchanged. FTSE 100 is up 4 at 5,590.
0819: Footsie is barely changed as the usual clutch of Wednesday ex-div stocks weigh down the top share index. Severn Trent is the biggest drag as it is now trading without the right to receive the recent special dividend. Accountancy software Sage is wanted after announcing it is buying a majority stake in a Brazilian software firm. FTSE 100 is unchanged at 5,586.
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