Date: Wednesday 27 Jun 2012
- Markets still nervous ahead of summit
- Chinese stimulus fuels stocks
- Shire and banks lead Footsie higher
UK stocks rose on Wednesday as investors hoped that the upcoming EU summit in Brussels will answer some of the uncertainties that continue to cloud the global economic outlook.
The summit will last for two days and leaders are expected to discuss specific steps towards a cross-border banking union, closer fiscal integration and the possibility of a debt redemption fund. "The problem with the EU meeting is that although expectations are very low for a positive outcome investors are increasingly running out of patience which is putting additional pressure on politicians," said Markus Huber from ETX Capital.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has reiterated her staunch opposition to the idea of jointly-issued debt known as 'eurobonds'. However, she is thought to be considering allowing the permanent European Stability Mechanism (ESM) rescue fund to lend directly to bank bailout funds.
Speculation of additional stimulus measures in China lifted sentiment this morning after the China Securities Journal said that the world's largest economy could introduce "more proactive" policies. "Policies to stabilise foreign trade, expand infrastructure investment, fine-tune monetary policies and structurally reduce taxes may be introduced," said Matthew Nelson from Spreadex.
In other news, an Italian debt auction of €9bn in six-month bills saw average yields shoot up from 2.1% at the previous sale in May to 2.96%. The demand was unchanged from the last auction.
Pharmaceutical giant Shire continued to rebound following its sell-off on Monday when it revealed that the US FDA had approved a generic version of its ADHD drug. Panmure Gordon, Berenberg and Societe Generale all upgraded their ratings on the stock on Tuesday, while there were also rumours of "revived bid hopes" in the UK press.
Banks were among the best performing stocks early on following slight falls the day before. Royal Bank of Scotland was a high riser, rebounding after its recent technical issues at Natwest. Lloyds and Barclays were also higher.
Emerging markets-focused lender Standard Chartered rose after saying that the robust income growth seen in the first quarter continued into the second, although FX movements are still limiting the increase.
Commodities marketer and producer Glencore International fell after confirming rumours that it is looking into shaking up management incentive arrangements as part of its multi-billion dollar merger with mining giant Xstrata. Xstrata shareholder Qatar Holdings has come out and demanded a higher exchange ratio.
British Sky Broadcasting was on the rise after News Corp said that it was considering splitting the company into two; there were rumours that Rupert Murdoch could again look into buying the satellite broadcaster.
ICAP, Next and Compass Group were heavy fallers after going ex-dividend - from today, investors will not be able to get their hands on the companies' latest dividend payouts.
Specialist chemicals maker Yule Catto tanked after saying that the challenging trading conditions outlined in its May update have continued through the rest of the first half. Demand at its Europe and North America business segment, remains subdued, as it battles against deteriorating business confidence as economic uncertainty continues.
Online gaming company bwin.party fell after saying a potential buyer for its Ongame poker network has pulled out of discussions.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Shire Plc (SHP) 1,845.00p +2.61%
Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY) 30.74p +2.14%
Associated British Foods (ABF) 1,263.00p +2.10%
SABMiller (SAB) 2,514.00p +1.95%
BT Group (BT.A) 204.50p +1.89%
Aberdeen Asset Management (ADN) 254.50p +1.84%
Barclays (BARC) 195.80p +1.77%
ARM Holdings (ARM) 491.80p +1.70%
CRH (CRH) 1,104.00p +1.66%
Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS) 231.40p +1.62%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Evraz (EVR) 239.70p -6.48%
ICAP (IAP) 343.50p -4.50%
Glencore International (GLEN) 292.35p -3.42%
Polymetal International (POLY) 904.50p -2.85%
Eurasian Natural Resources Corp. (ENRC) 391.90p -2.02%
Tate & Lyle (TATE) 636.00p -1.47%
Croda International (CRDA) 2,152.00p -1.42%
Vedanta Resources (VED) 869.00p -1.42%
Petrofac Ltd. (PFC) 1,327.00p -1.41%
Next (NXT) 3,150.00p -1.41%
FTSE 250 - Risers
New World Resources A Shares (NWR) 307.10p +4.24%
Bank of Georgia Holdings (BGEO) 1,045.00p +3.16%
Phoenix Group Holdings (DI) (PHNX) 471.90p +2.59%
Shanks Group (SKS) 77.75p +2.57%
TalkTalk Telecom Group (TALK) 189.50p +2.43%
St James's Place (STJ) 329.90p +2.33%
Rightmove (RMV) 1,540.00p +2.26%
Euromoney Institutional Investor (ERM) 729.00p +2.03%
Shaftesbury (SHB) 510.00p +2.00%
Ashtead Group (AHT) 256.50p +1.87%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Yule Catto & Co (YULC) 140.70p -20.46%
Homeserve (HSV) 150.30p -5.94%
Elementis (ELM) 185.10p -4.73%
Petropavlovsk (POG) 437.50p -4.35%
Bwin.party Digital Entertainment (BPTY) 114.70p -3.94%
Cookson Group (CKSN) 560.50p -3.61%
Brown (N.) Group (BWNG) 242.90p -3.53%
KCOM Group (KCOM) 70.05p -3.31%
Bodycote (BOY) 311.70p -2.47%
Kenmare Resources (KMR) 37.55p -2.44%
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