Date: Tuesday 14 Aug 2012
- German Q2 GDP above forecasts
- Japanese stimulus could be on the agenda
- Standard Life impresses as profits jump
London's FTSE 100 advanced on Tuesday morning after German growth data beat expectations and investors hoped that policy-makers in Japan would step up to boost its economy.
German economic growth slowed down from 0.5% to 0.3% in the second quarter of 2012, but economists were expecting gross domestic product (GDP) to increase by just 0.2%.
France, on the other hand, registered its third consecutive quarter of zero growth although this was better than the 0.1% contraction that the experts were expecting.
Optimism was also being driven by the results of the latest Bank of Japan policy-setting meeting which showed that some board members wouldn't be against future policy options to combat a slowdown. It was revealed yesterday that annualised Japanese GDP increased by 1.4% in the second quarter, well below the 5.5% growth the previous quarter and under the 2.3% expansion expected.
Investors will also be looking ahead retail sales due out in the US later today. According to market analyst Michael Hewson from CMC Markets, the figures "will be scrutinised for any evidence of a change in consumer spending patterns. After seeing retail sales number slide for the last three consecutive months, it would appear that the US consumer is remaining reticent when it comes to parting with their cash dollars."
Life assurance behemoth Standard Life jumped as it saw profits rise in the first half after a strong performance in the UK, its biggest market. Operating profit before tax was up 15% to £302m with the firm reporting group assets under administration (AUA) of £204.2bn, up 3% from £198.4bn the year before.
Anglo-Swedish drugs colossus AstraZeneca raised earnings guidance a tad after signing a deal with US pharmaceuticals titan Pfizer, pushing shares higher early on.
Building materials group CRH dropped after poor weather and tough economic conditions in Europe saw earnings slip in the first half of the year. EBITDA fell 1% year-on-year in the six months to June 30th, more or less in line with the company's guidance in May of "close to last year's level".
Egypt may not have been the most restful place in which to operate in 2012 but Egyptian gold miner Centamin is sticking with its production guidance after second quarter output hit record levels. Shares rose early on.
Scottish distribution firm John Menzies was out of favour after seeing revenues fall in the first half as the firm was hit by tough economic conditions and a weak euro.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Standard Life (SL.) 271.00p +5.57%
United Utilities Group (UU.) 718.50p +4.28%
Severn Trent (SVT) 1,757.00p +2.87%
Evraz (EVR) 275.00p +2.42%
Pennon Group (PNN) 753.00p +2.38%
Johnson Matthey (JMAT) 2,291.00p +1.87%
Vedanta Resources (VED) 995.00p +1.84%
Barclays (BARC) 186.30p +1.78%
Standard Chartered (STAN) 1,356.50p +1.72%
ITV (ITV) 84.45p +1.69%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
CRH (CRH) 1,154.00p -5.33%
Wolseley (WOS) 2,411.00p -1.51%
Kingfisher (KGF) 285.80p -1.07%
Pearson (PSON) 1,222.00p -0.81%
Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY) 31.45p -0.58%
Tate & Lyle (TATE) 663.00p -0.23%
Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS) 221.90p -0.22%
Petrofac Ltd. (PFC) 1,484.00p -0.13%
Weir Group (WEIR) 1,726.00p -0.12%
Randgold Resources Ltd. (RRS) 6,275.00p -0.08%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Petra Diamonds Ltd.(DI) (PDL) 101.00p +3.06%
JD Sports Fashion (JD.) 685.00p +2.70%
Savills (SVS) 383.40p +2.40%
Paragon Group Of Companies (PAG) 184.20p +2.33%
Carpetright (CPR) 618.00p +2.32%
Centamin (DI) (CEY) 70.10p +2.11%
Gem Diamonds Ltd. (DI) (GEMD) 194.90p +2.04%
Soco International (SIA) 348.00p +1.81%
Ladbrokes (LAD) 167.80p +1.70%
Barr (A.G.) (BAG) 445.50p +1.69%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Daejan Holdings (DJAN) 3,105.00p -2.20%
Menzies(John) (MNZS) 620.50p -1.51%
Aquarius Platinum Ltd. (AQP) 36.77p -1.42%
Bumi (BUMI) 358.20p -1.38%
Ruspetro (RPO) 150.00p -1.32%
Bank of Georgia Holdings (BGEO) 1,136.00p -1.22%
Lonmin (LMI) 733.50p -1.01%
Heritage Oil (HOIL) 165.49p -0.96%
Restaurant Group (RTN) 317.00p -0.94%
Essar Energy (ESSR) 110.90p -0.89%
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