Date: Friday 28 Sep 2012
Leading shares are firmer on balance, helped by consumer confidence data that was not as bad as feared.
Consultancy GfK´s consumer confidence gauge for the month of September rose by 1 point in September, to -28. The consensus estimate was for a retreat to -30.
The increase in the index comes after it was unchanged for four consecutive months and could mark the start of an improvement in consumer confidence after an extended period of weakness, comment analysts at Barclays Research.
Investors are not rushing to pile into equities, however, what with the release of the results of the Spanish bank stress tests due out this afternoon. In addition, ratings agency Moody’s is expected to conclude its review for a possible further downgrade of Spain.
Investors are also facing a barrage of 'first-tier' economic data expected out Stateside. Back in Blighty, the Office for National Statistics will publish its index of services data at 09:30.
Nick Buckles, Group Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of security firm G4S, is to keep his job after dodging the blame in the group's internal report into the Olympics staffing fiasco.
David Taylor-Smith, Chief Operating Officer and Regional Chief Executive Officer of UK and Africa, and Ian Horseman Sewell, Managing Director, G4S Global Events, have been thrown under the bus, however, leading to a shake-up in the management structure of G4S.
"Our review of the company's performance on this contract has been extremely thorough and, whilst the failures are largely specific to the very special nature of this contract, we will learn from mistakes made. We are taking actions in relation to both the management and governance of G4S to ensure we continue to deliver the highest standards of customer service and contract delivery across the group," said John Connolly, who joined G4S as Chairman on June 8th.
Car insurer Admiral is lower after the Office of Fair Trading referred the private motor insurance market to the Competition Commission, as it is concerned that the market is not working well for motorists.
Electronics components distributor Electrocomponents is under the cosh after it issued a profit warning. First half performance is now expected to be lower than anticipated, although the group expect profits in the second half to benefit from a combination of a return to sales growth and actions to improve operating margins.
Pubs owner Mitchells and Butlers said like-for-like (LFL) sales increased 3% in the nine weeks to September 15th as the Olympic and Paralympic Games had little impact on overall sales. Total LFL sales for the 51 weeks to September rose 2.1% with food sales up 2.9% and drink sales up 1.4%.
Multi-national design and engineering consultancy Hyder said it now expects first half pre-tax profit to be well ahead of previous forecasts, buoyed by the timing of performance bonuses earned in Australia.
Intermediate Capital Group, the specialist investment firm and asset manager, saw assets under management rise to €12bn as at September 27th from €11.8bn as at July 9th. The group added that its investment company portfolio was "resilient with low level of realisations".
Vodafone has seen its price target slashed at Goldman Sachs, to 227p from 233p. Analysts at HSBC have upgraded their view on shares of Tesco to overweight.
As might be deduced from the buoyancy of mining stocks this morning, metals prices are heading higher on the futures markets.
Gold for December delivery is up $1.70 to $1,782.20 an ounce while copper for December delivery is currently priced at $376.60 a pound, up $2.20 on the day.
Brent crude is also heading north, with the November contract 65 cents dearer at $112.66.
The yield on the benchmark 10-year gilt down to 1.71% from 1.73% overnight, as gilt prices edge up.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Evraz (EVR) 252.00p +3.07%
Vedanta Resources (VED) 1,046.00p +2.65%
Fresnillo (FRES) 1,825.00p +2.64%
Wolseley (WOS) 2,704.00p +2.62%
Eurasian Natural Resources Corp. (ENRC) 318.90p +2.15%
Antofagasta (ANTO) 1,272.00p +2.09%
Kazakhmys (KAZ) 711.50p +2.01%
Barclays (BARC) 221.55pLeading sha +1.98%
Polymetal International (POLY) 1,079.00p +1.79%
Weir Group (WEIR) 1,809.00p +1.74%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Admiral Group (ADM) 1,064.00p -1.94%
Compass Group (CPG) 698.00p -0.92%
Melrose (MRO) 243.70p -0.81%
Kingfisher (KGF) 265.60p -0.71%
RSA Insurance Group (RSA) 111.40p -0.54%
National Grid (NG.) 690.50p -0.36%
Pearson (PSON) 1,214.00p -0.25%
Tesco (TSCO) 334.75p -0.24%
British Sky Broadcasting Group (BSY) 749.50p -0.20%
Marks & Spencer Group (MKS) 359.90p -0.17%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Bumi (BUMI) 153.00p +4.01%
Savills (SVS) 408.70p +3.18%
Jardine Lloyd Thompson Group (JLT) 781.50p +2.83%
Afren (AFR) 139.50p +2.35%
Ferrexpo (FXPO) 202.60p +2.32%
Homeserve (HSV) 222.90p +2.29%
Centamin (DI) (CEY) 91.50p +2.06%
Dixons Retail (DXNS) 19.79p +2.01%
Ashmore Group (ASHM) 345.70p +1.98%
Ophir Energy (OPHR) 602.00p +1.95%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Electrocomponents (ECM) 202.10p -8.01%
London Stock Exchange Group (LSE) 949.00p -7.41%
Cranswick (CWK) 778.00p -2.08%
Premier Farnell (PFL) 172.10p -1.99%
St James's Place (STJ) 362.50p -1.73%
New World Resources A Shares (NWR) 268.80p -1.39%
Daejan Holdings (DJAN) 2,876.68p -1.15%
Kenmare Resources (KMR) 39.85p -1.12%
Diploma (DPLM) 472.00p -1.03%
Hansteen Holdings (HSTN) 77.05p -0.96%
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