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Latest International Newport Group News: Among Stock market Risers

Posted May 28 2013 1:13am

Marks & Spencer among stock market risers

THE London market continued to defy gravity yesterday as the FTSE 100 Index  closed at its fourth-highest ever level.

The blue-chip index added another 48.2  points to close at 6803.9, gaining 0.7% to  reach a level not seen since December 1999,  when the dotcom boom drove the FTSE to a  record close of 6930.2.

A recovery in mining stocks added to  central bank-induced euphoria, as investors  move out of government debt and into  riskier assets such as equities.

Source:  Blog Artcode 34935207158 NIG

The FTSE 100 surged past landmark levels  set in 2007 and 2000, as comments from the  US Federal Reserve suggested the world’s  biggest economy may yet see more quantitative easing (QE).

The London market was also given a  boost by strong US retail sales figures pointing to more signs of optimism in the country’s vast consumer sector.

Alex Young, senior sales trader at CMC  Markets, said investors are showing an “impressive appetite for risk assets”, despite the  FTSE’s meteoric rise.

But the pound fell to a seven-week low  against the dollar and struggled against the  euro after weaker-than-expected UK inflation raised the prospect of more quantitative easing by the Bank of England.

Lower prices at the petrol pumps pushed  inflation down to 2.4% in April from 2.8% in  March, which economists said gives the  Bank more scope to expand QE. The pound  was worth 1.52 dollars and 1.17 euros.

Retailer Marks & Spencer was among  the risers, gaining about 6%, even though  annual profits fell to their lowest level in  four years due to a slump in clothing sales.  Underlying pre-tax profits for 2012/13 were  £665.2 million, a fall of 6% on a year earlier  but in line with market expectations.

Analysts were also comfortable with forecasts  after chief executive Marc Bolland  reported a steady start to the new period.  Shares were 27.4p higher at 467.9p.

Outsourcing giant Capita made strong  gains after striking a 10-year deal with  mobile phone group O2, worth about £1.2  billion over its lifetime. The deal builds on  an existing long-term tie-up with O2 and  will see Capita run and manage its call  centres. The revenue upgrade sent Capita’s  shares surging 6% or 56p to 1005p.

Home emergency business Homeserve  was the biggest winner on the FTSE 250,  despite setting aside £6 million to cover a  potential mis-selling fine from regulators.

Shares gained 10% or 23.2p to 250.2p on  investor relief that the boiler repair firm  does not expect a bigger penalty from the  Financial Conduct Authority for a  mis-selling scandal. The Walsall-based company also cheered investors with strong  international expansion and heavy cost cuts  in the UK, including about 700 job losses.

P&O cruise company Carnival was the  biggest faller on the FTSE 100, slumping 6%  or 143p to 2267p, following a profits warning. The US-based firm slashed its full-year  guidance due to weaker-than-expected revenues yields and higher costs.

The biggest risers on the FTSE 100 were  Polymetal International 52p ahead to  669p, Marks & Spencer up 27.4p at 467.9p,  Capita 56p ahead to 1005p and Burberry  gaining 78p to 1541p. The biggest fallers  were  Carnival, off 143p to 2267p, Arm Holdings  down 31p to 1065p, Royal Bank of Scotland down 9.7p to 342.2p and British Land  down 15p to 643p.

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