London midday: FTSE 100 lifted by Sage, mining stocks
A well-received trading update from Sage Group and strong gains in the mining sector lifted the FTSE 100 into positive territory on Tuesday morning, with sentiment lifted by reassuring comments about Chinese economic growth.
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang is reported to have stood by the government target for economic growth of 7.5% in 2013 and assured that the pace of expansion would not fall below 7.0%: "this bottom line must not be crossed". He called for the government to allow China to grow within a "reasonable range", keeping activity above a "lower limit" and inflation below the "upper limit".
Meanwhile, Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli has said that the ruling party would continue to support infrastructure and social welfare investments.
"This suggests that the ruling party is preparing to announce a new package of stimulus measures which should prevent a hard landing in China in the coming years," said Market Analyst Craig Erlam from Alpari.
"While additional stimulus measures may not be ideal for China’s long-term health, it’s clearly seen as a positive thing now," Erlam said.
Disappointing figures from the US yesterday, where existing-home sales unexpectedly fell in June, also spurred speculation that the Federal Reserve would not rush to withdraw its stimulus measures.
FTSE 100: Sage and miners in demand; Tullow drops
Sage Group said it is confident of delivering its targets as trading in the third quarter was in line with expectations, giving shares a small lift early on.
Mining stocks were the best performers this morning on demand hopes after reassuring words over Chinese growth. Glencore Xstrata, Anglo American, ENRC, BHP Billiton, Fresnillo, Rio Tinto, Antofagasta and Vedanta were making solid gains.
Oil giant Tullow was a heavy faller this morning after the company said it had plugged and abandoned an exploration well in Mozambique and another in French Guiana.
Budget airline easyJet was also in the red ahead of its third-quarter trading update due on Wednesday morning; British Airways owner IAG was also lower. The falls come after sector peer Ryanair announced its decision to sell its 29% stake in Irish airline Aer Lingus to another EU airline.
Speciality chemicals firm Croda fell after its interim results, in which it reported a 6.3% year-on-year rise in pre-tax profit and an 8.4% increase in the dividend. The company admitted that the "challenging trading environment has inevitable held back certain parts of the business".
Investors welcomed the approval by Chinese authorities for Diageo to buy up the remaining 47% stake in SJF HoldCo for £233m. The investment lifts the company's indirect holding in Chinese premium spirits maker Sichuan Shuijingfang.
techMARK 2,535.65 +0.10%
FTSE 100 6,645.22 +0.33%
FTSE 250 14,868.84 +0.13%
FTSE 100 - Risers
Sage Group (SGE) 368.50p +4.45%
Glencore Xstrata (GLEN) 279.15p +3.77%
Anglo American (AAL) 1,444.00p +2.78%
Rio Tinto (RIO) 2,980.50p +2.69%
Antofagasta (ANTO) 867.50p +2.54%
Fresnillo (FRES) 1,090.00p +2.44%
BHP Billiton (BLT) 1,917.50p +2.21%
Eurasian Natural Resources Corp. (ENRC) 217.70p +2.16%
Vedanta Resources (VED) 1,150.00p +2.04%
Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS) 340.20p +1.58%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Tullow Oil (TLW) 1,047.00p -6.10%
easyJet (EZJ) 1,327.00p -4.33%
Croda International (CRDA) 2,490.00p -3.08%
International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 283.60p -1.36%
Aggreko (AGK) 1,811.00p -1.20%
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) 1,946.00p -1.12%
Whitbread (WTB) 3,145.00p -0.98%
Weir Group (WEIR) 2,149.00p -0.83%
Tate & Lyle (TATE) 839.50p -0.77%
Babcock International Group (BAB) 1,189.00p -0.75%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Hochschild Mining (HOC) 164.50p +8.08%
African Barrick Gold (ABG) 118.50p +5.24%
Ferrexpo (FXPO) 174.90p +4.48%
Dialight (DIA) 1,180.00p +3.06%
Evraz (EVR) 106.00p +2.81%
Enterprise Inns (ETI) 129.50p +2.78%
Kazakhmys (KAZ) 263.10p +2.77%
PZ Cussons (PZC) 398.50p +2.71%
Redrow (RDW) 252.60p +2.64%
Alent (ALNT) 385.80p +2.63%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Imagination Technologies Group (IMG) 249.30p -11.85%
Beazley (BEZ) 226.60p -6.63%
Catlin Group Ltd. (CGL) 495.20p -3.75%
Bumi (BUMI) 229.10p -3.33%
IG Group Holdings (IGG) 581.50p -2.76%
Amlin (AML) 399.90p -2.68%
Domino's Pizza Group (DOM) 610.50p -2.01%
Carpetright (CPR) 668.00p -1.98%
Ocado Group (OCDO) 320.30p -1.60%
Oxford Instruments (OXIG) 1,334.00p -1.55%
FTSE TechMARK - Risers
Triad Group (TRD) 10.50p +16.67%
XP Power Ltd. (DI) (XPP) 1,364.00p +4.12%
Consort Medical (CSRT) 795.00p +1.15%
Vislink (VLK) 35.75p +1.06%
Innovation Group (TIG) 29.50p +0.85%
BATM Advanced Communications Ltd. (BVC) 16.00p +0.79%
Vectura Group (VEC) 82.75p +0.30%
NCC Group (NCC) 129.00p +0.19%
SDL (SDL) 301.50p +0.17%
Kofax (KFX) 340.00p +0.15%
FTSE TechMARK - Fallers
E2V Technologies (E2V) 125.25p -2.72%
Wolfson Microelectronics (WLF) 146.25p -1.85%
Microgen (MCGN) 140.00p -1.75%
Optos (OPTS) 151.50p -1.46%
IShares Euro Gov Bond 7-10YR UCITS ETF (IEGM) € 179.18 -0.14%
Filtronic (FTC) 65.00p 0.00%
Puricore (PURI) 39.50p 0.00%
DRS Data & Research Services (DRS) 20.00p 0.00%
Antisoma (ASM) 1.55p 0.00%
Torotrak (TRK) 27.25p 0.00%