Market overview: FTSE closes up 45 at 6,339
1630:Close The FTSE smashed through the 6,300 mark on Tuesday, ending the session 45 points higher, led by Anglo American, which gained despite saying it will recognise a 4.0bn dollar impairment charge in its 2012 results. Leading the fallers was RBS, which fell after Espirito Santo downgraded the stock alongside Lloyds. In economic news, house prices rose by 0.8 per cent month-on-month during November, reaching an average property value of 162,080 pounds, according to the latest data by the Land Registry. Versus a year ago, prices increased by 1.7 per cent. The FTSE closed at 6,339.
1639: A plan by three police forces, those of Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire, to outsource services to G4S has collapsed after Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) rejected it, the British Broadcasting Corporation is reporting. FTSE 100 up 19 to 6,313.
1500: The US Conference Board´s consumer confidence index for the month of January has come in at 58.6, after an upwardly revised reading of 66.7 for the month before (Consensus: 64). Centamin is the worst performer on the FTSE 350 on continuing news of violence in Egypt.
1400: US house prices rose by 5.5 per cent year-on-year in November versus a year ago, according to the 20 city S&P Case-Shiller index. The consensus forecast was for a 5.6 per cent increase.
1248: There is some 'market chatter' today regarding the possibility that an outside investor could take a stake in 3i with a view to shaking up its investment strategy. The FT Alphaville, however, cites a JP Morgan note which is a tad dismissive, although a controlled liquidation is seen as a possibility should the company´s investment performance not improve "over the next 18 months or so." JP Morgan adds that it will be closely watching the company´s announcement as pertains to its year-end net asset value come this next Thursday.
1229: Technical analysts at Charles Stanley are positive on Barclays, pointing out this morning to clients that: "The chart shows that the share price is still underpinned by a well-defined uptrend (which began last July, when it was at 150p) and that this trend shows no sign of abating. In common with many other leading stocks Barclays has become relatively overbought, but not to the extent that further upside has become unlikely, and traders are going to feel entirely justified in maintaining long positions while this move to the upside remains so robust. The next area of possible resistance is at 333p or so – that is the intermediate peak from February 2011 and, at the same time, represents a 38.2% retracement of the major decline that began in early 2007 (following the peak at 790p)."
1211: US authorities are pushing for a settlement of interest-rate-rigging allegations with Royal Bank of Scotland Group that would result in a unit of the big British bank pleading guilty to criminal charges in addition to paying a penalty, according to people briefed on the negotiations, The Wall Street Journal is reporting. FTSE 100 down 2 to 6,292.
1200: Shares of Schroders are now in the red after earlier hitting technical resistance near 1,922p, but are nevertheless near their best levels in two years.
1006: The FTSE 100 keeping its head above 6,300, holding on to recent gains, with German sentiment data providing some support. The forward-looking German GfK consumer confidence survey increased from 5.7 to 5.8 in February, ahead of forecasts for no change. There are no other major economic indicators due for release in Europe today, though markets will be keeping an eye out for consumer confidence figures and corporate earnings Stateside later on. Bellwethers Ford, Peabody and Pfizer are among the names that will release earnings. US stock futures are pointing to a slightly lower start on Wall Street in a few hours' time. The FTSE 100 is up 10 points at 6,304.
0859: Analysts at Bank of America-Merrill Lynch have downgraded BT Group to neutral from buy.
0858: Fitch says the UK faces a significant risk of being downgraded.
0831: UK stocks have begun the day trading slightly higher, buoyed by gains in shares of GlaxoSmithKline, Vodafone and Schroders. British real estate giant British Land is also near the top of the leader board. The company said it continued to perform well in the third quarter and saw 'encouraging' levels of demand in spite of tough market conditions. No major economic data releases are expected on Tuesday. Of interest nevertheless, the Financial Times reports today on how the parliamentary Treasury committee has criticised the Chancellor for relying on uncertain revenue windfalls, including sales of 4G spectrum and repatriation of tax revenue from Switzerland, to fund budget giveaways such as fuel duty freezes. Goldman Sachs has lowered its view on shares of RBS to sell (from neutral). Analysts at Barclays have upgraded Glaxo to overweight from equalweight. FTSE 100 up 12 to 6,307.