Market Report: Analyst calls on the Bible to back hopes for Barclays

The Square Mile tends to be more concerned with Mammon than spiritual matters. Yet yesterday the Bible was helping Barclays in the run-up to the release of its first-quarter results tomorrow, as Investec's banking guru Ian Gordon turned to the Old Testament for inspiration.

Ahead of the numbers, the analyst decided to quote Moses himself: "Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance (Exodus 14:13)".

In his own words this time, Mr Gordon said although the City's expectations had recently risen sharply thanks to encouraging results from US banks, he still expected Barclays numbers to beat forecasts.

Specifically, the scribe predicted its Barclays Capital investment bank arm would post revenues for the period of £3.5bn – £140m higher than consensus. He also argued that the increased optimism of analysts has not been "adequately reflected" in the performance of the stock.

Whether by divine intervention or otherwise, Barclays ended up advancing 6.45p to 211p.

It is not the first time Mr Gordon has used the Good Book in relation to Barclays – "But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him! (Matthew 8:27)" was the passage he highlighted in February regarding the bank's boss, Bob Diamond.

Meanwhile, when appearing in front of the Treasury Select Committee last year, Mr Diamond was rather pointedly asked by MP John Mann why it was "easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven?"

Following the sharp sell-off at the start of the week, the FTSE 100 bounced back by 43.92 points to 5,709.49 after successful bond auctions in the Netherlands, Italy and Spain went some way towards dampening concerns over the eurozone debt crisis, although economic data from the States was mixed.

With Man Group's share price having lost more than 60 per cent in less than seven months, UBS analyst Arnaud Giblat claimed those investors still left in the hedge fund giant would accept a takeover approach priced at 150p, despite the firm having moved above that level last month.

Mr Giblat argued there was a "substantial risk" of the group attracting an approach and that a 50 per cent premium to the current share price "would be sufficient to obtain shareholder approval".

With the analyst keeping his "buy" recommendation, Man shot up 4.45p to 97p, having closed on Monday at an 11-year low.

The commodities sector saw a rally, including Xstrata. The digger ticked up 20.5p to 1,149p after it was revealed Qatar's sovereign wealth fund had raised its interest again, and with the Gulf state reportedly a fan of the merger between the two, Glencore finished 7.2p stronger at 415.75p.

British Airways-owner IAG flew up by 5.9p to 168.5p on a rush of broker support. Credit Suisse raised its advice to "outperform", citing optimism on pricing during the summer, while at the same time Davy's analysts removed their "sell" rating.

The cigarette makers were among those in the red after Bank of America Merrill Lynch announced that it was time to take profits. Cutting their ratings on both Imperial Tobacco (27p lower at 2,491p) and British American Tobacco (56.5p lower at 3,157p) to "neutral", scribblers from the broker added that – in the wake of recent takeover bid talk – they did not expect the former would receive an approach "imminently".

The Footsie's wooden spoon ended up in the hands of Capita, with the outsourcer sliding 46.5p to 682.5p after raising $441m (£273.3m) through a placing of shares at 685p a pop. Boss Paul Pindar did not help by taking the opportunity to get rid of 400,000 of his shares, which netted him around £2.7m.

News of a share placement from Redrow was received rather better. The housebuilder advanced 9p to 126p on the FTSE 250 after saying that it would raise roughly £80m, thanks to the placing and an open offer which will be underwritten by the investment vehicle of chairman Steve Morgan, who could see his stake rise above 40 per cent.

Ophir Energy, which has recently been boosted by takeover speculation, spurted up 16p to 575p after its fellow Africa-focused driller Cove Energy agreed to an improved offer from Royal Dutch Shell (up 21p to 2,200.5p) With the new bid priced at 220p-a-share, Cove finished 10p stronger at 227p on Aim.

Small-cap pharma firm Vectura perked up 3.75p to 61.25p following encouraging results from the latest study on its QVA149 lung drug, which it is developing with Swiss giant Novartis.

At the same time, Aim-listed tiddler Summit rose 8.7 per cent to 3.12p after getting approval for trials to start on a muscular dystrophy treatment.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

SThree: Experienced Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £40000 per annum + OTE + Incentives + Benefits: SThree: Established f...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE 40/45k + INCENTIVES + BENEFITS: SThree: The su...

Recruitment Genius: Collections Agent

£14000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company was established in...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE 40k: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250 busi...

Day In a Page

Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement