Market Report: Lloyds strengthens after Basel III boost

Lloyds Banking Group was the best-performing FTSE 100 stock last year and it looks like 2013 is shaping up to be pretty decent too. Lloyds jumped to the top of the tree today after analysts at UBS rated it a buy and awarded it a share price target of 60p, up from 50p.

The reason? Well, earlier this week the loosening of the Basel III liquidity rules helped all the banking stocks look more attractive and UBS raised its price targets to reflect "the better growth and profitability picture beginning to emerge".

Angus Campbell, head of market analysis at London Capital Group, said: "The upgrade from UBS will be most welcome to investors. For those seeking to expose themselves to the UK as opposed to Europe, Lloyds could be a good stock to hold and the shares hit their highest level since May 2011 today."

Lloyds finished up 2.51p at 53.37p.

The benchmark index was riding high during afternoon trade and hit its highest point since May 2008 with the banking shares and engineers helping it up. Volumes were at decent levels and the FTSE 100 index advanced 45.02 points to 6098.65.

Engineer Meggitt also enjoyed a rise on the back of an upgrade, 15.5p to 425p. Bank of America Merrill Lynch upgraded it to a buy and raised its share price target to 470p, from 430p. The group announced chief executive Terry Twigger is retiring and will be succeeded in May by finance director Stephen Young.

Analysts have been busy with their shares shopping lists and Nomura and Morgan Stanley like broadcaster ITV. Nomura gave it a 125p share price target and the shares lifted 0.6p to 109.3p.

With optimism filling the markets some traders gossiped about water group United Utilities. The North-west of England-focused group was the subject of takeover speculation last year, with Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan, Abu Dhabi funds and China Investment Corporation mentioned as possible interested parties with more than 900p a share mooted. The shares edged up 12p to 687p.

Vodafone was still in demand after rumours of a deal with its joint venture partner Verizon circulated in the week and the shares registered another gain, ending the day up 3.1p at 165.5p.

Telecoms giant BT was also favoured and Nomura's scribes rate it a buy with a share price target of 280p. The shares ticked up 2p to 247.1p.

Goldman Sachs' aptly named Henry Tarr thinks oil prices won't rocket this year or next so oil services groups will suffer. But luckily for shareholders of Scotland-based John Wood Group, Mr Tarr thinks its "high, free cashflow and growth" and low-risk business model make it an attractive stock. He thinks project delays in the sector will hit some companies.

But for Wood, which runs and maintains oil rigs and other oil platforms, he raises his rating of the stock to buy, from neutral and gives it a share price target of 912p. The shares gushed toward the top of the benchmark index, and ended up 24.5p at 774p.

There wasn't such good news for the share price of insurer Aviva. On Tuesday night, after the stock market closed, it announced the sale of the rest of its stake in Dutch insurer Delta Lloyd for £353m. Aviva bought Delta Lloyd in 1973 but began offloading its interest in 2009. It follows its sell-off of its US business last month and according to analysts at Panmure Gordon the sale reinforces their view that Aviva "is executing its disposal programme at better-than-anticipated prices and at pace".

New chief executive Mark Wilson is hoping to create a more agile insurance group that is not weighed down by overseas interests. Panmure's analysts retained their buy rating and gave it a share price target of 425p but the shares declined 8.2p to 373.7p.

Sainsbury's shares were looking past their sell-by date after it posted only a 0.9 per cent rise in like-for-like sales, which was slightly below market expectations. Most think the sell-off was overdone but the shares ended down 9.8p to 329.2p. Today is Tesco's turn in the spotlight.

Small-cap index contractor Costain won a £48m contract from Network Rail for phase three of the West Coast line power supply upgrade. The shares surged 7.5p to 263.5p.

Blur Group, the online exchange that lets clients commission work from marketing agencies and experts around the world, reported strong project growth and the shares charged up 18.5p to 105p.

Also on AIM, budget African airline group Fastjet updated on passenger numbers and said it has carried almost 30,000 passengers in its first month and also raised just over £1m from an equity drawdown facility. It lost 0.11p to 4.52p.

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
techYahoo Japan launches service to delete your files and email your relatives when you die
Life and Style
Child's play: letting young people roam outdoors directly contradicts the current climate
lifeHow much independence should children have?
Arts and Entertainment
Tycoons' text: Warren Buffett and Bill Gates both cite John Brookes' 'Business Adventures' as their favourite book
booksFind out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
<p><strong>2008</strong></p>
<p>Troubled actor Robert Downey Jr cements his comeback from drug problems by bagging the lead role in Iron Man. Two further films follow</p>
filmRobert Downey Jr named Hollywood's highest paid actor for second year running
Life and Style
Dale Bolinger arranged to meet the girl via a fetish website
life
Property
Sign here, please: Magna Carta Island
propertyYours for a cool £4m
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Business Analyst (Agile, SDLC, software)

£45000 - £50000 Per Annum + excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Lt...

Finance Manager - Bank - Leeds - £300/day

£250 - £300 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Finance Manager - Accountant - Bank...

Compliance Officer - CF10, CF11, Compliance Oversight, AML, FX

£100000 - £120000 per annum + BONUS + BENEFITS: Harrington Starr: A leading fi...

Trade Floor Support - Investment Bank - London - £350 per day

£300 - £350 per day: Harrington Starr: Our client a leading investment bank is...

Day In a Page

Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn
Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

Meet the man who doesn't want to go down in history as the country's last Scottish Secretary
Legoland Windsor's master model-makers reveal the tricks of their trade (including how to stop the kids wrecking your Eiffel Tower)

Meet the people who play with Lego for a living

They are the master builders: Lego's crack team of model-makers, who have just glued down the last of 650,000 bricks as they recreate Paris in Windsor. Susie Mesure goes behind the scenes
The 20 best days out for the summer holidays: From Spitfires to summer ferry sailings

20 best days out for the summer holidays

From summer ferry sailings in Tyne and Wear and adventure days at Bear Grylls Survival Academy to Spitfires at the Imperial War Museum Duxford and bog-snorkelling at the World Alternative Games...
Open-air theatres: If all the world is a stage, then everyone gets in on the act

All the wood’s a stage

Open-air productions are the cue for better box-office receipts, new audiences, more interesting artistic challenges – and a picnic
Rand Paul is a Republican with an eye on the world

Rupert Cornwell: A Republican with an eye on the world

Rand Paul is laying out his presidential stall by taking on his party's disastrous record on foreign policy
Self-preservation society: Pickles are moving from the side of your plate to become the star dish

Self-preservation society

Pickles are moving from the side of your plate to become the star dish
Generation gap opens a career sinkhole

Britons live ever longer, but still society persists in glorifying youth

We are living longer but considered 'past it' younger, the reshuffle suggests. There may be trouble ahead, says DJ Taylor