Market Report: Strong results from Wall Street stalwarts raise hopes for UK lenders

Banks helped the Footsie to edge higher after the sector was boosted by better-than-expected results from counterparts in the US.

Despite an 11 per cent fall in profit, Goldman Sachs' first-quarter numbers came in ahead of expectations, while Morgan Stanley also beat forecasts with an 18 per cent jump in earnings.

The performance of both Wall Street stalwarts raised hopes that UK lenders will perform better than expected when results for the first three months are delivered in early May. Banks added 9.84 points to the index, with Barclays the best performer, up 8.95p at 246.5p.

Markets were quiet ahead of the long Easter weekend but the blue-chip index managed a 41.08-point gain to 6,625.25.

On the FTSE 250, Thomas Cook was flying after an outlook upgrade from the ratings agency Standard & Poor's. Harriet Green, who has engineered an impressive turnaround at the travel agent since joining in 2012, hailed the news as "another milestone". Thomas Cook added 7p to 171.1p.

Traders were also bargain hunting amid mid-caps, with gains for Close Brothers, up 57p at 1,383p, Ocado, 16.2p better at 350.2p, and Entertainment One, 12.3p higher at 315.6p. All have been trading at a discount.

Britvic was on a tear, adding a hefty 39p to 747p. It marks the second day of strong gains for the Robinsons and J2O maker, sparked by an optimistic missive from Merrill Lynch.

Synergy Health lost 8p to 1,241p after admitting "lower-than-anticipated" revenue growth. It blamed the slowdown on bad weather delaying surgery.

The private-equity firm 3i advanced 5.9p to 379.3p after cashing out £67.6m from the initial public offering of the animal healthcare firm Phibro in the US.

On Aim, the online service contract marketplace blur Group collapsed after admitting that revenue for last year was likely to be almost half what the market expected. Blur dropped 172.5p to 280p.

Haynes, the car manuals publisher, revealed that revenues fell 7 per cent in the third quarter due to "softer conditions" in the UK. The small-cap firm lost 9.5p to 201.5p.

News
peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
Sport
Harry Redknapp. Mark Hughes and Ryan Shawcross
footballNews and updates as Queens Park Rangers host the Potters
Arts and Entertainment
tvHighs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
News
news
PROMOTED VIDEO
New Articles
i100
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
life
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvHe is only remaining member of original cast
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
New Articles
i100... with this review
Voices
Holly's review of Peterborough's Pizza Express quickly went viral on social media
New Articles
i100
Arts and Entertainment
musicHow female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
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

Senior BA - Motor and Home Insurance

£400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: **URGENT CONTRACT ROLE**...

Market Risk & Control Manager

Up to £100k or £450p/d: Saxton Leigh: My client is a leading commodities tradi...

SQL Developer - Watford/NW London - £320 - £330 p/d - 6 months

£320 - £330 per day: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group have been engaged by a l...

Head of Audit

To £75,000 + Pension + Benefits + Bonus: Saxton Leigh: My client is looking f...

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam