Market Report: Strong results from Wall Street stalwarts raise hopes for UK lenders
Friday 18 April 2014
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.
- 2 Friends 20th anniversary: Alison Jackson photographs reunited cast
- 3 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 5 Free U2 album: How the most generous giveaway in music history turned into a PR disaster
Scottish independence: Despite defeat history may still point to Alex Salmond as the victor
Scottish independence referendum: Frankie Boyle reacts to nation's 'No' vote - 'To be fair, I've always hated Scotland'
Iranian blogger found guilty of insulting Prophet Mohammad on Facebook sentenced to death
Scottish referendum: Police struggle to control Unionist rally in Glasgow's George Square
Hitler’s former food taster reveals the horrors of the Wolf’s Lair
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Scottish independence: The Queen breaks silence on referendum debate – as think tank warns of £14bn black hole if Scotland votes Yes
iJobs Money & Business
£400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: **URGENT CONTRACT ROLE**...
Up to £100k or £450p/d: Saxton Leigh: My client is a leading commodities tradi...
£320 - £330 per day: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group have been engaged by a l...
To £75,000 + Pension + Benefits + Bonus: Saxton Leigh: My client is looking f...