Market Report: US resurgence puts the bears to flight

It was a day of two halves today. Pessimists were toppled by bullish traders in the afternoon, and the benchmark index hit its highest point since May 2008, taking it back to the level last seen before the collapse of Lehman Brothers. FTSE Group data show the FTSE 100 index soared 28.38 points to 6,132.36.

Good jobs data from the United States and better-than-expected trading updates from US companies and UK retailers such as Home Retail Group, up 15.1p to 136.6p, helped punters to feel positive.

Angus Campbell, head of market analysis at Capital Spreads, said: "It looks like the Great Rotation out of bonds into equities that's being bandied around at the moment is in full flow as equities have defied the bears once again in today's session."

British punters' interest in US stocks has also been apparent, the online stockbroker Interactive Investor said. It has seen a jump in interest for US stocks from its clients, and Douglas Boyce, head of share dealing at Interactive Investor, said: "There seems to be a clear belief that the US economy is recovering, and right now our clients seem happy to overlook concerns surrounding the budget deficit."

Mr Boyce said interest in Apple is up around 50 per cent for the week so far, after its shares price dropped earlier this week on fears over iPhone demand, while requests for US equities in general is up almost 100 per cent since the start of the year.

British Airways' owner, IAG, flew to the top of the blue-chip index, soaring 8.8p to 211.8p. Investors were very glad it hasn't got any of Boeing's flagship 787 Dreamliners. The planes have been taken out of service after issues with a Japanese model.

Sales were booming at Primark and Twinings owner ABF and the shares climbed 50p to 1,606p.

The publisher and events business Reed Elsevier flogged the screening division of its LexisNexis risk solutions business to a private-equity group, and UBS's scribes think the deal could have raised up to $300m (£187m). UBS's analysts think Reed will plough the cash into share buybacks. Reed's shares booked in a 9.5p gain to 678.5p.

Banks were still in focus, and the ratings agency Fitch said the safeguards of an "electric" ring fence and "sibling" structure for UK retail banks could actually "make the separation from the rest of a banking group more effective and benefit the credit profile of the retail bank". Barclays rose 2.65p to 296.05p and Royal Bank of Scotland was up 3.7p to 353.8p, but Lloyds Banking Group lost 0.27p to 53.28p.

Investors in the property company Hammerson are breathing a sigh of relief after the Brent Cross-owner kissed and made up with its bitter Australian rival Westfield. Westfield, which already owns and runs giant malls in the east and west of London, had been planning a huge new scheme in Croydon. At the same time, Hammerson had been buying up assets in the town and planned its own version of a shopper's paradise. The two squared up and spent the past year trying to insist they would be the best to build a £1bn scheme. The news that the two are at peace sent Hammerson's shares up 4.9p to 487.7p. Jefferies' property guru, Mike Prew, views their plans as a "very sensible compromise to redevelop the centre". Mr Prew gives Hammerson a hold rating with a share price target of 482.8p. The insurance group Aviva is selling its 49 per cent share in its Malaysian business to Sun Life for £152m, and the shares edged down 0.1p to 368p.

Over on the mid-tier index, the cash-and-carry business Booker reported a rise in sales, but its shares only edged forward 0.2p to 98.9p.

The lorry-spotters' favourite, Stobart Group, warned that its full-year operating performance would be slightly below market expectations, and the shares motored down 2.5p to 92.55p.

The Tanzania-focused gold company African Barrick Gold, which had been a takeover target for China National Gold until talks collapsed earlier this month, posted a 9 per cent drop in annual production. But it had witnessed a pick-up in the fourth quarter. African Barrick put on 1.5p to 350p.

On AIM, Quadrise Fuels updated on its progress on producing shipping fuel and the shares gushed up 1.12p to 13p.

Lansdowne Oil said it continues to progress farm-out talks with interested parties and its shares jetted up 1.25p to 54.25p.

Nature Group, the maritime and off-shore waste specialist, has won a contract in Tanzania and its shares ticked up 3p to 24p.

Suggested Topics
Sport
The giant banner displayed by Legia Warsaw supporters last night
football
News
i100(and it's got nothing to do with the Great British Bake Off)
News
news
Sport
footballPremiership preview: All the talking points ahead of this weekend's matches
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
Angelina Jolie with her father Jon Voight
people
Arts and Entertainment
Tulisa as a judge on the X Factor in 2012
tvLouis Walsh confirms star's return
Life and Style
fashionClothes shop opens on Bill Clinton Boulevard in Pristina
Voices
The Ukip leader has consistently refused to be drawn on where he would mount an attempt to secure a parliamentary seat
voicesNigel Farage: Those who predicted we would lose momentum heading into the 2015 election are going to have to think again
Arts and Entertainment
Cara Delevingne made her acting debut in Anna Karenina in 2012
film Cara Delevingne 'in talks' to star in Zoolander sequel
News
i100
Life and Style
life
News
Melissa and Joan Rivers together at an NBC event in May 2014
peopleDaughter Melissa thanks fans for 'outpouring of support'
Life and Style
tech
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
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

SAS Developer - DI Studio - Banking

£450 - £500 per day: Orgtel: SAS Developer, Chester, Banking, DI Studio, £450-...

Recruitment Consultants - Banking & Finance

£20000 - £30000 per annum + OTE £40 - £50K first year: SThree: SThree Group an...

Relationship Manager

£500 - £600 per day + competitive: Orgtel: A leading banking client in London ...

Relationship Manager

£500 - £600 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Relationship Manager, London, Banki...

Day In a Page

Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone