UK Equities Lead The Way Higher As Barclays Sends FTSE Soaring
The UK’s FTSE 100 index has performed strongly after a soft start this morning, led higher by a banking sector inspired by an update from Barclays. The bank announced earnings broadly in line with expectations, but trade over 8% higher as traders nod their approval to a group restructuring that will see the loss of 3,700 jobs in a further streamlining of the banking sector. Lloyds and RBS both receive significant read-across support, adding over 4%.
Retail group Dunelm see their stock offered marginally lower despite announcing pre-tax profit growth of 14.6% and an increase in their dividend, with the good news largely priced in.
Conversely satellite communications group Avanti are much better bid, up over 12% despite announcing a big increase in pre-tax losses, as investors choose to focus on improving revenues and confirmation that the group expects to be cash flow positive in the back end of this financial year.
In Europe luxury fashion group Hermes have recovered from a sluggish start to trade better on strong revenues, as demand for handbags and other luxury items swells globally in spite of the generally bleak economic backdrop.
The Coca-Cola Company announced earnings slightly ahead of analyst expectations after delivering strong growth in emerging markets sales, but the stock has slipped back in early trade as investors focussed on weaker European numbers.
Goodyear Tyres are also offered lower after downgrading their guidance for 2013 in light of falling sales. Continued weakness in its European business is likely to drag on profitability in the near term.
Screaming higher are shares in Avon Products. Despite announcing a loss per share of $0.37 in Q4, the stock is up over 17% as stripping out exceptional items revealed a positive EPS figure far in excess of analyst estimates.
The headline mover of the day is JPY – initially weaker across the board on comments out of the G7 that appeared to give the green light to the BOJ’s Yen-weakening policy. The Yen however rebounded sharply to trade over 1% better against Sterling and USD as a G7 representative explained a general misinterpretation of the statement, clarifying that BOJ policy was a major cause for concern amongst G7 members.
When the whole market moves the wrong way on a statement it’s probably fair to say that the problem is less to do with the interpretation and more to do with the wording…
WTI crude closed the gap on Brent in European trade – providing some respite to CMC Markets clients who are again short the spread.
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