London midday: Upbeat global data gives UK stocks a lift

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LONDON (ShareCast) - - Housebuilders, miners lift markets higher
- Chinese and Japanese data boosts sentiment
- US stock futures flat at record highs
- Lloyds prices TSB IPO well below book value

techMARK 2,850.52 -0.04%
FTSE 100 6,870.36 +0.18%
FTSE 250 16,191.67 -0.25%

Upbeat economic data from across the globe and record highs on Wall Street gave UK stocks a boost on Monday morning as the FTSE 100 neared the cyclical multi-year highs reached last month.

London's benchmark index was trading 0.2% higher at 6,870 by midday as strong gains from the construction and mining sector provided a lift. The FTSE 100 was just a handful of points away from the 14-year closing high of 6,878.49 reached on May 14th.

Across the Pond, US stock futures were pointing to a flat start today after the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 hit all-time highs on Friday. That followed data which showed that US non-farm payrolls increased by 217,000, taking employment back to its pre-recession peak.

The strong finish Stateside and a buoyant session for Asian stocks overnight "indicate that the rally still has some more legs in it", according to Jonathan Sudaria, a dealer at Capital Spreads. "It's a reasonably quiet week on the economic calendar front so there's little for traders to get apprehensive about and play it cautious so we could see the bulls stampede," Sudaria said, adding that "the top is probably still some way off".

Data released this weekend showed that China's trade surplus doubled in May to $35.9bn, helped by an impressive 7% year-on-year increase in exports, better than estimates. While import growth was still weak, analysts said that the figures could possibly take some pressure off of authorities in Beijing to prop up economic activity.

Over in Japan, consumer confidence improved in May for the first time in 2014. An increase in consumer confidence - albeit still at depressed levels - suggests that the negative impact from an increase in the national sales tax may not be as bad as feared. Meanwhile, Japanese gross domestic product was revised higher to show annualised growth of 6.7% in the first quarter, up from the initial estimate of 5.9% that had already beaten analysts' estimates.

Closer to home, Lloyds Bank´s latest UK consumer confidence barometer showed that the net balance of people anticipating an increase in interest rates over the next 12 months rose by seven points to 59% in May, the highest reading since June 2011.

Construction stocks, miners rise

Housebuilders were rising strongly, just days after the government announced measures to boost housing supply in the UK amid rampant house-price inflation. Crest Nicholson (LSE: CRST.L - news) , Barratt Developments (LSE: BDEV.L - news) and Persimmon (Frankfurt: OHP.F - news) were all making decent gains.

Mining (LSE: MIR.L - news) stocks were inching higher this morning as investors reacted to the solid data out from top metals consumer China. Fresnillo (Other OTC: FNLPF - news) and Randgold were among the best performers as precious metal prices increased.

Supermarket rivals Wm Morrison and Tesco (Xetra: TCO.DE - news) were on the rise this morning as both stocks rebounded after some heavy falls last week.

Financials, however, were weak with Lloyds Banking Group leading the decline after confirming an offer price of 220p-290p for its 25% stake in TSB. At the mid-point of the price range, TSB's market capitalisation would be approximately £1.275bn, well below book value of £1.6bn.

Other financial stocks such as St James's Place, Aviva (Other OTC: AIVAF - news) and Aberdeen Asset Management (Other OTC: ABDNF - news) were all trading lower.

Panmure Gordon has cut its rating for temporary power and temperature control services firm Aggreko (LSE: AGK.L - news) from 'buy' to 'hold', causing shares to fall this morning. The stock's valuation - trading at 20.2 times 2014 estimated earnings - "looks up with events to us given the limited extent of earnings per share growth", the broker said.

Support services company Carillion (Other OTC: CIOIF - news) was in demand after its 50/50 joint venture with Lafarge Tarmac was selected as one of the contractors on the Midlands Highway Alliance framework.


FTSE 100 - Risers
Barratt Developments (BDEV) 374.20p +2.07%
Johnson Matthey (LSE: JMAT.L - news) (JMAT) 3,326.00p +1.71%
Capita (Frankfurt: A0MZ15 - news) (CPI (Other OTC: CPICQ - news) ) 1,146.00p +1.42%
Persimmon (PSN) 1,314.00p +1.39%
ARM Holdings (LSE: ARM.L - news) (ARM) 907.50p +1.17%
Tesco (Frankfurt: TS3.F - news) (TSCO) 293.90p +1.15%
Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS (LSE: RBS.L - news) ) 342.40p +1.12%
SSE (Berlin: SCT.BE - news) (SSE (LSE: SSE.L - news) ) 1,573.00p +1.09%
Morrison (Wm) Supermarkets (MRW) 195.10p +1.09%
Sports Direct International (Other OTC: SDISY - news) (SPD) 821.50p +1.05%

FTSE 100 - Fallers
Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY) 79.11p -1.30%
St James's Place (STJ) 816.50p -1.27%
Bunzl (Frankfurt: BUZ1.F - news) (BNZL) 1,671.00p -1.12%
Aberdeen Asset Management (ADN) 457.50p -0.97%
Aviva (Berlin: GU8.BE - news) (AV.) 529.50p -0.84%
Rexam (Frankfurt: RXM1.F - news) (REX) 531.50p -0.84%
William Hill (Other OTC: WIMHF - news) (WMH) 348.70p -0.68%
National Grid (LSE: NG.L - news) (NG.) 843.00p -0.65%
Hargreaves Lansdown (LSE: HL.L - news) (HL.) 1,291.00p -0.62%
Standard Life (LSE: SL.L - news) (SL.) 397.60p -0.62%

FTSE 250 - Risers
Crest Nicholson Holdings (CRST) 345.00p +3.05%
JD Sports Fashion (LSE: JD.L - news) (JD.) 1,689.00p +2.74%
African Barrick Gold (LSE: ABG.L - news) (ABG) 221.00p +2.41%
Evraz (LSE: EVR.L - news) (EVR) 102.50p +2.40%
Home Retail Group (Frankfurt: PZR.F - news) (HOME) 198.40p +2.27%
Ferrexpo (Frankfurt: FEX.F - news) (FXPO) 139.60p +1.90%
Taylor Wimpey (LSE: TW.L - news) (TW.) 113.70p +1.61%
Brown (N.) Group (BWNG) 464.00p +1.53%
COLT Group SA (COLT) 146.70p +1.52%
Tullett Prebon (LSE: TLPR.L - news) (TLPR) 284.90p +1.42%

FTSE 250 - Fallers
Fidessa Group (LSE: FDSA.L - news) (FDSA) 2,360.00p -2.20%
Spectris (SXS) 2,341.00p -2.17%
International Personal Finance (LSE: IPF.L - news) (IPF) 618.50p -2.06%
Barr (A.G.) (BAG) 633.00p -1.94%
Savills (Other OTC: SVLPF - news) (SVS) 635.00p -1.93%
IP Group (LSE: IPO.L - news) (IPO) 177.20p -1.88%
Daejan Holdings (LSE: DJAN.L - news) (DJAN) 4,899.00p -1.82%
Paragon Group Of Companies (PAG) 376.40p -1.80%
Go-Ahead Group (GOG) 2,253.00p -1.62%
Moneysupermarket.com Group (MONY) 179.80p -1.59%

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