The UK stock market opened on a flat note today rising 0.08% to 6,269.08 but added 16.82 points, or 0.3%, to 6,280.75 at 9:31 am, registering moderate gains by mid-day, as euro-area finance ministers prepared to discuss a bailout for Cyprus.
While the Asian markets closed due to the Lunar new year holidays, the UK stock market was buoyed by industrial production figures from France, which showed that the industrial output declined by 0.1% in December, it was better than 0.2% decrease expected by analysts, in turn providing a boost to the markets in morning trade.
Tesco stocks rose 1% as Exane BNP Paribas SA raised its recommendation on the shares, pulling the target price up from 320p to 375p. Barclays advanced 1% after the lender may cut costs by £2 billion ($3.1 billion) which includes 2,000 job cuts in investment banking wing. Kofax tumbled 12% after lowering its guidance on 2013 sales and earnings. Miners EVRAZ, ENRC and Polymetal were among the highest risers this morning, barring Rio Tinto, which was in the red despite the Australian Competition Tribunal ruling that its Hamersley and Robe rail network should not be opened up to other users.
Rolls-Royce stocks were in demand after the power systems company announced that it has been awarded a contract worth nearly £100m from the US Air Force. British Land expanded its London portfolio with the purchase of many properties from Dutch group Weraldhave for £183.8m, including Ealing Broadway Shopping Centre, sending stocks soaring.
The top gainers in the UK stock market today are Evraz (lon:EVR) 293.00p +1.56%, Barclays (lon:BARC) 302.70p +1.37%, Eurasian Natural Resources Corp. (lon:ENRC) 382.40p +1.24%, Tesco (lon:TSCO) 365.85p +0.90%, British Sky Broadcasting Group (lon:BSY) 839.50p +0.78%, Polymetal International (lon:POLY) 1,058.00p +0.76%, Antofagasta (lon:ANTO) 1,139.00p +0.62%, Kazakhmys (lon:KAZ) 750.00p +0.60%, Resolution Ltd. (lon:RSL) 256.90p +0.59%, and Morrison (Wm) Supermarkets (lon:MRW) 251.50p +0.56%.
The top ten losers in the UK stock market today are ARM Holdings (lon:ARM) 894.00p -2.72%, Aggreko (lon:AGK) 1,563.00p -1.57%, International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (lon:IAG) 216.30p -1.01%, Tullow Oil (lon:TLW) 1,166.00p -0.85%, Wood Group (John) (lon:WG.) 811.50p -0.79%, IMI (lon:IMI) 1,188.00p -0.75%, Hammerson (lon:HMSO) 475.00p -0.71%, WPP (lon:WPP) 1,012.00p -0.69%, Sage Group (lon:SGE) 328.50p -0.64%, and Vedanta Resources (lon:VED) 1,264.00p -0.63%.