The UK stock markets traded in negative today at 6,333.64, losing 0.07%, after a buoyant rise yesterday, as investors waited cautiously for Bank of England (BoE)’s announcement of its three-monthly inflation report. Although, Governor Sir Mervyn King reported that the output has been broadly flat for the last two years, he said that the UK economy is set for a recovery. The BoE report claimed that the UK economy is likely to see a recoevery in the next three years but GDP is likely to remain at pre-crisis level until 2015. The report also said that inflation is likely to stay above its 2.0% target until early 2016.
Oil and gas group Tullow Oil lead the stock market today after posting a 4.0% rise in annual pre-tax profits on the back for strong sales and output. Sector peers Shell and BP were lower. Mining stocks rose early on with ENRC, EVRAZ, Xstrata, Fresnillo and Rio Tinto painting a decent picture at the UK stock market today. Oilfield services group Petrofac was in demand after UBS lifted its ratings from ‘neutral’ to ‘buy’, saying that the company’s portfolio of projects “is profitable and the order intake momentum is strong and hence we upgrade the stock”.
Engineering group IMI was a heavy loser today after UBS downgraded its rating for the stock from ‘neutral’ to ‘sell’, on long-term issues concerning trend of organic growth and problems with the order book for the Severe Service division. Consumer goods company Reckitt Benckiser edged higher after posting better-than-expected sales in the fourth quarter, owing to performance in emerging markets and success in its Health and Hygiene divisions.
The top ten gainers in the UK stock market today are Tullow Oil (lon:TLW) 1,236.00p +4.75%, Eurasian Natural Resources Corp. (lon:ENRC) 413.50p +3.97%, CRH (lon:CRH) 1,400.00p +3.24%, Petrofac Ltd. (lon:PFC) 1,674.00p +3.21%, Xstrata (lon:XTA) 1,181.00p +2.25%, Glencore International (lon:GLEN) 392.90p +2.20%, Weir Group (lon:WEIR) 2,166.00p +1.93%, Fresnillo (lon:FRES) 1,687.00p +1.81%, Evraz (lon:EVR) 302.10p +1.75%, and Rio Tinto (lon:RIO) 3,733.50p +1.73%.
The top ten losers in the UK stock market today are AstraZeneca (lon:AZN) 2,940.50p -2.58%, Sage Group (lon:SGE) 335.20p -2.33%, Vodafone Group (lon:VOD) 170.40p -1.79%, BP (lon:BP.) 452.50p -1.64%, Royal Dutch Shell ‘B’ (lon:RDSB) 2,182.00p -1.49%, IMI (lon:IMI) 1,172.00p -1.43%, Lloyds Banking Group (lon:LLOY) 54.83p -1.12%, Royal Dutch Shell ‘A’ (lon:RDSA) 2,138.00p -1.11%, Carnival (lon:CCL) 2,599.00p -1.10%, and British American Tobacco (lon:BATS) 3,286.50p -1.05%.