The UK stock market gained 0.09% to reach 6,184.82 today, improving slightly on yesterday’s performance, displaying cautious ahead of key economic announcements, corporate earnings and an important speech by David Cameron. The highly anticipated Prime Minister’s speech on EU referendum did not move the investors as he committed his party to holding a referendum on whether the UK should remain in the EU by the end of 2017.
The UK stock market opened on a positive note after Google and IBM rising after posting better-than-expected fourth-quarter results. Markets will keep a close watch on results of McDonald’s and Apple. The UK stock market will also be watchful of the US House of Representatives vote on whether to extend the government’s debt ceiling until May 19. Meanwhile, the UK unemployment rate fell from 7.8% to 7.7% in the three months to November, better than the market estimation of no change.
Consumer products group Unilever was on the rise after double-digit growth in emerging markets helped push its turnover past the €50bn-mark in 2012. Revenue growth was 10.5% last year. Travel and leisure group TUI Travel was a heavy faller this morning after its Germany parent company TUI AG said it has no intention of making an offer. TUI Travel said last week that it had received an approach from TUI AG, which owns a 56.4% stake in the firm.
Utilities group SSE and contract caterer Compass were also in the red after going ex-dividend this morning. Diversified mining giant BHP Billiton rose after saying it expects to deliver a compound annual growth rate of 10% in copper equivalent terms over the next two years. Luxury brand Burberry fell after it was revealed that the President of its Asia Pacific division sold £410,040-worth of shares yesterday.
The top ten gainers in the UK stock market today are Unilever (lon:ULVR) 2,521.00p +2.86%, Tullow Oil (lon:TLW) 1,181.00p +2.25%, Evraz (lon:EVR) 312.70p +1.89%, Petrofac Ltd. (lon:PFC) 1,731.00p +1.82%, Intertek Group (lon:ITRK) 3,071.00p +1.76%, Randgold Resources Ltd. (lon:RRS) 6,115.00p +1.58%, Standard Chartered (lon:STAN) 1,662.00p +1.53%, Carnival (lon:CCL) 2,600.00p +1.44%, BHP Billiton (lon:BLT) 2,106.00p +1.20%, and Polymetal International (lon:POLY) 1,066.00p +1.04%.
The top ten losers in the UK stock market today are TUI Travel (lon:TT.) 279.80p -4.21%, SSE (lon:SSE) 1,399.00p -2.51%, ITV (lon:ITV) 112.90p -2.17%, Compass Group (lon:CPG) 743.50p -2.11%, Fresnillo (lon:FRES) 1,689.00p -2.09%, Burberry Group (lon:BRBY) 1,344.00p -1.61%, Old Mutual (lon:OML) 184.10p -1.34%, International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (lon:CDI) (IAG) 208.90p -1.28%, Lloyds Banking Group (lon:LLOY) 52.21p -1.15%, and British American Tobacco (lon:BATS) 3,189.00p -1.13%.