The UK stock market inched higher than yesterday, registering decent gains today reaching 6,214.88, rising 0.28% as better-than-expected economic data from Europe and China, coupled with US lawmakers’ decision to suspend the government’s borrowing limit, eliminated the fear caused by Apple’s disappointing earnings.
This morning, investors felt lost at the UK stock market as tech giant Apple surprisingly missed revenue and profit forecasts in its first quarter of fiscal year. But by mid-day, the UK stocks did better with the release of Chinese HSBC flash manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) which rose to a two-year high of 51.9 in January, from 51.5 the month before. Analysts were expecting a figure of 51.7.
The UK stock market was further boosted by Eurozone composite PMI came in at 48.2, from 47.2 in December. While the figure still indicates contraction, it exceeded the predicted level of 47.5. Mining firms Anglo American, BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto were soaring this morning after improved Chinese data. Bank of America Meriill Lynch lifted Randgold stocks to ‘buy’. Apple’s disappointing results took down chip producer ARM Holdings’ stocks.
Utilities stocks experienced series of broker upgrades. Centrica stocks rose as brokers raised its ratings to ‘overweight’, while Severn Trent and United Utilities edged marginally higher with a ‘neutral’ rating. Banking stocks lost out in today’s stock market as Barclays reported 70 job losses in Asian investment wing in a major system overhaul. Lloyds was also in the red after announcing that 940 job cuts would take effect across most departments.
The top ten gainers in the UK stock market today are Croda International (lon:CRDA) 2,432.00p +3.14%, CRH (lon:CRH) 1,311.00p +2.90%, Vodafone Group (lon:VOD) 167.80p +2.66%, Polymetal International (lon:POLY) 1,087.00p +2.64%, Severn Trent (lon:SVT) 1,635.00p +1.93%, United Utilities Group (lon:UU.) 731.00p +1.88%, International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (lon:IAG) 211.60p +1.58%, WPP (lon:WPP) 969.50p +1.31%, Wolseley (lon:WOS) 2,928.00p +1.10%, and Rio Tinto (lon:RIO) 3,536.00p +1.00%.
The top ten losers in the UK stock market today are Aggreko (lon:AGK) 1,780.00p -2.14%, British Sky Broadcasting Group (lon:BSY) 788.50p -1.44%, Eurasian Natural Resources Corp. (lon:ENRC) 336.60p -1.32%, Evraz (lon:EVR) 305.00p -1.26%, Burberry Group (lon:BRBY) 1,353.00p -1.17%, BAE Systems (lon:BA.) 338.20p -1.05%, Wood Group (John) (lon:WG.) 827.00p -1.02%, Marks & Spencer Group (lon:MKS) 375.30p -1.00%, BT Group (lon:BT.A) 248.40p -0.92%, and Tullow Oil (lon:TLW) 1,184.00p -0.92%.