The UK stock market rose marginally today after yesterday’s decline, by 0.05% at 6,342.64 as strong gains in the financial sectors was outweighed by heavy losses in the resources sector, resulting in a mixed trading atmosphere this morning. The preliminary estimate for fourth-quarter gross domestic product growth in the US is due in sometime, with analysts expecting the economy to have grown at an annualised rate of 1.1% in the final three months of 2012, well below the 3.1% growth in the third quarter.
Buoying the UK stocks this morning was the last night’s news that the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences had raised its forecasts for economic growth this year. The think-tank projected that the Chinese economy will grow at a 8.4% rate in 2013, above the initial 8.2% estimate. European energy engineering firms dropped over fears that industry earnings would be lower than expected. Petrofac, the oil field services group, fell heavily this morning. The news hit the industry on the whole after Saipem SpA, Europe’s largest energy engineering firm, cut its profit forecast.
Mining stocks were also trading on a negative note today. Antofagasta was a heavy faller as traders shrugged off strong production results in the fourth quarter and focused on comments made about higher copper product costs. Sector peer Polymetal was also lower even though it topped production guidance in 2012.
Contrarily, advertising firm WPP surged after Jefferies upgraded its rating for the stock from ‘hold’ to ‘buy’. Tobacco giant Imperial stocks plunged after announcement that its Finance Director is to retire. Oil giant BP rose after admitting to being guilty for its role in the Deepwater Horizone explosion and oil spill in 2010.
The top ten gainers in the UK stock market today are WPP (lon:WPP) 1,004.00p +2.71%, Prudential (PRU) 971.50p +1.67%, RSA Insurance Group (lon:RSA) 133.80p +1.67%, Sage Group (lon:SGE) 330.40p +1.66%, Bunzl (lon:BNZL) 1,122.00p +1.45%, Associated British Foods (lon:ABF) 1,758.00p +1.33%, ARM Holdings (lon:ARM) 880.50p +1.27%, Royal Bank of Scotland Group (lon:RBS) 350.10p +1.24%, Weir Group (lon:WEIR) 2,036.00p +1.19%, and BP (lon:BP.) 480.85p +1.09%.
The top ten losers in the UK stock market today are Antofagasta (lon:ANTO) 1,173.00p -8.00%, Petrofac Ltd. (lon:PFC) 1,637.00p -5.76%, Johnson Matthey (lon:JMAT) 2,280.00p -5.32%, Imperial Tobacco Group (lon:IMT) 2,346.00p -4.87%, Kazakhmys (lon:KAZ) 731.50p -4.57%, Aggreko (lon:AGK) 1,645.00p -3.29%, Polymetal International (lon:POLY) 1,084.00p -2.34%, Wood Group (John) (lon:WG.) 808.00p -1.88%, G4S (lon:GFS) 275.00p -1.75%, and Lloyds Banking Group (lon:LLOY) 51.28p -1.25%.