The UK stock market moved up slightly this afternoon gaining gained 22.6 points, or 0.4%, to 6,087.18, recovering marginally from yesterday’s scant losses, as investors remain hopeful despite weaker than expected economic indicators from the Eurozone.
Vodafone stocks rose most in five months, pushing the UK stock indices higher, after reports emerged that Verizon Communications may buy Vodafone’s stake in Verizon Wireless. All eyes rest on Alcoa the aluminium giant which is to announce its latest quarterly results. It must be noted that the UK stocks are currently trading near so-called ‘oversold’ levels of 6,100.
Helping the UK stocks advance is the construction sector where heavy corporate activity is boosting construction stocks such as Bovis Homes, Barratt Developments and Berkeley Group. Banking giant Barclays continues its rally, trying to make up with sector peers for its under-performance last year. Insurance stocks fell heavily with Bank of America downgrading ratings of Standard Life, Legal & General and RSA Insurance.
Mining group Anglo American’s stocks rose after announcing the appointment of Mark Cutifani of AngloGold Ashanti as its CEO. Mark Cutifani will take charge from April with a pay packet worth around £2.38m, including salary and bonuses.
Shares of African Barrick Gold (ABG) plummetted after Canadian miner Barrick Gold abandoned plans to sell its majority stake in the London-listed company to a Chinese buyer. Despite posting a great run during Christmas, Debenhams stocks fell after the retailer said it expects gross margin for the year to be 10 basis points higher than last year rather than 20 basis points as previously guided. Tui Travel dropped 3.7% to 275.9p after Morgan Stanley downgraded its stock to ‘sell’ from ‘hold’.
The top ten gainers in the UK stock market this afternoon are Vodafone Group 163.70p +2.54%, Barclays 294.45p +2.52%, Anglo American 2,050.00p +2.47%, Resolution Ltd. 256.70p +2.31%, Carnival 2,451.00p +2.12%, Royal Bank of Scotland Group 340.70p +2.04%, Shire Plc 1,948.00p +1.78%, ARM Holdings 811.00p +1.44%, Petrofac Ltd. 1,675.00p +1.33%, and Sainsbury 336.00p +1.30%.
The top ten losers in the UK stock market this afternoon are TUI Travel 276.00p -3.70%, Tullow Oil 1,240.00p -2.44%, Whitbread 2,468.00p -1.79%, Antofagasta 1,300.00p -1.66%, Croda International 2,326.00p -1.36%, Tate & Lyle 783.00p -1.32%, Fresnillo 1,755.00p -1.13%, Kazakhmys 811.50p -0.98%, Marks & Spencer Group 368.70p -0.89%, and Babcock International Group 990.00p -0.75%.