The UK stock market rose 20.39 points, or 0.48%, to 6,082.73 this morning, taking a cue from the previous close, led by banking and mining stocks, as the investors’ confidence rose with the US congress avoiding automatic deficit-reduction measures and acceding to a compromise budget.
Alcoa, the aluminium giant, reported fourth- quarter sales of $5.9bn (£3.6bn) and offered a positive outlook for 2013. Among banking stocks, Lloyds Banking Group rallied, up 5.37% as a result of upgrade from UBS in rating to “buy” from “neutral” along with an increase in target price by 60p.
Telecom giant Vodafone stocks also advanced 1.6% to 165p, following discussions regarding price war with Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia by Vodafone, Deutsche Telekom, France Telecom, Telecom Italia and Telefonica.
The UK stocks also saw drugmaker Shire stocks rise 1.5% to 1,993p after reporting a 10% increase in 2012 earnings. Meggit increased 3.6% to 424.1 pence, rising to its highest price since at least September 1988. Bank of America even rose its ratings for the provider of wheels and brakes for combat aircraft from ‘neutral’ to ‘buy’.
Insurance group Aviva slipped 2.4% to 372.7p after it announced the sale of its 19.4% stake in Delta Lloyd (DL) for 12.65 euros per share. J Sainsbury’s shares fell 3% to 329p after the supermarket chain reported its slowest sales growth in eight years.
Designer brand Ted Baker announced bumper Christmas sales, which was followed by Chairman Robert Breare’s confirmation that he will step down after more than 11 years in the role. Morgan Stanley downgraded British Sky Broadcasting from ‘buy’ to ‘neutral’.
The top ten gainers in the UK stock market this afternoon are Lloyds Banking Group 53.59p +5.37%, Meggitt 423.30p +3.37%, Wood Group (John) 773.00p +3.14%, Royal Bank of Scotland Group 346.40p +2.79%, Standard Chartered 1,648.00p +2.58%, Barclays 294.00p +2.37%, ARM Holdings 827.50p +2.35%, Amec 1,054.00p +2.13%, Shire Plc 2,000.00p +1.88%, and Vodafone Group 164.95p +1.57%.
The top ten losers in the UK stock market this afternoon are Aviva 372.70p -2.41%, Sainsbury (J) 331.50p -2.21%, Polymetal International 1,130.00p -1.48%, Weir Group 1,910.00p -1.39%, Imperial Tobacco Group 2,441.00p -1.29%, British Sky Broadcasting Group 782.50p -1.26%, Tesco 347.75p -1.07%, Next 3,885.00p -0.99%, IMI 1,099.00p -0.90%, and Anglo American 2,010.00p -0.89%.