The FTSE 100 is projected to rise 0.2% in early trade following yesterday’s rally, which saw the UK’s blue chip index advance 1%.
Yesterday’s UK CPI (Consumer Price Index) update revealed an annualised rate of 3.4%, far ahead of the government’s 2% target for the year.
Associated British Foods took the lead in the index, rallying 6% after its interim results beat forecasts. Royal Bank of Scotland (LSE: RBS) and beverage group SABMiller (LSE: SAB), which updated investors on its trading performance, followed with gains of 4.5%. Cairn Energy (LSE: CNE) gained 3.2%, temporary power provider Aggreko (LSE: AGK) and energy company Centrica (LSE: CNA) added 3% and part-nationalised bank Lloyds (LSE: LLOY), insurer Legal & General (LSE: LGEN) and oil and gas engineering group Amec (LSE: AMEC) tacked on more than 2.5%.
Retailer Tesco (LSE: TSCO) slid to the bottom of the pile with a 1.5% loss after reporting its final results. No other FTSE 100 constituent lost more than 1%. Telecom group Cable & Wireless Worldwide (LSE: CW) was down 1%, while fashion house Burberry (LSE: BRBY) lost 0.9% after updating the market on its trading performance in the second half.
US stocks closed with gains on Tuesday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.2%, while the broader S&P 500 index advanced 0.8%, as did the technology heavy NASDAQ composite.
Asian markets were in buying mode today. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 0.1%, China’s Shanghai Composite Index rallied 1.4%, Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 and South Korea’s KOSPI both surged 1.7% and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 added 0.6%.
Oil prices were higher this morning. June Brent Crude rose to US$85.58/barrel, while US light, sweet crude improved to US$84.47/barrel.
Precious metals also advanced. Gold climbed to US$1,145/oz, while silver and platinum reached US$17.97/oz and US$1,731/oz respectively.
Base metals followed. Copper and zinc rose to US$3.52/lb and US$1.09/lb, while nickel held steady at US$12.13/lb.
Today’s UK data will include interest rate minutes from Bank of England and unemployment data.
Aggreko (LSE: AGK), defence and aerospace systems manufacturer BAE Systems (LSE: BA), base metal miners Kazakhmys (LSE: KAZ) and Xstrata (LSE: XTA), oil and gas engineering firm Petrofac (LSE: PFC) and medical devices manufacturer Smith & Nephew (LSE: SN) will lose their dividend attractions.