Friday, November 9, 2012

Miners lead recovery by UK stocks, earnings mixed

* FTSE 100 index gains 0.4 percent

* Miners bounce back with copper price

* Real estate knocked by lacklustre Land Securities

* Supermarkets diverage after WM Morrison results

LONDON, Nov 8 (Reuters) - Britain's top shares moved higher

on Thursday after sharp falls in the previous session as

investors sought out some bargains, with earnings news mixed.

Miners led the bounce back after falling

sharply on Wednesday, helped by a recovery from two-month lows

by copper prices.

At 0912 GMT, the FTSE 100 index was up 22.01 points,

or 0.4 percent, at 5,813.64, having dropped 1.6 percent on

Wednesday as concerns over growth in Europe and the United

States swamped initial relief that the U.S. presidential

election had been settled quickly.

"You've had a bit of a run up in anticipation of the Obama

win, and now you've had a run down again. I think it's just part

and parcel of the volatility that's brought about by

uncertainty, and I think it's likely to continue over the next

few days," Michael Hewson, senior markets analyst at CMC

Markets, said.

Another big batch of mixed corporate earnings news provided

the main blue chip drivers, with almost 10 percent of the FTSE

100 index reporting results on Thursday.

Weakness in real estate stocks was the main drag. The sector

was weighed by falls from Land Securities, down 0.9

percent after lacklustre first-half results, with net asset

value per share up 0.1 percent.

Tate & Lyle was the biggest FTSE 100 faller, off

2.3 percent as the sweeteners and starches maker reported only a

slight rise in first-half earnings, reflecting the cost of

re-opening a factory and tough trading in Europe.

Volume in Tate was the biggest of the FTSE 100 stocks, at

almost 75 percent of its 90-day daily average in the first hour

of trading, with overall index volume at 12 percent.

Food retailer WM Morrison was also weak after its

latest results disappointed, shedding 1.4 percent.

Britain's No. 4 grocer said an underlying sales decline

worsened in its third quarter with the group missing out on the

growth of larger rivals.

Morrison's poor performance though gave a boost to its

rivals, with Tesco

percent, while J Sainsbury gained 0.4 percent.

"I think what's happening is that there's divergence

occurring in the sector; Tesco is doing better, Morrisons is

doing worse, and I think the recognition is that Tesco slowly

but surely is turning the UK supertanker around," said Philip

Dorgan, analyst at Panmure Gordon.

Meanwhile. well-received earnings news supported insurer

Aviva, fund manager Schroders, and publisher Reed

Elsevier, ahead 1.0 percent to 1.5 percent.

48 percent of European companies have so far missed

expectations in the current quarter, according to data from

Thomson Reuters Starmine, although analysts have raised their

expectations for the next quarter on average by 1 percent for

those companies that have reported.


Aside from the earnings flow, investors looked for direction

later on Thursday from the latest Bank of England (BoE) and

European Central Bank (ECB) rate-setting meetings.

The Bank of England is expected to make no change to

record-low interest rates or its current bond-buying

quantitative easing programme when the outcome of its latest

Monetary Policy Committee meeting is revealed at 1200 GMT.

Similarly, the European Central Bank is expected to keep its

monetary policy unchanged when the outcome of its latest Council

meeting is unveiled at 1245 GMT.

"While we see no changes from the central banks this time,

investors will still be keen to hear anything they have to say,

particularly from ECB boss Mario Draghi," said Andrew Crook,

senior trader at Sucden Financial Private Clients.

(Reporting by Jon Hopkins. Editing by Jeremy Gaunt.)


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