London market recover their air of optimism in morning trade Wednesday, the benchmark FTSE 100 rising 43 points to 6,445 but attention will quickly turn to the US. Investors are likely to focus on the US Federal Open Market Committee's statement tonight, and whether it will extend quantitative easing or end it this month as planned.
Miners stud the blue-chip leader board, headed by Randgold Resources (RRS), its shares adding 1.9% to £40.53, while Antofagasta (ANTO) also nudges ahead, up 1% to 708p, as it confirms that it is on track to meet its full year guidance of 700,000 tonnes of copper, 270,000 ounces of gold and 7,500 tonnes of molybdenum.
Travel issues were to the fore again as investors once again scooped out profits on stocks they perceived as oversold. TUI Travel (TT.) is up 3.8% to 397.2p, while Carnival (CCL) adds 1.3% to £24.125.
But the biggest Footsie risers is Intertek (ITRK), which checks and tests products for health and safety compliance. Its shares jump 80p, or 3.1%, to £26.58, supported by the reiteration of bullish calls by analysts at US banks Citigroup and JP Morgan, which have ‘buy’ ratings on the stock and price targets in excess of £30.
High street clothing giant Next (NXT) cheapens another 3.1% (200p) to £62.35 after warning full-year profits will disappoint due to unseasonably warm weather, a possibility flagged last month (30 Sep). With colder weather failing to materialise in October, Next was unable to make up lost third quarter sales and with trading volatile, the retailer prudently pares fourth quarter expectations. For the year to January, the retailer downgrades its mid-range pre-tax profit forecast from £795 million to £770 million.
Life insurer and asset manager Standard Life (SL.) slips 1.3% to 379.9p on concerns weak investment returns could hit asset growth following a strong nine months to October. Assets under management jumped 34.8% to £290 billion, while fees increased 13% to £1 billion.
Branded cider and beer maker C&C (CCR) sours 7.26% to 3.45p as half-year results show lower operating profits due to disappointing cider sales in the US, England and Wales. The Bulmers, Magners and Woodchuck maker is unable to give operating profit guidance, given its recently rejected bid for pubs group Spirit Pub (SPRT).
Newspaper publisher Johnston Press (JPR) is up 2.5% to 3.75p as it confirms it is on track to meet expectations for 2014 and flags a 96% increase in its mobile audience to an average of 6.5 million monthly unique users.
The Serious Fraud Office launches criminal proceedings against former Tullett Prebon (TLPR) employee Noel Cryan in relation to manipulating the London Interbank Offer Rate (LIBOR). The stock opens virtually unchanged, down 0.5p at 273p.
The revelation of two significant shareholders leads to a sharp spike in bombed out Tangiers Petroleum (TPET:AIM). The shares are up 76.2% to 0.79p as it confirms Donald Jeffrey Smith, through his GFC Super Fund, bought 17.5 million shares as part of a 22 October A$1.2 million placing, increasing his stake to nearly 5% and Peninsula Investments added four million shares taking its holding to 3.1%.
Forum Energy (FEP:AIM) confirms unaudited revenues for the nine months to Sep of $6.1 million, versus $3.4 million a year ago, sparking a 20% share price jump to 35p.