LONDON (ShareCast) - - Chinese GDP beats forecasts
- Moody's downgrades Italy
- Mining stocks gain on improved demand outlook
Burberry and the miners were performing well on Friday morning after growth data from China came in above expectations, easing concerns about a 'hard landing' for the world's second-largest economy.
Chinese gross domestic product (GDP) growth was 1.8% in the second quarter, according to the latest data published by the Chinese statistics bureau, slightly ahead of the consensus estimate of 1.7%. Compared with the same period last year, growth expanded by 7.6%, in line with forecasts.
"Despite the final figure coming in at 7.6%, as expected, may were pessimistic about the release and were prepared for a lower figure. The figure does confirm though that China has been pulled into the global slow down in the last quarter, with this being the slowest quarter of growth in more than three years," said analyst Craig Erlam from Alpari.
While benchmark indices in the UK, France and Germany advanced in early trading, markets in peripheral Eurozone nations were under the weather after Moodys downgraded Italys sovereign rating by two notches to Baa2 from A3. The ratings agency explained that the downgrade reflects the increased likelihood of a further sharp rise in Italys funding costs or the loss of market access due to increasingly fragile market confidence, contagion risk emanating from Greece and Spain, and signs of an eroding non-domestic investor base.
Greece may be moving in the right direction but International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Christine Lagarde said that the Hellenic Republic needs to start delivering on its promises. Implementation must happen, more than lip-service, she said.
Miners, Burberry lead the risers on the Footsie
Following steep falls the day before, mining stocks headed higher on Friday morning after better-than-expected Chinese growth saw an improvement in the outlook for demand. Vedanta Resources, Kazakhmys, Polymetal, Rio Tinto, Randgold Resources, BHP Billiton and Antofagasta were leading the FTSE 100 higher, while second-tier peers Centamin, Aquarius Platinum and Petropavlovsk also gained.
British luxury brand Burberry, a stock sensitive to the development in the Chinese economic outlook, a key growth market for the business, was also in demand.
Water supplier United Utilities was out of favour after Barclays Capital downgraded its rating on the stock to 'underweight', while energy and gas provider SSE was feeling the effects of a ratings cut by Citigroup to 'sell'.
Financial data group Experian advanced after group revenue in the three months to the end of June (first quarter) increased by 14% on a constant currency basis, with Latin America continuing to be the engine of growth.
FTSE 250 electronics and maintenance products distributor Electrocomponents was higher after saying that sales in the three months to the end of June were at a similar level to the previous financial year.
EMIS Group, the AIM-listed supplier of software to GPs and pharmacies, rose after revealing that trading for the half-year ended June 30th has been slightly ahead of expectations.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Burberry Group (BRBY) 1,195.00p +3.20%
Evraz (EVR) 250.40p +2.79%
ITV (ITV) 74.15p +2.63%
BT Group (BT.A) 219.00p +2.00%
Randgold Resources Ltd. (RRS) 5,815.00p +1.84%
Polymetal International (POLY) 836.00p +1.83%
Weir Group (WEIR) 1,516.00p +1.68%
British Sky Broadcasting Group (BSY) 699.00p +1.60%
Amec (AMEC) 1,053.00p +1.54%
CRH (CRH) 1,211.00p +1.51%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
G4S (GFS) 275.50p -2.65%
SSE (SSE) 1,385.00p -2.46%
Experian (EXPN) 935.50p -1.63%
United Utilities Group (UU.) 678.00p -0.80%
National Grid (NG.) 684.50p -0.65%
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) 1,494.00p -0.60%
Smiths Group (SMIN) 1,031.00p -0.58%
Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY) 30.02p -0.48%
Hargreaves Lansdown (HL.) 543.50p -0.37%
Severn Trent (SVT) 1,692.00p -0.35%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Electrocomponents (ECM) 205.50p +2.90%
UBM (UBM) 606.00p +2.89%
Dixons Retail (DXNS) 17.18p +2.26%
Man Group (EMG) 66.15p +2.16%
Soco International (SIA) 330.40p +2.01%
Hunting (HTG) 718.50p +1.99%
Aveva Group (AVV) 1,740.00p +1.99%
Tullett Prebon (TLPR) 273.70p +1.75%
SEGRO (SGRO) 234.60p +1.73%
Avocet Mining (AVM) 65.95p +1.70%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Booker Group (BOK) 87.70p -3.94%
Rank Group (RNK) 116.70p -2.75%
NMC Health (NMC) 195.10p -2.40%
Stobart Group Ltd. (STOB) 116.70p -1.93%
Rathbone Brothers (RAT) 1,344.00p -1.75%
Menzies(John) (MNZS) 588.00p -1.67%
New World Resources A Shares (NWR) 317.10p -1.46%
Perform Group (PER) 401.00p -1.21%
Ruspetro (RPO) 132.10p -1.12%
St James's Place (STJ) 325.00p -1.10%