LONDON (ShareCast) - - Chinese GDP beats forecasts
- Moody's downgrades Italian rating
- US stock futures edge higher on China
European markets were trading broadly higher and US stock futures were pointing to a positive start by Friday lunchtime after Chinese economic growth data came in better than expectations.
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.
"This has been met with relief in the markets. There were concerns that the fall may have been larger due to the scale of the slowdown in the Euro zone in recent months" said analyst Craig Erlam from Alpari.
Moodys has 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.
In domestic news, the total volume of UK construction output in May 2012 is estimated to have been 6.3% below year-ago levels in non-seasonally adjusted terms, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
FTSE 100: Burberry and the miners provide a lift
Mining peers Polymetal, Kazakhmys, ENRC and Antofagasta were registering decent gains as metals prices firmed on the improved outlook for China. 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 decline despite group revenue in the three months to the end of June (first quarter) increasing by 14% on a constant currency basis, with Latin America continuing to be the engine of growth.
Security firm G4S extended yesterday's losses on the news that it had encountered delays in training security staff for the Olympics, meaning that the army has had to step in to provide extra troops. According to Home Secretary Theresa May last night, G4S faces penalties for breaching its contract.
FTSE 250: Electrocomponents leads the rise
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.
Booker Group was a heavy faller after Shore Capital downgraded the stock to 'sell'.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Polymetal International (POLY) 857.00p +4.38%
ITV (ITV) 74.90p +3.67%
Burberry Group (BRBY) 1,196.00p +3.28%
BT Group (BT.A) 221.50p +3.17%
Kazakhmys (KAZ) 720.00p +2.64%
Reed Elsevier (REL) 531.00p +2.61%
Eurasian Natural Resources Corp. (ENRC) 403.30p +2.46%
Amec (AMEC) 1,062.00p +2.41%
International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 158.20p +2.33%
Antofagasta (ANTO) 1,064.00p +2.31%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
G4S (GFS) 274.80p -2.90%
Experian (EXPN) 923.50p -2.89%
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) 1,486.00p -1.13%
SSE (SSE) 1,405.00p -1.06%
Tesco (TSCO) 313.50p -0.48%
United Utilities Group (UU.) 681.00p -0.37%
GKN (GKN) 208.10p -0.24%
Wolseley (WOS) 2,335.00p -0.21%
ICAP (IAP) 309.80p -0.03%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Avocet Mining (AVM) 67.95p +4.78%
Electrocomponents (ECM) 209.20p +4.76%
Petropavlovsk (POG) 443.80p +4.42%
UBM (UBM) 613.50p +4.16%
Centamin (DI) (CEY) 68.75p +3.93%
Kenmare Resources (KMR) 34.42p +3.83%
Aquarius Platinum Ltd. (AQP) 41.67p +3.61%
Ashtead Group (AHT) 259.40p +3.43%
International Personal Finance (IPF) 245.50p +3.41%
Aveva Group (AVV) 1,759.00p +3.11%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Booker Group (BOK) 88.65p -2.90%
New World Resources A Shares (NWR) 315.80p -1.86%
CSR (CSR) 219.00p -1.79%
Ruspetro (RPO) 131.70p -1.42%
Senior (SNR) 177.70p -1.22%
Dechra Pharmaceuticals (DPH) 494.40p -1.12%
Interserve (IRV) 330.80p -0.93%
Hays (HAS) 66.45p -0.89%
Daejan Holdings (DJAN) 2,870.00p -0.86%
Bumi (BUMI) 307.60p -0.77%