MORNING REPORT: Headline shares were modestly higher in early deals today, as buoyant US earnings provided encouragement, offsetting concerns over political uncertainty in Europe and upcoming UK GDP.
In early trade, the FTSE100 was up 11.67 points at 5,721.16 with the FTSE250 ahead 55.8 points at 11,328 and the FTSE Smallcaps 6.56 points better at 3,090.45.
US & ASIA
In the US last night, the Dow rose 74 points at 13,002, the Nasdaq fell 9 points at 2,962 and the S&P500 added 5 points at 1,372.
In Asia today, the Nikkei closed up 93 points at 9,561, while the Hang Seng was recently down 22 points at 20,655.
Markets across Europe opened positively this morning, taking a lead from buoyant US earnings and shrugging off concerns over political uncertainties in Holland and France. However, investors in London were cautious ahead of the latest UK GDP reading due to be published later this morning.
Banking issues made early progress, with Royal Bank of Scotland the best of them, ahead 0.35p at 23.65p. Lloyds added 0.39p at 30.74p and Barclays gained 2.43p at 213.43p.
Standard Life was the best of the insurers, rising 3.9p at 227.9p after reporting a better-than-expected rise in assets under administration to ¬£206.8bn in the first-quarter to end-March.
Elsewhere, Prudential added 4.75p at 742.25p and Aviva rose 2.8p at 314.4p.
Yesterday's rally in shares of hedge fund manager Man Group petered out, edging up a mere 0.05p at 97.05p.
The miners were generally higher, with Vedanta Resources the pick of the crop, up 27.5p at 1,202.5p. Rio Tinto climbed 23.75p at 3,438.75p and Anglo American added 21.5p at 2,329.5p.
However, Russian gold miner Polymetal International edged down 6.25p at 943.75p, despite reporting a jump in earnings in the year to December 2011.
Chip designer ARM Holdings topped the early leaderboard, rallying 16.75p at 528.25p, helped by upgrades from Jefferies International and Barclays Capital and news of soaring sales of Apple iPads.
Mall owner Capital Shopping Centres Group ticked up 0.65p at 325.95p, despite reporting a fall in occupancy levels and footfall in the year to date.
Other notable gainers included engineer IMI, up 14p at 993.5p, explorer Tullow Oil, ahead 24p at 1,506p, and product tester Intertek, 27.5p higher at 2,570.5p.
On the downside, pharmaceutical group GlaxoSmithKline edged down 1.25p at 1,456.25p ahead of interim results due out at midday.
Ex-dividend factors accounted for many of the fallers this morning, with British Gas owner Centrica down 11.4p at 311.1p, supermarket giant Tesco off 7.87p at 317.58p, and educational publisher Reed Elsevier, 15.25p lower at 510.75p.
SharePrice.com will do their best to ensure the quality of the information displayed on this site, but all information is provided as-is. We cannot be held responsible for any loss, material or otherwise, due to incorrect information found here. All share prices are provided by the London Stock Exchange, and are at least 15 minutes delayed.