Markets ignore central bank caution

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The failure of either the European or UK central banks to offer new stimulus was not enough to stall the Footsie’s rally yesterday as traders concentrated on evidence of a gradually recovering global economy.

The FTSE 100 Index added 11.5 points to 6,439.2 as US employment figures offset the lack of action from central banks with evidence of building momentum in the world’s biggest economy.

Chris Beauchamp, market analyst at IG, said: “There are still plenty of people keen to point out the problems with the global economy, but perhaps it is time to suggest that the central banks have put the backstop in and that it’s time to move on from the persistent negativity. ”

Fund manager Schroders was on the blue chip risers’ board after saying that assets under its auspices reached record levels. It was up 50p per cent at 2,086p, while its results helped peer Aberdeen Asset Management add 3.5p at 435.4p.

Glasgow-based temporary power provider Aggreko was the stand-out performer, up 10.3 per cent at 1,939p as solid results and a strategy for the next five years helped it put last year’s profit warning behind it.

Engineer IMI was another results day riser as plans to sell its merchandising arm and buy back up to £175 million in shares over the next 12 months met with approval in the City. It added 4.5 per cent at 1,319p.

Outside the top flight, National Express fell sharply after New York-based hedge fund Elliott sold more than £100m worth of shares in the coach and bus operator. It will continue to manage a 9.9 per cent holding and stressed it maintained confidence in the company’s prospects. The sale at 210p caused the stock to fall 25.5p to 204.5p in the FTSE 250.

NEW YORK: Wall Street closed modestly higher last night, with the Dow hitting its third straight record on a pick-up in the US labour market’s recovery a day before the closely watched payrolls report.

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 33.25 points, or 0.23 per cent, to end at 14,329.49 while the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index was up 2.80 points, or 0.18 per cent, to finish at 1,544.26. The Nasdaq Composite Index closed up 9.72 points, or 0.30 per cent, at 3,232.09.