Markets: FTSE edges towards its all-time high
London enjoyed a late surge after James Bullard of the US Federal Reserve suggested that central banks should continue to buy company bonds.
Better-than-expected inflation figures in the UK also stoked hopes for further quantitative easing, sending the FTSE 100 index up 48.24 points or 0.7 per cent to close at 6,803.87.
But Alex Young, senior sales trader at CMC Markets, warned: “Markets are beginning to look a little over-extended and the potential for profit-taking to trigger a market correction has to be a consideration for even the most fervent bulls.”
House repairer Homeserve jumped 10.2 per cent or 23.2p to 250.2p after setting aside £2 million to pay a miss-selling fine expected to be levied by the Financial Conduct Authority, less than analysts had feared.
Polymetal International finished at the top of the FTSE risers’ board – up 8.4 per cent or 52p at 669p – after unveiling details of the exchange rate for its next dividend payment.
Carnival, the world’s largest cruise ship operator, headed in the opposite direction, with its shares sinking 5.9 per cent or 143p to 2,267p, after its second profit warning in three months.
Royal Bank of Scotland was another faller after analysts at Investec Securities reiterated their “sell” recommendation on the stock and warned the UK government that “it would be a shame to – once again – miss a key selling opportunity now”. RBS closed down 9.7p at 342.2p.
Outsourcing specialist Capita closed up 56p at 1,005p after landing a £1.2 billion contract to run mobile phone company O2’s call centres for ten years.
NEW YORK: Wall Street surged again last night, with the Dow and the S&P 500 at new all-time highs as comments from Fed officials eased some concerns that the central bank could start reducing its stimulus programme.
The Dow Jones industrial average gained 52.30 points, or 0.35 per cent, to end at 15,387.58 while the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index added 2.87 points, or 0.17 per cent, to finish at 1,669.16. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 5.69 points, or 0.16 per cent, to close at 3,502.12.