Markets: FTSE finds feet on solid data

Soothing remarks from central bankers on both sides of the Atlantic allowed traders to take economic news at face value yesterday and finally give the markets some bounce.

Signs of improved durable goods orders and consumer confidence in the US helped London’s FTSE 100 build gains and close 72.81 points or 1.2 per cent higher at 6,101.91.

William Nicholls at Capital Spreads said: “There is just a hint that the effects of QE speculation are fully priced in now, and that we can start to rely on proper economic data as the main market driver from here on out — but you can never be sure in these uncertain times.”

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Chip designer Arm Holdings was one of the healthier risers, as a broker upgrade from Investec added to goodwill created by signs US consumers were buying more gadgets. It was up 27.5p or 3.6 per cent at 786p.

Cruise ship operator Carnival also had the wind in its sails, floating to the top of the blue chip risers’ board after reporting better-than-expected second-quarter results. It gained more than 5 per cent, up 116p at 2,291p.

Figures from the British Bankers’ Association showing a further improvement in the mortgage market helped the recently promoted builders, with Persimmon adding 4.4 per cent at 1,136p. Builders’ merchant Travis Perkins, which also joined the top flight this month as the housing sector recovery took its value above that of struggling Asian miners, added 26p at 1,436p.

Consumer packaging firm Rexam was one of a handful of strugglers, down 2.5 per cent after reporting disappointing sales in South America and western Europe. Shares were off 11.4p at 453.7p as it warned that its full-year results are likely to be “modestly” below expectations.

NEW YORK: Last night saw US stocks rise mores teeply than in nearly two weeks after strong housing and durable goods data reassured investors worried about the Federal Reserve’s plans to wind down its economic stimulus.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 100.75 points or 0.69 per cent, to close at 14,760.31, the S&P 500 gained 14.94 points or 0.95 per cent, ending at 1,588.03, and the Nasdaq Composite added 27.13 points or 0.82 per cent, to finish on 3,347.89.