London close: Stocks stage late rally but sentiment still fragile



LONDON (ShareCast) - - Greece granted two more years to meet target
- German sentiment worsens in November (Xetra: A0Z24E - news)
- ITV (Xetra: A0BLQP - news) soars nine per cent after third-quarter figures

A positive start on Wall Street prompted a rally for equity markets this side of the Atlantic (Frankfurt: 640218.F - news) on Tuesday afternoon, as investors temporarily shrugged off concerns about the impending 'fiscal cliff', the ongoing Greek debt crisis and a disappointing reading of German sentiment.

Nevertheless, financial trader David White from Spreadex said this afternoon: "The mood in the market can once again be described as fearful and concerned, as investors have spent most of the day raising cash in line with fragile sentiment."

After a Eurogroup meeting yesterday, Chairman Jean-Claude Juncker stated that Greece's deadline to bring debt down to 120% of gross domestic product by 2020 would be extended to 2022. However, the decision to give the go-ahead on the next €31.5bn of aid was postponed until another meeting next week, just as a €5bn bond repayment is due this Friday.

International Monetary Fund (IMF (Other OTC: IMFAF.PK - news) ) Managing Director Christine Lagarde openly showed her disapproval and said that the two organisations obviously had "different views" on the timetable that the Hellenic Republic needs to complete.

Economic data from Germany dampened the mood further this morning, after the Germany ZEW economic sentiment index worsened to -15.7 in November, from -11.5 the month before. Analysts were expected a slight improvement to -10.0. ZEW President Wolfgang Franz said: "Prevailing recessionary developments in the Eurozone impact the German economy via foreign trade and a lack of confidence. This is likely to be a burden for economic growth in Germany during the next six months".

In domestic news, the UK consumer prices index (CPI (Berlin: CEJ.BE - news) ) measure of annual inflation came in at 2.7% in October, up from 2.2% in September, according to the Office for National Statistics. This rise was considerably stronger than anticipated by analysts, who had pencilled in 2.4%. The ONS also said that producer price index (PPI) was flat in October at an annualised 2.5%, in line with expectations.

There was also news that China is "actively studying" the expansion of the property tax programme on concerns that transaction volumes and home prices could increase "substantially", according to the Minister of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, Jiang Weixin.

FTSE 100 (FTSE Index: EO100.FGI - news) movers: ITV soars after third-quarter report

Shares in terrestrial broadcaster ITV surged today after a well-received third-quarter statement. Group revenues of £1,573m were broadly in line with expectations despite weaker-than-expected ad revenues, but analysts were impressed with better-than-forecast Studios profitability and cost savings. Credit Suisse (NYSEArca: CSMA - news) this morning raised its target price for the stock from 100p to 110p and reiterated its 'outperform' rating.

Banking giant Lloyds was continuing to rise following a strong set of results last week and an upbeat note from UBS (NYSEArca: DJCI - news) yesterday, which raised its target price from 44p to 46p, saying that the bank's third-quarter results showed "solid progress and improving momentum".

Continuing delays on Anglo American (LSE: AAL.L - news) 's Minas-Rio iron ore project in Brazil are likely to push up the cost of the project more than the market had been expecting, causing shares to drop. Sector peer BHP Billiton (NZSE: BHP.NZ - news) edged higher after saying that it is selling its diamonds business to Canadian miner Harry Winston for $500m in cash.

British Gas owner Centrica (Xetra: A0DK6K - news) was out of favour on claims that it had a hand in the manipulation of wholesale gas prices, something that was vigorously denied by the firm.

Telecoms giant Vodafone (LSE: VOD.L - news) fell after plunging into the red after being hit by a huge £5.9bn impairment charge during the half year ended September 30th, related to its operations in Spain and Italy.

Outsourcing giant Capita was also a heavy faller despite saying it is confident it will deliver 3% organic growth for the year and an improved cash conversion rate for 2012 as compared to 2011. Panmure Gordon said this morning that the stock's premium valuation (compared with the sector) is "too rich".

Building materials giant CRH (Xetra: 558474.DE - news) rose despite scaling back its earnings forecast this year on the back of ongoing weakness in Europe (Chicago Options: ^REURUSD - news) and Hurricane Sandy disrupting its operations in eastern America.

G4S (Other OTC: GFSZF.PK - news) gained on reports that fund manager Invesco Perpetual has increased its stake in the security giant from 11.3% to 12.22%.

FTSE 250 (FTSE: ^FTMC - news) : Talvivaara continues to gall

Nickel miner Talvivaara plummeted again today as market continue to speculate about the impact that last week's gypsum pond leakage at its project in Finland will have on production. According to media reports this afternoon, toxic amounts of nickel have been found at a nearby lake. The Finnish Environment Institute is reported to have said that concentrations now exceeding the level "regarded as harmful to organisms". Uranium concentration is also now thought to be a concern.

Bank note printer De La Rue (Other OTC: DELRF.PK - news) fell sharply after saying that while banknote print volumes were up 4.0% to 2.9bn notes in the six months ended September 29th, banknote paper volumes declined 15% to 4,500 tonnes.

Telecoms operator TalkTalk soared into the top spot after it said it is on track to return to revenue growth in the full year as half year revenue fell by two per cent to £828m.

Regneration specialist St Modwen was also rising after it was reported on Monday that construction on a housing estate it is developing has begun. The company has said that the first houses are expected to come on the market in December. digital entertainment fell after it was forced to confirm that its Chief Executive Officer, Norbert Teufelberger, has agreed to attend an interview with the Belgium authorities. It was reported earlier on Tuesday that the CEO was detained by police during the Responsible Gaming Day conference in Brussels, although naturally the company gave no information regarding this.

FTSE 100 - Risers
ITV (ITV) 94.60p +8.99%
Lloyds Banking Group (LSE: LLOY.L - news) (LLOY) 46.52p +3.07%
Meggitt (Xetra: 395760.DE - news) (MGGT) 374.10p +2.16%
Prudential (SES: K6S.SI - news) (PRU) 865.50p +1.94%
Whitbread (Berlin: WHF4.BE - news) (WTB) 2,434.00p +1.71%
Bunzl (EUREX: BNZF.EX - news) (BNZL) 1,030.00p +1.48%
Compass Group (Other OTC: CMPGF.PK - news) (CPG) 700.00p +1.38%
Associated British Foods (Dusseldorf: 719064.DU - news) (ABF) 1,404.00p +1.37%
BT Group (LSE: BT-A.L - news) (BT.A) 227.90p +1.33%
Aviva (EUREX: AVF.EX - news) (AV.) 332.50p +1.28%

FTSE 100 - Fallers
Anglo American (AAL) 1,770.00p -3.15%
Centrica (CNA) 310.80p -2.75%
Vodafone Group (VOD) 162.50p -2.46%
Polymetal International (POLY) 1,125.00p -2.09%
Carnival (LSE: CCL.L - news) (CCL) 2,502.00p -1.65%
Burberry Group (Xetra: 691197 - news) (BRBY) 1,231.00p -1.28%
Vedanta Resources (LSE: VED.L - news) (VED) 1,090.00p -1.18%
Tesco (Dusseldorf: 408910.DU - news) (TSCO) 321.00p -1.15%
Evraz (EVR) 233.80p -1.14%
Serco Group (Dusseldorf: 405031.DU - news) (SRP) 545.00p -1.09%

FTSE 250 - Risers
TalkTalk Telecom Group (TALK) 221.00p +18.44%
Diploma (LSE: DPLM.L - news) (DPLM) 453.70p +4.27%
St. Modwen Properties (SMP) 209.10p +4.03%
Perform Group (PER) 409.90p +3.33%
IP Group (Berlin: IOOA.BE - news) (IPO) 110.00p +3.29%
Petra Diamonds Ltd.(DI) (PDL) 102.00p +2.67%
TUI Travel (Other OTC: TTVLF.PK - news) (TT.) 254.50p +2.37%
Euromoney Institutional Investor (ERM) 797.00p +2.18%
Brewin Dolphin Holdings (BRW) 181.80p +2.13%
Savills (LSE: SVS.L - news) (SVS) 411.60p +2.08%

FTSE 250 - Fallers
Talvivaara Mining Company (TALV) 83.40p -12.90%
De La Rue (DLAR) 1,006.00p -5.45%
Ultra Electronics Holdings (ULE) 1,530.00p -4.79%
JD Sports Fashion (Xetra: 903386 - news) (JD.) 701.00p -4.69% Digital Entertainment (BPTY) 113.30p -4.15%
SDL (LSE: SDL.L - news) (SDL) 510.50p -4.04%
FirstGroup (LSE: FGP.L - news) (FGP) 181.00p -3.98%
Chemring Group (CHG) 223.90p -3.78%
Kentz Corporation Ltd. (KENZ) 374.00p -3.33%
Interserve (Berlin: I5S.BE - news) (IRV) 363.20p -3.17%