LONDON (ShareCast) - 1630: Close The FTSE made modest gains on Tuesday, boosted in part by news that average UK house prices increased by 2.1 per cent over the year to November (Xetra: A0Z24E - news) 2012. Meanwhile, inflation was unchanged in December as rising gas and electricity bills were offset by air fares easing and a drop in petrol prices. Limiting gains, however, was a report which warned that Britain may be stripped of its AAA credit rating as national debt continues to soar through the roof. Anglo American (LSE: AAL.L - news) took a hit after the company controversially proposed to restructure the platinum mines owned by Anglo American Platinum (Amplats), in which it has a 78 per cent stake, sparking outrage from its unions. The FTSE closed up nine points at 6,117.
1544: South African Mineral Resources Minister Susan Shabangu on Tuesday said her department had been 'blindsided' by JSE-listed Anglo American Platinum's (Amplats') announcement that it would undertake a restructuring programme that would see 14,000 jobs lost. Shares of Anglo American are now the biggest percentage loser on the top share index. FTSE 100 (FTSE: ^FTSE - news) down 2 to 6,106.
1330: US retail sales grew at a 0.5 per cent month-on-month pace in December (Consensus: 0.2 per cent).
1241: SAP (NYSE: SAP - news) 's fourth quarter operating profit has come in just below analysts' forecasts.
1210: India's Yes Bank is in talks to buy the local retail and commercial operations of Royal Bank of Scotland Group, a source with direct knowledge of the matter said, according to Reuters. FTSE 100 up 3 to 6,111.
1048: Platinum-related stocks are surging in London after this morning's restructuring announcement by Amplats. Platinum prices are at a three-month high after the Anglo American subsidiary said it would cut production by 400,000 ounces per annum after putting four unsustainable, high-cost shafts at Rustenburg on long-term care and maintenance. Analyst Alison Turner from Panmure Gordon said this morning that the Amplats review is 'good' for the wider platinum sector. She's said: 'we now expect the market to move more rapidly to a larger and more sustained deficit position driving a sustained increase in the platinum price'. Platinum producers Lonmin (LSE: LMI.L - news) and Aquarius, along with platinum distributor Johnson Matthey (LSE: JMAT.L - news) , are registering impressive gains.
0953: The Spanish Treasury has just sold 5.7bn euros in 12 and 18 month bills, well ahead of the 5bn euros targeted.
0930: UK consumer prices rose by 2.7% year-on-year in December, the same as last month, as expected. Producer prices increased by 2.2 per cent in the same month, below forecasts for a gain of 2.4 per cent.
0904: ARM Holdings (LSE: ARM.L - news) is now leading falls on the top share index after analysts at Morgan Stanley (Xetra: 885836 - news) downgraded their recommendation to equalweight from overweight, although they have raised their price target to 911p from 725p all in the same breath. More specifically, they say that: "While 12 months ago investors were worried about ARM's position versus Intel, we believe the current share price implies a near perfect trajectory in ARM's market share and royalty rate for the next two years. As a result, we downgrade to equalweight and wait for a better entry point into what remains a great story." FTSE 100 down 4 to 6,103.
0845: "If a sector continues to outperform in January having outperformed in the previous year (i.e. no reversal), then 83 per cent of the time (in the last 3 years) it outperforms for the rest of the year," says Credit Suisse (NYSE: CRP - news) in a strategy note released this morning. Will be interesting to see if history repeats itself again this year, comment analysts at Digital Look.
0830: UK stocks have begun the day slightly lower, tracking the mixed close on Wall Street last night and small losses in Asian trading. Market commentary has US Fed chief Bernanke down as having provided little direction, although he did call for the nation's debt ceiling to be raised. At yesterday's unscheduled press conference President Obama does seem to have adopted a rather clear and hard stance against negotiating an increase in the debt ceiling however, saying that: "What I will not do is to have that negotiation with a gun at the head of the American people." Burberry is leading gains in early trading following a better than expected increase in its quarterly sales. ARM Holdings on the other hand is moving lower after having been taken off of Morgan Stanley's European Best ideas list. The UK house price balance rose to 0 in December, versus a reading of -9 for the previous month, according to the latest data released on Tuesday morning by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). The ONS publishes its consumer and producer price data for December at 9:30. FTSE 100 down 7 to 6,101.