Market overview: Goldman Sachs moves to buy on Barclays



LONDON (ShareCast) - 1141: Shares of Barclays (LSE: BARC.L - news) are leading gains on the Footsie (FTSE: ^FTSE - news) after analysts at Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS - news) raised their view on the shares of the lender to buy. They write that: "Against a backdrop of a new senior management team and ongoing regulatory pressure, Barclays may announce plans to restructure its operations at the group's Strategy Review (February 12, 2013). If Barclays delivers on a business plan to generate returns that match the group's cost of capital, the stock could offer sector-leading upside, on our analysis. Meanwhile, in the absence of such a plan, the stock should have some downside support (at 0.5 times estimated 2013 BVPS for a return on equity (ROE) of 8 per cent." FTSE 100 (FTSE Index: EO100.FGI - news) up 67 to 5,672.

1115: Shares in oil and gas engineering firm Lamprell (Berlin: L51.BE - news) continue their helper-skelter day, now up 18 per cent. The company has said it is now on track to get back into the black during 2013, guidance on to which the bulls have latched on to with apparent glee.

1101: Sage is facing internal restructuring at a time when the
industry is moving away from the desktop (an area of strength for Sage) to the cloud, which is an area of relative weakness. Despite those challenges, Sage trades on a premium to its five-year average, leaving the risks skewed to the downside, write analysts at Credit Suisse (NYSEArca: CSMA - news) this morning. They have placed an underperform rating on shares of Sage, along with a 278p target, which means that they see potential downside of 8 per cent. FTSE 100 up 58 to 5,664.

1037: Shares of oil services firm Lamprell are exhibiting considerable volatility. The company's stock initially moved lower by 10 per cent today after raising its loss estimate for this year, but has subsequently risen following positive remarks from analysts at Liberum Capital. The latter believe that the company's share price does not reflect the underlying value of its business and that the outfit has "competitive advantages" in many of its markets.

0921: Online grocer Ocado is leading gains on the FTSE 350 on short-covering after saying it has secured more time to pay off debts and that it will raise 35.8m pounds through a placing of shares. Lonmin (LSE: LMI.L - news) is following close behind on continuing optimism after shareholder Xstrata (Other OTC: XSRAF.PK - news) announced that it would take part in the firm's upcoming capital call. FTSE 100 up 59 to 5,664.

0936: Shares in outsourcing group Serco (Other OTC: SECCF.PK - news) and security firm G4S (Other OTC: GFSZF.PK - news) are in the red this morning, pressured lower by downgrades from Credit Suisse. The broker has cut its ratings for both stocks from 'outperform' to 'neutral'.

0911: The FTSE 100 has held on to gains and is trading 49 points higher at 5,654. The index finished just above 5,600 on Friday, its lowest closing price since July 26th when it ended the session at 5,573. Helping provide a lift on the index is banking group HSBC (LSE: HSBA.L - news) after this morning confirming press speculation that it is mulling a sale of its minority stake in Chinese insurance giant Ping An Insurance (Shanghai: 601318.SS - news) . Its (Euronext: ALITS.NX - news) 15.57 per cent stake in the firm is worth as estimated 9.5bn dollars. Meanwhile, Investec (EUREX: INVF.EX - news) has upgraded the shares to 'buy' this morning, saying that the stock will outperform sector peers Lloyds and RBS (LSE: RBS.L - news) . Oil titan BP is also a high riser on reports that it is considering a share repurchase programme of around four billion dollars after it banks the proceeds of the TNK-BP sale to Rosneft.

0841: Chinese house prices climbed in 35 of the 70 cities the government tracks, compared with 31 cities in September, according to data from the statistics bureau yesterday. Prices fell in 17 other metropoli. Meantime, and in Japan (EUREX: FMJP.EX - news) , the head of the country's Liberal Democratic Party, Shinzo Abe, last night said he would prefer the next Bank of Japan governor be someone who favours inflation targetting.

0831: Miners are the best performing group on the top share index at the moment, as UK equities track gains on Wall Street and in Asia over the weekend. That purportedly on the back of optimism that the US is making progress towards avoiding the fiscal cliff. Barclays and ARM Holdings (LSE: ARM.L - news) are also near the top of the leader board. Mediation efforts between Israel and Gaza Palestinians are said to be intensifying, with UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon heading to Egypt. Back in the UK, yesterday evening Bank of England policy maker David Miles indicated that "if it turns out that not enough has been done (...) there is more we can do. We have not run out of ammunition." In other news, UK home selling prices dropped by 2.6 per cent month-on-month in November (Xetra: A0Z24E - news) , to 236,761 pounds, Rightmove (Other OTC: RTMVF.PK - news) reports. The proportion of empty stores on UK high streets and in shopping centres was 11.3 per cent in October, the highest figure since the British Retail Consortium began tracking this data in July 2011 and 0.4 per cent worse than a year back. FTSE 100 bouncing back by 47 to 5,653.