LONDON (ShareCast) - 1630:Close The Footsie closed higher on Thursday, SAB Miller rose into the top spot after it managed to beat analysts' forecasts for the first half as it hiked its interim dividend by 12 per cent. In economic news, the latest purchasing managers' surveys from Markit showed that the Eurozone is heading for its weakest quarter since the height of the financial crisis in 2009. Meanwhile, back home, it was revealed that UK manufacturers expect to reduce output over the next three months, according to November (Xetra: A0Z24E - news) data out from the CBI. Never the less, it must be stressed that the gauge for export orders seems to have encouraged economists a little bit. The FTSE 100 closed 39 points higher at 5,791.
1612: Johnson Matthey (EUREX: JMAF.EX - news) is one of the biggest risers today on the top share index, following yesterday's large fall. In that regard, technical analysts at Charles Stanley are highlighting the fact that it came on the back of the third biggest trading volumes for that company's shares in the last three years. Furthermore, they interpret the fact that it was able to close "well above the lows of the session, at 2,150p," as proof that there is plenty of interest at those lower levels. For that reason they conclude that: "while the next area of likely support is at the July closing low, at 2,081p, it is by no means certain that the shares are going to be heading down there in the near term and upside today will reinforce the impression that 2,150p is the low for now." FTSE 100 (FTSE Index: EO100.FGI - news) up 42 to 5,794.
1434: AIM listed miner Leyshon Resources (Berlin: LR7.BE - news) has just announced the suspension of its shares on the Australian Stock Exchange pending an announcement related to drilling results. The China-focused gas explorer has acreage in one of the country's largest unconventional gas basins. Its (Euronext: ALITS.NX - news) shares are now up by 85.84 per cent. FTSE 100 up 35 to 5,787.
1430: Greek long-term bonds again higher today, this time on buy back hopes, with yields at one month lows.
1341: The sharp depreciation of the yen is consistent with the failure of short-term government bond yields in the US, Germany and Japan (EUREX: FMJP.EX - news) to hit new lows. In addition, heavy volume on Monday marked the low in the popular high yield corporate bond ETF (HYG), an event that has tended to coincide with prior equity market lows, write analysts at Bank of Merrill Lynch (NYSE: MER - news) today. Nevertheless, the US fiscal cliff "kabuki", as traditional Japanese theatre is known, is only in its first act, they add. FTSE 100 up 37 to 5,789.
1217: The European Union has just granted conditional approval to the merger of Xstrata (Other OTC: XSRAF.PK - news) and Glencore. FTSE 100 up 33 to 5,785.
1100: The Confederation of British Industry's total orders index for the month of November has come in at -21, versus -23 for the previous month (Consensus: -20). This was Barclays Research's take on the data; "We expect output to slide further in quarter four, owing to the lacklustre domestic and European outlook. The November CBI survey supports this view: while the survey can be very volatile on a month-to-month basis, the broad picture of weakening activity in recent months is supported by other evidence, such as the manufacturing PMI survey . However, today's stronger-than-expected 'flash' euro area manufacturing PMI suggests that the broader European picture may be stabilising. This strengthens the hope that the UK manufacturing sector will bottom out in the fourth quarter. FTSE 100 up 34 to 5,786.
1000: "We do not believe Mothercare (LSE: MTC.L - news) is an easy fix and brand repositions tend to take longer than expected. It will be difficult to make Mothercare relevant again for the modern mother as it has strong competition from Amazon and the supermarkets. We maintain our Sell recommendation and target price of 200p," say analysts at Seymour Pierce. For their part technical analysts at Digital Look point out how the company's shares are nearing resistance levels, on overbought readings and with so-called "bearish divergences" in its relative strength indicators which may foreshadow declines. FTSE 100 up 24 to 5,776.
0949 The Bank of England's Martin Weale is being cited as having said that he would consider adding to quantitative easing were he to consider it to be non-inflationary. Interestingly perhaps, he believes that a weaker Sterling would help in rebalancing the economy. FTSE 100 up 22 to 5,774.
0947 The Spanish Treasury has this morning auctioned 3.88bn euros in medium and long-term debt, ahead of the 3.5bn euros it was aiming for. As well, the Treasury has confirmed that it has conducted a private placement of 3.28bn euros in 5 year debt.
0919: Shares in Johnson Matthey (+2.69 per cent) are rebounding this morning following a 5.8 per cent drop yesterday. Credit Suisse (NYSEArca: CSMA - news) is providing a lift after upgrading its rating for the stock from 'neutral' to 'outperform', saying: 'We think the short-term negatives have now been flagged and are in the share price. Mid-term, we forecast good growth, and believe the shares are at a reasonable price'. The FTSE 100 is 23 points at 5,775.
0825: Equities in London have begun the day modestly higher, following Wall Street's lead over night and in what can reasonably be expected to be rather lazy trading conditions given that US markets will be closed today in observance of the Thanksgiving Day holiday. For that same reason, this morning many traders in the City are likely absent from their desks as well. As a group, miners are seeing the strongest bids at the start of trading. That on the back of data showing the best reading for China's manufacturing sector in thirteen months. The best performers on the top share index however are SAB Miller. The brewer has reported a 12 per cent rise in first half profit to 2.28bn dollars, ahead of expectations. Out on the FTSE 350, the FT writes this morning on how Man Group (LSE: EMG.L - news) has moved 1.5bn dollars of its main computerised fund AHL into a new portfolio. Analysts at Barclays (LSE: BARC.L - news) have upped their view on EasyJet (Other OTC: EJETF.PK - news) to Equalweight from Underweight. On the geopolitical front, everyone will be watching to see if yesterday's truce in Gaza actually sticks. EU budget negotiations will also be closely followed. FTSE 100 up 22 to 5,774.