A swathe of better than expected corporate quarterly earnings results announced in the US today push...
A swathe of better than expected corporate quarterly earnings results announced in the US today pushed stock markets up on both sides of the Atlantic, including the FTSE 100 index, which gained more than 4.5% to close the day up 198.7 points at 4,130.30.
It was the first time in a month that the index moved above the key 4,000 level, and was driven by investors piling into stocks across the board, with just five stocks registering share price losses.
Invensys led the charge as key customer SKF, the world's biggest ball-bearing maker, said it saw better than expected demand.
Invensys shares jumped 8p to 64.5p as analysts forecast an increase in orders for its factory automation products.
Amvescap led the financials up, gaining 40p to 334p as insurance and bank stocks rallied across Europe.
Royal Bank of Scotland sold $750m worth of debt, resulting in a 150p gain to £15.15.
And Abbey National jumped 67p to 685p after it rebuffed another, higher, bid offer from Bank of Ireland.
Vodafone managed to move above the £1 level, gaining 7p to 101p.
BP gained 25p to 448p and Shell gained 23.5p to 422.5p.
BAE Systems jumped 6.25p to 208.25p on news that its part owned subsidiary Saab is now forecast to report better than expected third quarter earnings.
Among the losers today were British American Tobacco and Imperial Tobacco, whose yield growth will fall relative to other FTSE 100 stocks as company profits improve in other sectors.
The stocks lost 1.5p to 636p and 14p to 999p respectively.
UK mid-cap stocks also performed strongly, with the FTSE 250 index up 135.1 points to 4,307.5 by the close.
Matalan jumped nearly 14% or 20p to 165p, while Colt Telecom, another stock under pressure recently, gained 3.25p to 31.25p.
However, it was not a good day for Arm, which lost 1.75p to 44.5p after reporting a fall in quarterly earnings and forecast a tough 6 months ahead.
Shares in New York are storming ahead, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average breaking through the key 8,000 points level, currently up 277 points at 8,154 following a jump in earnings by US banking giant Citigroup.
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