The FTSE 100 managed to post its biggest monthly gain in five years by the end of business today, af...
The FTSE 100 managed to post its biggest monthly gain in five years by the end of business today, after oil and chemical firms reported another boost in profits.
Shell Transport & Trading, Europe's largest oil company by market value, rose 17.75p or 4.5% to 410.75p even though one of its divisions, Royal Dutch/Shell Group, reported third-quarter losses.
Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI) also beat analysts forecasts, pushing its share value up 23.25p or 10% to 251p and lifting the FTSE 100 to close up 37.00 points or 1% to 4039.70.
The benchmark index closed up 8.5% in October, and is the first monthly rise since March. Aviva saw the biggest gains of all this month, as its share price climbed 37%. Prudential and Legal & General were not far behind.
Housebuilders Bett Brothers and Country & Metropolitan appear to be doing well at the moment, as both firms report they should see an increase in profits.
Bett Brothers rose 22.5p or 5.7% to 416p as full-year profit leapt 63% - thanks to low interest rates while Country & Metropolitan says it should see pre-tax profits before costs of £4m Share rose 4p or 4.5% to 93.5p.
Liontrust Asset Management also had a good day and rose 15p, or 5.6 percent to 282.5p after reporting first-half net income rose 76% on the back of new business.
However, Hays suffering another 19% fall to 89.75p as its half-year pretax profit is expected to be around 15% lower than analysts predict.
Sportingbet, the internet sports company, also fell 14.5p or 24% to 45p after first-half losses widened, along with Vodafone which dropped 1.75p or 1.7% to 102.75p after being downgraded by Abn Amro.
In the US, stocks are struggling somewhat to keep afloat, as both the Dow and the Nasdaq hover around open of play.
The Dow has so far slipped 8.62 points or 0.1% to 8418.28 but the Nasdaq has moved a fraction or 0.1% to 1328.51 while the Standard & Poor's 500 has managed to do a little better and added 0.92 points to 891.63.
If trading continues as it is, the Dow will still close up 11% on the month, posting its biggest gain since January 1987.
However, the weak moves on two of the indices are the result of Labor Department figures, as analysts predicted earlier this week.
Initial claims for jobless benefits are said to have risen by 16,000 to 410,000 last week, compared with economists' projections of an increase of 11,000 to 400,000.
But it is Exxon Mobil and Shell Transport which have kept the S&P turning over, after Exxon reported Q3 profits of 44cents.
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