Analysts are finding it difficult to decide which stocks they should buy and sell this morning, so t...
Analysts are finding it difficult to decide which stocks they should buy and sell this morning, so the UK's benchmark index has been relatively flat since the markets opened.
Invensys, the maker of factory controls, has seen its value rise and helped to keep the FTSE above water, even though it has posted a loss, because the firm has managed to accumulate cash in its fiscal first half.
The FTSE 100 rose just 6.8 points to 5247.50 largely because the price of crude oil has dropped to a two-year low and affected the share price of BP and Shell Transport and Trading.
Invensys has gained 12p or 15% to 91p while BP lost 27p or 5% to 503p and Shell fell 24.5p or 5% to 459.5p, having already lost 6.5% yesterday.
British Airways, however, is on the rise this morning and has extended yesterday's 10% gain by adding another 12% to 207p after the UK government said it may reimburse the airline for costs relating to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
Stocks have also risen in the US and Asia as several company earnings announcements in the US suggest US retail confidence is on the rise again.
The Dow Jones climbed 72.66 points or 0.8% to 9823.61 and the Nasdaq moved up a fraction and added 0.6% to 1903.19 after Hewlett Packard reported fourth-quarter earnings beat analysts estimates and the US Commerce Department said retail sales have staged their biggest monthly gain of 7.1% in almost 10 years of record-keeping, after falling in September.
Home Depot, the home improvement retailer rose $2.33 to $46.23, Wal-Mart gained 28c to $55.28 and Hewlett Packard rose $1.85 to $21.08, having earned 19 cents a share in the fourth quarter, rather than the 11 cents predicted by analysts.
Tokyo's Nikkei 225 index had its biggest gain in two months, thanks to the Hewlett Packard news, led by Sony Corp, but markets in Hone Kong, Singapore and Taiwan also look much stronger too.
Sony jumped 9.8% to yen 5400 and Fujitsu gained 6% to yen 935, and Canon - which relies on overseas sales for 70% of its revenue - rallied 6.2% to yen 3940.
The Singapore Straits Times Index rose 5.1% to 1435.44 and the Taiwan TWSE climbed 2.9% higher to 4403.59 as investors got their first chance to react to news from Kabul of the North Alliance's advance, while the Hang Seng added 289.35 points to 11,239.39.
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