Best January in 24 years as FTSE recovers ; YESTERDAY IN THE CITY [Western Daily Press (UK)]
(Western Daily Press (UK) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Encouraging data from the United States and the UK yesterday put the FTSE 100 Index back on the track that has seen it repeatedly break barriers since January 1. America's employers added 157,000 jobs last month, while figures for November and December were revised sharply higher, helping the FTSE 100 close 70.4 points higher at 6347.2. Significantly improved US manufacturing figures also helped on Wall Street, where the Dow Jones Industrial Average made strong early gains.
Output from the UK manufacturing sector also rose last month - at its fastest pace since September 2011 - but this failed to prevent the pound from falling against the dollar to 1.57. It was also down against the euro at 1.15 after both unemployment and inflation across the 17 eurozone countries was lower than anticipated.
The FTSE fell on Thursday but yesterday's gains made for the strongest January since 1989. It has added more than 6 per cent since the start of the year, with around Pounds 96 billion added to the value of blue-chip shares.
Telecoms giant BT that the charge, its shares rising by 7 per cent, or 16.2p to 264.8p, after it reported a 7 per cent rise in pre- tax profits to Pounds 675 million in the last quarter of 2012 and a rapid growth in its broadband customer base.
Guinness owner Diageo also made strong gains after it reported operating profits ahead of forecasts. It said its emerging markets continued to perform strongly and robust sales of premium spirits in North America also helped revenues. Shares were up 29p to 1906p.
But sugar processor Tate & Lyle suffered after a trading update confirmed lower underlying third-quarter profits than a year earlier, although in line with expectations. Shares fell 1 per cent or 8.5p to 804p.
Barclays was also in the red, down 1p to 300p, as pay plans stayed in the spotlight, with chief executive Antony Jenkins waiving his 2012 bonus. Oil giant Royal Dutch Shell lost further value after the fourth-quarter performance of its upstream operations disappointed analysts on Thursday. Overall profits for 2012 were 6 per cent lower at 27 billion US dollars (Pounds 17.1 billion).
Shares fell 10p to 2304p.
Pounds 96bn Worth added to the FTSE 100-listed companies since January 1
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