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FTSE 100: This morning’s risers and fallers

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UK stocks advanced on Wednesday as investors adopted an optimistic approach ahead of gross domestic product (GDP) figures in the UK.

London’s FTSE 100 was up 0.4 per cent at 6,755 in early deals, with mining stocks leading the charge after recent weakness, though results from blue chips Wolseley, Compass and United Utilities disappointed.

Meanwhile, Thomas Cook was a big mover on the FTSE 250 in morning trade, with shares losing a fifth of their value after the surprise departure of the travel group’s boss.

UK GDP grew by 3 per cent in the third quarter, the Office for National Statistics is expected to confirm on Wednesday morning. Quarter-on-quarter growth is also forecast to be unchanged from the initial 0.7 per cent reading.

GDP figures from the States on Tuesday showed that growth was revised to 3.9% for the third quarter from the initial estimate of 3.5 per cent, surprising analysts who had expected a downwards revision to 3.3 per cent.

“Just like yesterday’s US number, [the UK GDP data] is a second revision and thus there is a possibility that it simply confirms the 0.7 per cent figure revealed last month,” said analyst Joshua Mahony from Alpari. “However, taking a look at the spike we did see in the US number, there is a potential for significant revisions, causing market moves and thus for this reason, it is well worth watching out for this data point.”

A report on US durable goods orders in October will also be in focus on Wednesday afternoon. Analysts predict a 0.6 per cent fall after a 1.1 per cent drop in September.

US jobless claims will also be on tap, one day earlier than usual due to the Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday. Claims are predicted to have fallen 3,000 to 288,000 in the week ended 22 November.

Thomas Cook CEO departs

Shares in Thomas Cook sank 20 per cent early on as it announced that chief executive Harriet Green stepped down after just over two years in charge of the troubled travel group. Green, who is due to be replaced by chief operating officer Peter Fankhauser with immediate effect, claimed her turnaround “was complete” as annual results showed improving profits from all divisions.

Mining stocks were performing well after two days of declines as stocks pulled back after a China-inspired rally last week. Antofagasta, Randgold Resouces, BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto were putting in decent gains.

Weak market conditions throughout Europe put gross margins under pressure in the first quarter at Wolseley, causing shares in the plumbing and heating products distributor to fall.

Catering group Compass underwhelmed with its annual results, as it lifted its annual dividend by 10 per cent after an improvement in both sales and profits in the year to 30 September.

Also lower was United Utilites despite half-year results showing modest improvements in revenues and profits. The water company expressed confidence about the forthcoming new regulatory pricing structure after submitting a plan for lower prices.

Market Movers
techMARK 2,917.44 +0.25%
FTSE 100 6,755.15 +0.36%
FTSE 250 15,827.77 -0.02%

FTSE 100 – Risers
Antofagasta (ANTO) 750.00p +2.25%
Sky (SKY) 936.00p +1.96%
Rolls-Royce Holdings (RR.) 876.50p +1.80%
SSE (SSE) 1,604.00p +1.52%
Marks & Spencer Group (MKS) 487.80p +1.43%
Randgold Resources Ltd. (RRS) 4,491.00p +1.42%
BHP Billiton (BLT) 1,616.00p +1.41%
Vodafone Group (VOD) 226.85p +1.02%
BT Group (BT.A) 399.80p +1.01%
Anglo American (AAL) 1,342.00p +0.94%

FTSE 100 – Fallers
TUI Travel (TT.) 420.90p -1.31%
United Utilities Group (UU.) 906.50p -0.87%
Persimmon (PSN) 1,500.00p -0.60%
Smith & Nephew (SN.) 1,117.00p -0.53%
easyJet (EZJ) 1,552.00p -0.51%
ARM Holdings (ARM) 895.50p -0.50%
Compass Group (CPG) 1,069.00p -0.47%
Aberdeen Asset Management (ADN) 455.60p -0.46%
Royal Mail (RMG) 424.80p -0.42%
Wolseley (WOS) 3,550.00p -0.39%

Source: ShareCast

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