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London open: Stocks higher after five-day losing streak

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UK markets opened slightly higher on Wednesday after five straight days of declines, though the upside was only limited ahead of a number of risk events over the coming days.

The FTSE 100 was trading 0.3% higher at 6,471 in early trade.

Labour-market data from the States will likely be closely watched this week in the aftermath of the Federal Reserve‘s decision last week to continue tapering its quantitative easing programme.

The ADP employment report is due out later this afternoon, while the more closely watched non-farm payrolls figure will be in focus on Friday.

“A stronger figure could support further stimulus cuts whilst a worse than forecast figure will show a weakening economy and therefore fuel further uncertainty into the markets,” said Financial Sales Trader Lee Mumford from Spreadex.

Meanwhile, tomorrow will see monetary policy decisions from both the Bank of England and the European Central Bank (ECB), with the latter likely to garner the most attention given last week’s unexpected dip in inflation.

Hargreaves Lansdown drops despite record first half

Fund manager and brokerage firm Hargreaves Lansdown underwhelmed with a record first-half report this morning as shares sank sharply early on.

The stock, which hit a record high last month, has outperformed the benchmark FTSE 100 over the past year and has nearly doubled its price since the start of 2013.

Mining stocks were broadly lower this morning with Fresnillo, BHP Billiton, Anglo American and Antofagasta among the worst performers.

In contrast, financial stocks were trading higher with RSA Insurance, Standard Chartered and Lloyds making decent gains. RSA was leading the risers after announcing late last night that it has appointed former RBS frontman Stephen Hester as its new Chief Executive Officer with immediate effect.

Interdealer broker ICAP edged higher despite reporting a 6% drop in third-quarter revenue due to a challenging market.

Home emergency insurer HomeServe was also higher after saying it expects full-year adjusted profits to be in line with market expectations.

A handful of stocks were trading lower after going ex-dividend, including Victrex, Unilever and Stagecoach.

FTSE 100 – Risers
RSA Insurance Group (RSA) 104.10p +5.15%
ARM Holdings (ARM) 903.00p +3.20%
Associated British Foods (ABF) 2,836.00p +2.68%
Schroders (SDR) 2,476.00p +2.10%
BAE Systems (BA.) 423.90p +1.95%
British Sky Broadcasting Group (BSY) 891.00p +1.60%
Shire Plc (SHP) 3,060.00p +1.46%
ITV (ITV) 197.70p +1.33%
Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY) 82.05p +1.23%
Admiral Group (ADM) 1,424.00p +1.14%

FTSE 100 – Fallers
Hargreaves Lansdown (HL.) 1,407.00p -6.01%
Fresnillo (FRES) 761.00p -1.49%
Anglo American (AAL) 1,419.50p -1.18%
CRH (CRH) 1,555.00p -0.89%
Antofagasta (ANTO) 854.00p -0.76%
Unilever (ULVR) 2,312.00p -0.69%
Bunzl (BNZL) 1,360.00p -0.66%
BHP Billiton (BLT) 1,754.50p -0.65%
Smiths Group (SMIN) 1,388.00p -0.57%
Tate & Lyle (TATE) 768.50p -0.52%

Source: ShareCast