View the article online at http://citywire.co.uk/money/article/a567708
FTSE settles above 5,900 on Greece optimism
Britain’s benchmark index rises on expectations that the indebted nation’s next bailout will be signed on Monday, averting a default.
Investors were soothed by expectations that eurozone finance ministers will grant Greece the next tranche of its bailout on Monday, rescuing the country from a messy default.
The benchmark UK index of blue-chip shares rose 0.33%, or 20 points, to 5,905 and the Mid-250 index added 0.97%, or 109 points, to 11,312.
Markets closed the week slightly ahead as the FTSE 100 strengthened 53 points, or 0.9%, and the FTSE 250 rose 144 points, or 1.3%, since Monday.
Irish building materials group and newcomer to the FTSE 100 CHR (CHR.L) jumped up 67p, or 5.3%, to £13.43 to top the index, ahead of its full-year results on February 28. See the FTSE’s performance and index’s top winners and losers.
Bailout decision due on Monday
Yusuf Heusen, sales trader at IG Index, said: ‘It seems remarkable, but markets still seem willing to believe in the possibility of a reasonable outcome to the Greek tragedy, even when all the missed deadlines and failed reforms are taken into account.
‘Enthusiasm is most abundant in European markets, with the gains getting progressively smaller as we go west around the globe.’
Stock markets in Europe were also reassured ahead of Monday’s meeting of eurozone finance ministers: Germany’s DAX surged on 1.27% to 6,837, France's CAC 40 index advanced 1.35% to 3,438, and the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares strengthened 0.56% to 1,083.
In the US the core consumer price index (CPI) rose from 0.1% to 0.2% in January, indicating a slight rise in inflation. The core index has risen 2.3% in the past year, the biggest increase in three years.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average took on 0.22% to 11,888; the Standard & Poor's 500 index was flat, down 0.03% to 1,358; and the Nasdaq Composite index slipped 0.37% to 2,949.
Sterling added 0.13% against the dollar to $1.581, and lost 0.02% against the euro to €1.2024.
Weir rises on bid for FLSmidth
Weir Group (WEIR.L), a member of Citywire Top Stocks®, added 82p, or 4.2% to hit £20.51 as the engineer issued $1 billion of unsecured bonds to cover its recent acquisitions and placed a bid for Danish rival FLSmidth. Afren (AFRE.L) jumped 6.3p, or 5%, to 131.6p.
Bowleven (BLVN.L) skipped ahead 46p, or 62.2%, to 120p as Dragon Oil announced it was consider placing a takeover bid for the company.
Argos and Homebase owner Home Retail (HOME.L) strengthened 6.3p, or 6.1%, to 109p as analysts at Société Générale upgraded its target price from 115p, to 120p but downgraded the stock from ‘buy’ to ‘hold’.
News sponsored by:
Making the most out of Europe's potential means seeing things differently. Learn more about how BlackRock's focused approach to investing in Europe helps investors unlock the continent's vast potential.
In this guide to investment trusts, produced in association with Aberdeen Asset Management, we spoke to many of the leading experts in the field to find out more.
More about this:
Look up the shares
More from us
Tools from Citywire Money
From the Forums+ Start a new discussion
Weekly email from The Lolly
Get simple, easy ways to make more from your money. Just enter your email address below
An error occured while subscribing your email. Please try again later.
Thank you for registering for your weekly newsletter from The Lolly.
Keep an eye out for us in your inbox, and please add email@example.com to your safe senders list so we don't get junked.