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View the article online at http://citywire.co.uk/wealth-manager/article/a748362

FTSE hits seven-week high but Shire's shine wanes

by Daniel Grote on Apr 29, 2014 at 16:50

He added that the sectors which had disappointed 'were all in sectors where weather may have hit activity and are therefore likely to rebound in the second quarter'.

'With further robust growth likely in the second quarter of 2014, the economy is therefore set to surpass its pre-crisis peak in the summer,' Williamson added. 

BG Group (BG.L) pared losses suffered yesterday after the oil and gas group announced the shock departure of boss Chris Finlayson due to personal reasons, and issued disappointing new guidance over 2014 production figures. The shares rose 19p, or 1.7%, to £11.65 on speculation it may attract bid interest.

St James's Place (SJP.L) added 8p, or 1%, to reach 771.5p, after the financial salesforce reported a strong start to the year.

Whitbread (WTB.L) edged up 36p, or 0.9%, to £40.97 as the Premier Inn and Costa Coffee owner revealed a 16.5% rise in full-year profits.

And BP (BP.L) rose 4.3p, or 0.8%, to 492.5p after the oil group posted first quarter profits slightly ahead of expectations and raised its dividend for the second time in six months.

Jeremy Thomas, co-manager of the Brunner investment trust (BUT ), said BP's results were encouraging. 'BP has slightly lagged the improving share prices of its peers since the Ukrainian crisis broke and the step up in the international communities' sanctions on Russia add to the uncertainty around the value of BP's 19.75% stake in Roseneft. However, for long-term investors it is the growth in the book value per share of BP that will matter and the 2014 first quarter results and tone of the statement are pleasing markers on that journey.'

Miners lost ground with Fresnillo (FRES.L), Randgold Resources (RRS.L), Antofagasta (ANTO.L), Anglo American (AAL.L), BHP Billiton (BLT.L) and Glencore (GLEN.L) all among the big fallers. Fresnillo dropped the most, falling 12.5p, or 1.4%, to 852.5p.

AstraZeneca (AZN.L) also fell back after yesterday's huge surge prompted by US rival Pfizer's confirmation it made a second takeover approach last week. The pharmaceutical group shed 27p, or 0.6%, to £46.38.

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