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FTSE raised out of doldrums by US GDP growth
by Chris Marshall on Oct 26, 2012 at 13:57
UPDATE (13:56): Markets have erased earlier losses after a report showed the US economy grew by an annualised 2% in the third quarter of the year, better than expected by economists and an improvement on 1.3% growth in the previous three months.
Economists were, however, quick to put the numbers in perspective, with Rob Carnell of ING noting that the quarterly figure was flattered by 'a somewhat freakish surge in government spending' after a 13% rise in national defence spending.
Nonetheless, European markets rose from some fairly deep morning troughs, with Britain's FTSE 100 back above 5,800 and the French and Germany benchmark indices both flat.
Gains are being capped by this week's string of weak US corporate earnings reports, with Apple and Amazon both disappointing yesterday.
Next week brings a barrage of data to help investors better gauge the US economy, culminating on Friday with the last non-farm payrolls employment report before the presidential elections on 6 November.
Anglo American among few FTSE risers as chief exits
09.01: Anglo American (AAL.L) was one of just a dozen gainers on a falling FTSE 100 today after the group announced that chief executive Cynthia Carroll was stepping down after nearly six years in the role.
The mining group said that Carroll (pictured below), who has recently come under pressure from investors to leave, will remain in her post until a successor has been appointed and ‘an appropriate transition has taken place’.
Analysts at Nomura described Carroll’s tenure at one of the world’s biggest mining companies as ‘mixed’. Some shareholders disagreed with Carroll’s decision to reject a merger offer from Xstrata (XTA.L) in 2009, while recent labour unrest in South Africa has exacerbated a sharp fall in the group’s share price this year.
‘Recently, concerns around management and the future of Carroll has been the major feedback from investors on Anglo,’ the Nomura analysts said, adding that the lack of an immediate replacement makes the outlook for the group uncertain. Today the shares rose by 2.1% to 1,857p.
Pearson publishing merger
Pearson (PSON.L) was also among the winning shares in Friday morning trade, up 1.6% to 1,212p, after confirming on Thursday evening that it is in talks to merge its Penguin publishing business with Random House.
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- Weir Group PLC (WEIR.L)
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- Pearson PLC (PSON.L)
- Anglo American PLC (AAL.L)
- Xstrata PLC (XTA.L)