John Dance

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Optimism remained the key sentiment on Tuesday as investors continued their rush back in to equities and risk assets. Whether their gamble on Greek authorities finally voting for austerity over the next two days pays off or not remains to be seen, but global equity markets rose in unison throughout the day despite images of growing unrest in the nation.

The FTSE 100 ended the day 44.5 points higher at 5767. Strong rises in the prices of base metals drove shares in the mining sector higher, whilst banks were also strong, reflecting views that contagion from Europe’s debt crisis would be avoided.

Despite the demise of some of the high street’s biggest names, the General Retailers sector was surprisingly flat for the day. This was despite more gloomy news, this time that Thorntons plans to close up to 180 of its stores over the next three years.

Shares in water providers United Utilities and Severn Trent were also in demand, both outperforming the wider index as speculators tried to find the next Northumbrian Water Group (NWG).

The North East based operator had seen its shares leap 8% the previous day, as Hong Kong based infrastructure group Cheung Kong announced it was in assessing a potential cash offer for the group. Northumbrian Water itself, denied that any proposal had been made that could result in an offer, but that did not stop investors seeking the next target. Shares in NWG closed another 3.2p higher at 416.7p.

Following gains the previous day, Boldon based Immunodiagnostic Systems put on another 5.7%, closing 54p higher at 1000p.

Elsewhere, bond yields increased slightly in the UK, and renewed economic optimism saw Oil reverse its recent decline with Brent Crude breaking above the $108 a barrel level.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by John Dance .

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