FTSE 100 advances with little news
The old saying “no news is good news” rang true once again today on the London stock exchange as UK stocks once again advanced on the back of investors beliefs that central banks, on a global scale, will continue to provide monetary stimulus in an effort to jumpstart their respective economies. The Bank of England’s new governor, Mark Carney, took over as the head of the UK central bank just over a fortnight ago and doesn’t appear to be prepared to make waves just yet, maintaining the policies, interest rates and stimulus that were put in place by his predecessor Sir Mervyn King.
On the other side of the Atlantic the Federal Reserve’s chairman, Ben Bernanke, recently made an announcement to reassure investors that the US central bank was still some way off of withdrawing their $85 billion a month monetary stimulus. Meanwhile, the European Central Bank has continued its own monetary stimulus and looks to be backing further bailouts to keep the region from falling off the edge of the cliff. The Bank of Japan is obviously also currently undergoing its own shift in policies to provide the monetary stimulus required to drag the Japanese economy out of its own problems and correct its 20-year-old deflation problem.
With so much monetary stimulus currently on offer, it’s no surprise that we have seen a recent surge in stock prices worldwide; stimulus that was reaffirmed again today as US retail sales came in below expectations, easing concerns that the Federal Reserve would begin tapering as early as September.
All these factors combined led the FTSE 100 higher as it closed 41.17 points up for the day, closing at 6586.11. High street retail banks once again led the way, with the Royal Bank of Scotland continuing its recent resurgence. The predominantly government owned bank advanced by 15.6p to close at 320p per share, followed by Barclays, which advanced by 3.6p to close at 309p. The other high street bank, which taxpayers own a considerable stake of, Lloyds Banking Group, added 1.71p to its price, closing at 69.44p.
Miners of base metals, such as copper, advanced with unusually positive news coming out of China, which saw Glencore Xstrata advanced by 1.4p to 261p and Anglo American rose by 6p to 1300p. However, with stocks rising on a global scale, the price of gold has fallen inversely as it so often does, which has led to a fall in the stock price of precious metal miners. Fresnillo declined by 22.5p, while Randgold Resources slid by 121p. The two companies closed at 958p and 4272p respectively.
G4S, the security firm that made a huge blunder with staffing levels for the London 2012 Olympics, slid by almost 1% on the back of claims that it overcharged the UK government for all of its contracts. It is now expected that the security firm will ask investors to provide extra cash investment to help stabilise the company. The G4S stock closed at 207p.