London shares turned in a solid performance after Thursday's rout, with traders snapping up heavily oversold miners against a backcloth of inflated gold prices. Financials were also on the front foot. Wall St and Europe made hearty gains of about 2% or more.
FTSE 100 closed up 170.63 points, or 3.08%, to 5707.6. FTSE 250 rose 252.51, or 1.66%, to 15,431.3. Both had rebounded from more than 12-month troughs. At 4.36pm, WTI crude was at USD28.82/bbl. Brent was at USD32.24/bbl. Gold was at USD1238/oz, while 10-year UK gilt yields had loosened 12bps to 1.42%.
Story-of-the-day Roll-Royce (RR.) surged 14.34% to 606p, a bumper run-up for any blue chip on any day, on hiking its reported FY pretax profit to GBP160m, from GBP67m. Its final payment to shareholders fell 50% to 7.1p a share. Rolls' 2016 trading outlook was unchanged.
Miners were guided by a just-as-glitzy gain in Anglo American (AAL), up 18.36 to 373.95p, with Glencore (GLEN) adding 12.29% to 98.46p and Antofagasta (ANTO) benefitting 11.25% to 433.3p. Rio Tinto (RIO) and BHP Billiton (BLT) were more than 8%. Oil majors followed BP (BP.), up 7.17% to 332.5p, and BG (BG.), rising 4.12% to 1062p.
Financials bashed in yesterday's sell-off and muscled north. Banks traced Standard Chartered (STAN), up 10.93% to 428.9p, with insurers queuing behind Prudential (PRU), up 6.44% to 1157p. Investment specialists and asset managers trailed Aberdeen (ADN), up 5.3% to 220.4p, and St James's Place (STJ), rising 3.62% to 830p.
Ninety-four blue chips enjoyed run-ups today, covering all sectors. Eighty-one gained by 1% or more, and 38 firmed by 3% or greater. Also making hay were multiple utilities, supermarkets, high-street retailers, pharmas, leisure and property outfits. Others in some of these sectors lost ground. Tesco (TSCO) faded 1.45% to 177p and Hikma (HIK) eased 1.33% to 1850p.
Glaxosmithkline (GSK), up 1.34% to 1363.5p, was fined GBP37.6m as part of a CMA probe into anti-competitive conduct and paroxetine supply. Hammerson (HMSO), down 0.09% to 535p, has completed its buy of Grand Central.
Despite the overall chipper tone, markets remain jittery about the global economy and its growth outlook, the global glut of crude oil, chronic Middle East tensions and metals-hungry China's bleak economic prospects. Financial and resources stocks remain vulnerable.
DQ Entertainment (DQE) rose 45.45% to 2p as its India subsidiary posted solid nine-month numbers, with a healthy rise in profit. Meantime, Argos Resources (ARG), down 21.43% to 4.12p, said Noble Energy, operator of Licence PL001, is exercising its farmout rights to declare force majeure. Argos holds a 5% overriding royalty interest in the licence.
Golden Saint (GSR), up 36.36% to 0.04p, has raised GBP150,000 via the issue of 500m new shares at a premium subscription price of 0.03p each. Proceeds would go to working capital. Canaccord Genuity (CF.) fell 20.45% to 175p on posting a nine-month net loss of CAD335.9m, from net income of CAD15.0m. Revenues fell 10% to CAD586.9m.
Holders Technology (HDT), up 24.44% to 28p, saw FY revenues fall, but its pretax loss improved to GBP0.17m, from GBP0.4m. Europa Oil & Gas (EOG), up 17.39% to 3.38p, has won a new licensing option in the southern Porcupine Basin, offshore Ireland, as part of phase 1 of the 2015 Atlantic Ireland round.
Stateside, an advance estimate of retail sales for January was USD449.9bn, up 0.2% from December, Department of Commerce said. Core retail sales rose 0.1% during the month, while business inventories were estimated at USD1,813.1bn at end-December, up 0.1% from November.
US Bureau of Labor Statistics said import prices fell 1.1% in January, primarily driven by lower fuel prices. Meanwhile, US consumer sentiment fell to 90.7 in February, University of Michigan's (UoM) latest survey showed, down from 92.0 in January. The one-year inflation forecast rose to 2.7%, from 2.5% previously.
Euro-zone flash gross domestic product (GDP) rose 0.3% in Q4 2015, in line with forecasts and unchanged from Q3. However, the single-currency bloc's industrial production fell 1% in December, against an expected rise of 0.3% and from a 0.7% slip in November.
UK construction output rose 1.5% in December, from a revised dip of 1.1% in November and below forecasts for a gain of 2.1%.
North River Resources (NRRP), up 17.86% to 0.08p, has provided a drilling update for the Namib Lead-Zinc Project in Namibia, giving it confidence in the previously announced mineral resource estimate.
Rockhopper Exploration (RKH) said Premier Oil (PMO) has served a notice to terminate the rig contract with Ocean Rig UDW with immediate effect. RKH fell 3.67% to 26.25p and PMO gained 11.76% to 33.25p.
Venture Life (VLG), down 10.32% to 69.5p, has proposed acquiring Periproducts Ltd for a total estimated cash consideration of about GBP5.6m, along with proposed capital hikes -- a placing and a convertible bond -- totalling GBP3.7m.
Paragon Entertainment (PEL) added 9.26% to 1.48p on news it has entered into a joint representation agreement with H2E, a Latvian designer of museums, attractions and heritage-based projects.
Commerzbank (CZB), up 16.14% to 7.49p, said group operating profit rose to 1.9bn euros at end-2015, from 689m euros a year ago. Revenues before loan loss provisions rose 1bn euros on the year to 9.76bn euros.
Environmental Recycling Technologies (ENRT), up 3.33% to 0.08p, has granted an exclusive licence to James Plastics LLC, an affiliated company of the James Marine Group. S&U (SUS), up 6.89% to 2180.5p, said current trading remains strong and in line with market views.
Monitise (MONI), up 8.33% to 1.82p, has substantially widened H1 pretax loss to GBP210.5m, from a loss of GBP58.4m. This included GBP179.98m of depreciation, amortisation and impairments, versus GBP12.9m a year earlier.
Other stocks in the news included Millennium and Copthorne Hotels (MLC), SuperGroup (SGP), Tritax Big Box REIT (BBOX), Segro (SGRO), Acal (ACL), StatPro (SOG), Countryside Properties (CSP), Alpha Real Trust (ARTL), Cairn Homes (CRN), Nationwide Building Society (NAWI) and Custodian REIT (CREI).