FTSE gets a lift after St James’s reports results - London Report

BRITAIN’S top equity index yesterday staged a late rally to recover from losses earlier in the day, with wealth management group St James’s Place outperforming after strong results.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 index had been in negative territory for much of the day.

The late recovery enabled the FTSE to close up by 0.2 per cent, or 9.68 points, at 6,463.55 points -- marking the third day in a row of gains for the index, which continued its rebound off 15-month lows, reached earlier in the month.

St James’s Place closed up 3.6 per cent at 712.50p, making it the best-performing FTSE 100 stock in percentage terms, after reporting a 17 per cent rise in its funds under management.

Smith & Nephew stood out with a rise of more than three per cent.

The maker of artificial knees and hips reported a three per cent rise in third-quarter trading profit to $246m, as gains in its orthopaedic business offset a fall in its wound management business after a product recall.

Shares in the business, often tipped as a target for a US group such as Stryker, closed at 1,054p.

On a busy day for company results, there were mixed reactions to a number of updates. BT fell 2.02 per cent to 367.9op, Royal Dutch Shell A shares slid 0.36 per cent to 2,227.50p but Barclays was 0.93 per cent better at 222.55p.

Rival bank HSBC, which is due to report figures on Monday, was also 0.18 per cent higher at 629.10p and Royal Bank of Scotland lifted 1.53 per cent to 365.30p.

Standard Chartered was down 4.89 per cent at 943.60p.

Commodity companies came under pressure on concerns about what the US Federal Reserve’s removal of quantitive easing might do to emerging markets.

And as the dollar strengthened against a basket of currencies, silver fell four per cent with speculators seeking higher returns elsewhere, while gold was also weaker.

So Randgold Resources lost 6.02 per cent to 3,779p and Fresnillo fell 4.34 per cent to 716.50p. Anglo American was down 2.37 per cent at 1,320.50p

British Airways and Iberia owner International Airlines Group shook off earlier losses to end 1.43 per cent better at 390.70p despite weak results from Lufthansa.

Other big risers were Friends Life up 2.62 per cent at 313.80p and Mondi up 2.37 per cent at 1,037p.