At the close: FTSE 100 led higher by strong company earnings reports

 
James Nickerson
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Hargreaves Lansdown led the risers in today's session (Source: Getty)

The FTSE 100 closed higher today after three consecutive sessions of closing down, as investors concentrated on company earnings.

The FTSE closed 1.10 per cent up, at 6,338.67 points, led by gains in ARM and Harvgreaves Lansdown.

ARM, the semiconductor and software design company, ended 4.78 per cent up on the back of strong results from Taiwanese Semiconductor Manufacturing Co, and a positive outlook for Linear Technologies, the US chip-maker.

Founding partner at Aviate Global Gary Paulin said: "TSMC forecast 10 percent smartphone growth in 2015, which is supportive for the wider market given many have predicted single-digit growth of late."

Hargreaves Lansdown continued yesterday's strong performance by rising 5.11 per cent, after bankis increased their target prices on the company's stock. Yesterday the company announced record inflows in the first quarter and issued a bullish outlook for the financial year ahead.

RBC increased its target to 1,400 pence from 1,025 pence and raised its rating to "sector perform" from "underperform".

Meanwhile Unilever's stock rose 3.58 per cent during the day after reporting sales growth of 5.7 per cent in the third quarter, smashing expectations of four percent.

However, luxury retailed Burberry's share price tanked today after the company announced it would have to take "accelerated actions" to control costs and keep the impact of the "challenging environment" in Asian down in it's full year results.

"Given that Hong Kong comprises a 10th of the company's sales, a fall was to be expected. The extent of the fall, however, was an unpleasant surprise for investors," said Connor Campbell, an analyst at Spreadex.

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