FTSE led higher by Hargreaves and Arm results - London Report

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

The FTSE closed 1.1 per cent up, at 6,338.67 points, led by gains in Arm and Hargreaves Lansdown.

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

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

Hargreaves Lansdown continued Wednesday’s strong performance by rising 5.11 per cent, after banks increased their target prices on the company’s stock.

On Tuesday, the company announced record inflows in the first quarter and issued a bullish outlook for the financial year ahead.

RBC increased its target to 1,400p from 1,025p 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 per cent.

However, luxury retailer Burberry’s share price tanked after the company announced it would have to take “accelerated actions” to control costs and keep the impact of the “challenging environment” in its Asian market down in its full year results.

“Given that Hong Kong comprises one-tenth 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.

The FTSE was likely to be choppy while earnings season was underway, Beaufort Securities sales trader Basil Petrides said.

He would look to sell FTSE positions if the index fell back to 6,250 points.

The FTSE is down around four per cent since the start of 2015 and some 10 per cent below the record high of 7,122.74 points it reached in April.