FTSE 100 up on earnings boost

The leading share index was higher in early deals this morning, buoyed by upmarket manufacturing data from China and blue chip earnings.

Lloyds Banking Group, Royal Dutch Shell, BT Group, BSkyB and Legal & General all flattered the FTSE 100 in early trading.

On the FTSE All-Share, credit card insurer CPP Group continued its rise up the index, gaining 18.64 per cent in early deals on the back of takeover speculation.

Egyptian gold miner Centamin jumped 15 per cent as its shares began trading again this morning after being suspended on Tuesday. It said yesterday it is to appeal an Egyptian court ruling that said its right to mine at its flagship asset in the North African country was invalid.

Blue chip BT Group rose 5.65 per cent, despite this morning cutting its full-year revenue outlook.

Electronics retailer Dixons was up five per cent, following news that rival Comet could go into administration.

BSkyB also rose three per cent as it reported strong first quarter earnings.

At the other end of the spectrum, defence equipment firm Chemring fell 17.12 per cent as it warned on full-year profit.

Premier Foods, following the agreement of the sale of its Branston pickle division this week, sank 6.56 per cent in early trading.

Speciality chemicals maker Croda fell 4.77 per cent as it announced it is to sell its Italian business.

Elsewhere, energy company BG Group fell 4.44 per cent, consolidating yesterday’s losses as it said it expected flat production growth for next year.

UK banks had a good morning. Lloyds Banking Group rose more than three per cent despite this morning reporting a pre-tax loss of £144m. HSBC rose 0.89 per cent, RBS was up 1.68 per cent and Barclays added 1.23 per cent.

In Asia, the Nikkei closed up 0.21 per cent, while in the US the Dow Jones closed down 0.08 per cent as it reopened after two days of closure for hurricane Sandy.