(ShareCast News) - London's FTSE 100 was up 0.2% to 7,264.28 in afternoon trade on Wednesday as investors sifted through earnings from Glencore and Lloyds and digested the latest UK jobs data.
Commodities giant Glencore was the standout gainer after it declared a $2.9bn dividend to be paid out in two equal instalments in 2018 as its much-improved balance sheet left it feeling more confident about the future.
The company, which had already provided fairly detailed financial guidance and a production update in December and earlier this month, confirmed the numbers investors still awaited: two $0.20 dividends to be paid in May and September.
Lloyds Banking Group was also on the front foot despite reporting full-year profit below expectations, as it announced a £1bn share buyback and increased its annual dividend by a fifth.
InterContinental Hotels Group was recovering from losses in the previous session, when investors were left disappoint that it was will not be paying out any additional capital this year as it looks to reinvest savings in growth.
Credit Suisse said on Wednesday that while it had been expecting a $500m special dividend with the full-year results, it would far rather see the company invest in enhancing its long-term growth credentials with a restructuring plan to drive better allocation of the same resources.
It argued that the 2.7% drop in the shares following the results is a buying opportunity. HSBC was also recovering from losses the previous day, when its full-year results failed to impress. Going the other way, Shire Pharmaceuticals was on the back foot as Citigroup said it was "screaming long-term value" but lacking short-term catalysts. "We concede a lack of near term catalysts, over and above the Q1 acceptance of the SHP643 (HAE) filing, but with sentiment at all-time lows we struggle to see significant downside," it said. SHP643 is a drug for hereditary angioderma. Risers Glencore (GLEN) 400.40p 4.16% Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY) 69.74p 2.79% Mediclinic International (MDC) 603.00p 2.55% Relx plc (REL) 1,516.00p 1.54% InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) 4,637.00p 1.51% TUI AG Reg Shs (DI) (TUI) 1,564.50p 1.43% HSBC Holdings (HSBA) 745.70p 1.18% G4S (GFS) 263.60p 1.15% Anglo American (AAL) 1,758.20p 1.06% Carnival (CCL) 4,921.00p 1.05% Fallers Shire Plc (SHP) 2,975.00p -3.17% Standard Life Aberdeen (SLA) 373.57p -2.16% Fresnillo (FRES) 1,312.00p -2.13% WPP (WPP) 1,373.00p -1.93% Evraz (EVR) 426.70p -1.39% Kingfisher (KGF) 356.40p -1.38% British Land Company (BLND) 638.80p -1.36% Next (NXT) 4,930.00p -1.24% Smurfit Kappa Group (SKG) 2,608.00p -1.21% Micro Focus International (MCRO) 2,042.00p -1.16%
It is important to remember that the value of investments can go down as well as up and it is possible to get back less than you invested, especially in the early years. Past performance is no guarantee of future returns and interest rates and dividends are variable and cannot be guaranteed in the future. Any tax treatment mentioned is based on personal circumstances and current legislation which is subject to change. In the event of a client having a complaint about our services we will do our best to resolve that complaint promptly and to the client's satisfaction. However if we are unable to do so, the client may have the right to complain to the Financial Ombudsman Service. Further information can be found on the Financial Ombudsman Services's Website at www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk.