1:00PM New York, 6:00PM London - U.K. consumer confidence rises in February.
The benchmark stock index in London rose 3.8% boosted by a gain in commodity stocks and a rise in consumer confidence.
trading FTSE 100 index increased 3.8% or 133.78 to 3,645.87.
Of the FTSE 100 index stocks, 86 rose, 14 declined, and 2 were unchanged. Kazakhmys led gainers in the index shares with a rise of 19.6% after metal and energy prices rallied.
Gold prices rose $3.10 to $916 per ounce, copper jumped to $1.6665 per pound and crude oil prices climbed $2.70 to $44.10 per barrel. Rio Tinto increased 14% and BHP Billiton advanced 12.9%.
Consumer Confidence Rises
Nationwide Building Society reported today that consumer confidence index increased for the first since October 2008, gaining 43 in February from 41 in the previous month driven by optimism about the future economic and labor conditions.
News of continued job losses in major industries dented consumer perception of the present circumstances. Present situation index eased to 22 in February from 24 in January.
An estimated 16% think that now is a bad time to buy goods like fridges and hi-fis due to the prevalent discounts. More consumers think now is a good time to make a major purchase.
The report notes that 64% think that there are now few jobs available compared to 31% six months ago.
In addition, 19% think that economic conditions will be better in the next six months from 17% in January, while consumers expect house prices to drop 4.7% over the next six months from 6.2% in January.
Nationwide chief economist Fionnula Earley said, ""Consumers’ views about the current economic and labor conditions are in line with recessionary climate in the U.K. However their increased optimism about the future is encouraging.""
ITV Loss Rises to £2.7 billion
ITV reported today that its loss in the fiscal year ending December 31 was £2.7 billion from a profit of £188 million a year ago as revenues slipped to £2.03 billion from £2.1 billion in the comparable year ago period.
The company has secured £360 million of covenant-free financing and additional debt over the last year and a new £50 million loan.
ITV estimates that restructuring will save £245 million in 2011, of which £155 million is targeted for this year and £175 million in 2010.
Savings will be delivered in central services and across ITV Studios operations outside London and the overall headcount will be slashed by 600.
The company will eliminate its dividend.
Gainers & Losers
Kazakhmys led gainers in the FTSE 100 index shares with a rise of 19.6% followed by increases in Antofagasta of 19.5%, in Eurasian Natural of 17.2%, in Standard Chartered of 15%, and Xstrata of 12.9%.
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