A pre-Budget 33-point climb for the Big Board on Tuesday, finishing at 6,837.6. Tullow Oil and Centrica were the biggest FTSE 100 climbers, up 6.1% and 5% respectively (to 298.4p and 251.2p). easyJet shares also surged, up 3.3% to 1792p. However there was more pressure on supermarket Morrisons, down 2.1% to 201.3p while rival Tesco shares were also adrift, slipping 1.7% to 237.1p.
The Dow Jones sank almost 130 points to 17,849, knocked by oil prices and more fretting over Fed interest rates. Weaker housing data didn't help matters.
We commence with news this morning from Barclays. The banking giant has paid out more than £16m to 11 top execs. The amount is substantially down on the previous year (though the bank remains under fire for awarding boss Antony Jenkins a £1.1m bonus). Investment bank boss Tom King was awarded shares worth £4.7m.
More broadly the bank this month took a 21% tumble in pre-tax profits, with more pressure on funds for alleged misconduct. The US government is still seeking settlement figures around $1bn apiece for currency manipulation.
Criminal investigations on Barclays - plus JPMorgan, RBS and UBS, amongst others - are underway. However there are reports that banks that show early co-operation will be fined less.
Smiths Group claims underlying revenue growth however with improvements at Smiths Medical, John Crane and Flex-Tek offseting revenue declines at Smiths Detection and Smiths Interconnect where tough trading conditions persist, it warns.
"We expect," it said in a statement, "to deliver improved underlying performance in the second half. Smiths Detection will benefit from a prior year comparator affected by one-off charges."
Lastly, housebuilder Galliford Try. Galliford says it has been selected as one of six contractors on all three lots of the Southern Construction Framework, covering the South West, South East and London. The four year framework is worth up to £3.9 billion, in total.
Galliford has also been confirmed as one of 11 contractors on the Medium Value lot (projects from £2 million to £9 million) of the North West Construction Hub worth up to £400 million over four years.
"We are delighted," says Galliford Try exec chairman Greg Fitzgerald,"that our strategy of pursuing frameworks with public sector partners continues to bear fruit. Long-term collaboration is a cornerstone of our Building business."
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