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The FTSE 100 closed higher yesterday (12th May), partly buoyed by miners who benefitted from upbeat commentary from analysts at JP Morgan.

The index is slightly up this morning - currently at 6,857 - with a few names, including Melrose Industries and Barratt Developments, helping to lift the index.

Meanwhile, easyJet and London Stock Exchange are among the worst performers on the index this morning.

Published 13/05/2014

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Top Performers

The FTSE 100 is slightly up this morning (12th May) - currently at 6,857 - with a few names helping to buoy the index. Here’s a highlight of some of the current top and worst performers.

Currently leading the pack of top performers is Barratt Developments (up around 2.7%): that’s thanks to today’s update from rival, Taylor Wimpey (up some 7%), which highlighted continued favourable trading conditions.

As the strength in the housing market continues, Taylor Wimpey announced that sales rates and pricing are at the upper end of its expectations.

Meanwhile, the company also said that the recently introduced regulation - which requires detailed checks on borrowers and stipulates additional responsibilities for lenders - isn’t expected to adversely impact its business.

Fellow “big three” housebuilder, Persimmon, is also up (2%), joining the list of top performers on the FTSE 100.

Melrose Industries is also up (around 2%): the company released its latest market update.
The company previously expected around a 5% adverse effect on its full-year financial performance, however, a further impact of some 1% is expected, assuming current rates continue for the rest of the year.

For the period from 1st January to 13th May, its order intake is up 3% over the same period last year, partly thanks to its Elster Gas business, which saw a 10% rise in order intake in the period. Melrose remains confident of meeting full year expectations, with more weighting in the second half of the year.

Worst Performers

Leading the pack of worst performers is easyJet (down around 4.5%): the company released its latest market update, but, the market perhaps had higher expectations.

For the six months ended 31st March, easyJet posted revenue of £1.7bn, around a 6% increase over the prior year. The company also reported a narrower pre-tax loss of £53m, an improvement over its pre-tax loss of £61m the year before.

Looking ahead, it expects overall capacity on its routes to increase by around 4% this summer, with the second half of the year still in line with its expectations.

London Stock Exchange is currently down 1.9%: the UK’s exchange announced its deal intentions.

Following recent speculation, the LSE confirmed today that it is “evaluating the merits” of a potential acquisition of Frank Russell and is in discussion with its parent company Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance.

US-based Russell is an investment manager, which also compiles benchmark indices (such as the Russell 2000 Index and Russell 3000 index).

Other companies currently on the list of worst performers include TUI Travel (down 1.6%).