Investors were cheered at the start of the week, as the FTSE 100 index closed up 84.63 at 7,177.06 today, as it climbed 1.2%.

FTSE LIVE: European stock markets expected to rise

13:22
US markets expected to open higher

All three of the US big markets look set to open higher today.

Futures trading suggests that the S&P 500 will open 1.05% higher, the Dow Jones will open 1.15% higher and the Nasdaq will be 1.01%.

13:11
Wood Group shares rise on multi-million dollar Saudi Aramco contract

Energy and engineering services firm Wood Group has clinched a ‘multi-million dollar’ contract with the oil giant Saudi Aramco and sent its share price higher today.

The company said the five-year contract will see it help the Middle Eastern firm deliver ‘one of its mega projects’ in Saudi Arabia.

Wood will provide engineering and project management services to develop the Marjan oil field, located in the country’s eastern province as part of the contract.

Catherine Chapman has the full story here.

12:58
Heathrow has 15th month of record passenger numbers

Heathrow has said it had a ‘flying start’ to 2018 with 5.8 million passengers travelling via the hub airport in January.

Passenger volumes were 1.1% higher than in January 2017 and marked the 15th consecutive record month for passenger numbers.

Domestic flights accounted for a lot of the growth with UK flights up 6.9% following the increased uptake of Flybe’s offering.

South Asia and Latin America also saw remarkable growth, up 11.3% and 6.9% respectively.

12:43
Bitcoin up 6.15%

Things have quietened down on the cryptocurrency front in recent days – with the stock markets themselves grabbing more headlines due to their own volatility.

But Bitcoin is still very much here and is at a healthy and what seems to be a relatively stable $8,700 trading value.

It marks a 6.15% increase over the past 24 hours.

11:44
FTSE holds on to gains

The FTSE 100 has held on to its gains today and remains around 1% up since opening.

It is currently at 7,168 having gained just over 75 points so far today.

11:43
Unemployment across OECD area down to pre-crisis levels

#Unemployment rate in the OECD area fell by 0.1% point in Dec 2017, to 5.5%. This is lower than its pre-crisis level in Apr 2008, see the #stats ➡️ https://t.co/uOPn6m5jpjpic.twitter.com/WxIczmvwZv

— OECD (@OECD) February 12, 2018

10:42
GAME and Sports Direct sign £55m deal

Retail computer gaming store GAME has signed a £55 million deal with Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct.

The deal will see BELONG arenas, where video game tournaments can be played, and GAME stores rolled out further in the UK.

Pop-up GAME and BELONG sites will also be set up in some Sports Direct stores.

GAME boss Martyn Gibbs said the deal would help push the brand’s move from retail to more experience-based.

‘As more consumer focus and spend moves to experiences, we are well advanced in delivering unique, world class gaming at both local and national level,’ Gibbs said. ‘Having launched the BELONG brand just over a year ago, we have now opened 19 arenas and are very encouraged by the popularity and performance of these locations.

‘We look forward to collaborating with Sports Direct to increase the availability and scale of BELONG and to capitalise on the increasing overlap between sports and esports fans by bringing this unique experience to a wider consumer base.’

Sports Direct has acquired a 50% interest in the rights of the BELONG intellectual property £3.2 million, and a 50% profit share of future profits.

10:02
Business activity in UK hits 17-month low

January UK Regional #PMI data indicates that private sector output growth was the strongest in the East Midlands. London #PMI eases to lowest level since EU referendum (Jul 16). More here: http://latestnewsnetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/ed32546734794d0d74fc0e850be521be-1.pdfpic.twitter.com/9eEJeasECq

— Markit Economics (@MarkitEconomics) February 12, 2018

09:37
Heineken 0% lager pushes profits as group expands footprint

Lager firm Heineken has reported a 5% growth in organic revenue and a 9.3% growth in its operating profit in what was a strong 2017 for the brand.

The volume of Heineken sold grew 4.5% and marked one of the brands strongest performance in recent years its latest trading updates said – volumes saw double-digit growth in Brazil, South Africa, Russia, Mexico and Romania.

It also said sales of its no-alcohol Heineken 0.0 drink, now in 16 countries, had exceeded expectations since its recent launch.

The European firm also boasted its own expansion, noting its takeover f 1,900 Punch Tavern pubs in the UK last year.

However, it added: ‘We expect the environment will continue to be marked by volatility and uncertainty.’

09:28
Markets continue to rise this morning

After opening in the green, the FTSE 100 has continued to rise this morning and is up more than 1% on its previous close last Friday.

Could it be the beginning of a market rebounding from last week’s correction?

09:05
Pound at $1.38

The pound is hovering at $1.38 on exchanges today after flirting with a level of $1.42 last week after the Bank of England’s interest rate announcement.

It is currently 1.12 against the euro.

08:47
Russell Hobbs distributor shares plummet 34%

The company that markets major household brands such as Russell Hobbs and Salter saw its share price plummet on Monday after a reporting a huge dip in takings over the last six months.

Revenue fell to £48.4 million in the six months up to January 2018 for UP Global Sourcing Holdings, known as ‘Ultimate Products’, down on £68.1 million it made in the first half of 2017 according to its latest trading update.

The firm markets a range of household names from Russell Hobbs to Beldray hoovers, George Wilkinson cookware and Dreamtime bedding but has struggled to secure orders from big retailers as cautious high street sentiment bites.

Underlying earnings for 2018 are expected to come in at between £6 million and £7 million it said, below what the market had expected.

The news sent shares in the FTSE All-Share company plummeting 34 per cent in the first hour of trading.

08:28
Headline news today: Barclays charged by Serious Fraud Office

Regulators have charged Barclays Bank over a £2.2 billion loan given to Qatar as part of a side deal linked to its emergency fundraising in 2008.

The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) extends a charge brought against the parent firm for ‘unlawful financial assistance’ last July.

At the time, the SFO had not yet decided whether to charge the Barclays Bank unit over the loan as well. Barclays Bank has now been charged with the same offence.

Read the full story here.

Both Barclays and its bank unit have said they will defend themselves against the charges.

‘Barclays does not expect there to be an impact on its ability to serve its customers and clients as a consequence of the charge having been brought,’ the company said in a statement.

The emergency fundraising at the centre of the SFO case allowed Barclays to avoid the fate of its bailed-out rivals Lloyds Banking Group and Royal Bank of Scotland.

08:04
FTSE opens up

As predicted by futures trading before markets opened, the FTSE 100 has opened up around 57 points at 7,149 – a rise of 0.80%.

It had edged close to dropping below 7,000 late last week as the global sell-off in markets continued but has since recovered some ground.

08:01
Wall Street ended last week in the green

The Dow Jones ended 1.28% higher last Friday and the S&P 500 closed 1.48% higher after a turbulent week which saw both markets plunged into correction territory with most of the gains made this year wiped out.

What happens on Wall Street has a big influence on the rest of the world’s markets – with Asia higher and Europe expected to rise this morning.

07:59
European markets expected to rise

The FTSE 100 is expected to open more than 1% up this morning after a solid performance from Asian stocks which ended up after a rebound on Wall Street.

The Europe-wide Stoxx, which covers 600 companies from 17 countries, is also expected to open 1.6% higher this morning if pre-market futures trading are to be believed.

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