Firmer commodity stocks lift FTSE; Intel pleases

* FTSE 100 up 0.4 percent

* Commodity stocks higher, risk appetite increases

* Technology stocks gain from Intel results

By Simon Falush

LONDON, April 14 (BestGrowthStock) – Strong results from U.S. chip
giant Intel (INTC.O: ) boosted sentiment on the global demand
outlook, helping bolster commodity stocks to push Britain’s top
share index up in early trade on Wednesday.

By 0811 GMT, the FTSE 100 (.FTSE: ) was up 24.31 points at
5,785.97 after it fell 15.99 points or 0.3 percent on Tuesday,
back close to Monday’s 22 month intra-day peak.

Intel’s sales and margin forecasts far outpaced market
expectations when they were released after the Wall Street close
on Tuesday reinforcing hopes for an acceleration in the
recovery. [ID:nN1382801]

This helped prompt a rise in commodity prices on increased
demand hopes from the recovery which bolstered heavyweight
miners and energy companies.

Rio Tinto (RIO.L: ), Xstrata (XTA.L: ), Lonmin (LMI.L: ), Anglo
American (AAL.L: ), Kazakhmys (KAZ.L: ) and BHP Billiton (BLT.L: )
added 1 to 2 percent.

BG Group (BG.L: ), BP (BP.L: ), Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L: ),
Tullow Oil (TLW.L: ), Cairn Energy (CNE.L: ) gained 0.1 to 1
percent.

“The market has the hope, or perhaps the expectation, that
Q1 earnings will be good enough to keep equities moving higher
and this is pushing (worries about) Greece to the backburner,”
said Peter Dixon, economist at Commerzbank.

Chipmaker Arm Holdings (ARM.L: ) gained 1.5 percent as the
Intel results boosted the outlook for the tech sector, while
software firm Autonomy (AUTN.L: ) also benefited from the improved
sentiment.

Telecoms carrier BT Group (BT.L: ) added 1.7 percent, in
demand as Morgan Stanley released a note saying that it looks
substantially cheaper than its U.S. peers such as AT&T (ATT.N: ).

BAE Systems (BAES.L: ) gained 1.3 percent, supported by a
report in the Daily Telegraph that said the firm has won a
Ministry of Defence contract, worth $25 million, to supply
anti-missile technology for Chinook and Tornado aircraft in
Afghanistan.

Among a relatively limited list of fallers, Associated
British Foods (ABF.L: ) fell 1.8 percent after Deutsche Bank
downgraded the food to retail group to “sell” from “hold”,
citing valuation concerns over Primark.

Ex-dividend factors knocked 1.91 points off the FTSE 100
index on Wednesday, with BG Group (BG.L: ), Capita (CPI.L: ), Legal
& General (LGEN.L: ) and Tullow Oil (TLW.L: ) all losing their
payout attractions.

Investors will refocus on earnings from the U.S. banking
sector later on Wednesday with JP Morgan Chase (JPM.N: ) posting
results before the U.S. open.

No major domestic economic data will be released on
Wednesday, so the main macro focus will be on a key batch of
U.S. data due in the afternoon, notably March consumer prices
and retail sales numbers, both scheduled for 1230 GMT.

U.S. business inventories for February will be released at
1400 GMT, and the latest Federal Reserve Beige Book will be
published after the London close at 1800 GMT.

Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke will deliver his
latest Congressional testimony on Wednesday.

Stock Market News

(Editing by Jon Loades-Carter)

Firmer commodity stocks lift FTSE; Intel pleases