LONDON -- The FTSE 100 (FTSEINDICES:^FTSE) is pretty flat today, putting on just 14 points to 6,113 as of 9:45 a.m. EST. It has been pretty much unaffected by today's interest rate decisions as the European Central Bank kept the eurozone rate at 0.75%, while the Bank of England left the U.K. rate unchanged at 0.5%, as predicted. Asian markets rose on the back of improving news from China, whose trade balance is better than expected.
As the FTSE 100 is doing well at the moment, so are some of the U.K.'s major shares. We look at three that are on the way up at the moment.
Tesco (LSE:TSCO) (NASDAQOTH:TSCDY)
Today's Christmas trading statement from Tesco was positive, as expected, and led to a 2.8% rise in the share price to 359 pence. For the six weeks to Jan. 5, total group sales rose by 3.8%, with like-for-like sales up 1.8%, marking the supermarket's strongest growth rate for three years. In-store food sales have been recovering nicely, suggesting that Tesco's strategy of improving its shopping experience is bearing fruit.
International sales remained consistent with the third quarter, showing growth of 3.4%, with Asia topping the table with a 7.6% rise. Tesco's outlook for the full year remains unchanged from its December update, with trade in central Europe still feeling the pinch.
Pace, the TV and broadband technologist, released a 2012 trading update today and saw its share price pick up 3.2% to reach 199 pence. It has now more than doubled over the past 12 months. The driver today was the news that full-year performance is now expected to be ahead of previous guidance, thanks to record fourth-quarter revenue bringing a strong end to the year.
The company's underlying operating margin is going to come in at around 7.3%, and year-end debt is expected to be down 47% to no greater than $170 million.
Among the biggest risers of the day was SIG, which has climbed 9.2% to 137 pence. Shares in the specialist building-products supplier are now up about 50% since January 2012 after an upbeat trading statement. Although revenue for the year was pretty flat on a constant-currency basis, the second half was strong and has led the board to expect a pre-tax profit of no less than 82 million pounds, which is significantly ahead of previous City forecasts.
Daily gains from shares can all play their part in making you your first million. But the real secret to becoming rich from shares is simple long-term investing in fundamentally sound companies and letting steady growth and dividends power your wealth upward. If you don't think making a million is feasible, read this free Motley Fool report and see if you change your mind. The report won't cost you a penny, so click here to have a copy delivered to your inbox while it's still available.
Alan does not own any shares mentioned in this article. The Motley Fool owns shares in Tesco. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.