Michele Maatouk Sharecast | 17 Jul, 2017 12:25 - Updated: 12:25 | | |
London stocks had extended gains by midday on Monday, lifted by encouraging Chinese data and a weaker pound.
The FTSE 100 was up 0.6% to 7,420.40, while the pound was down 0.3% versus the euro at 1.1400 and 0.2% weaker against the dollar at 1.3064 as Brexit secretary David Davis began a second round of negotiations in Brussels against a backdrop of political infighting among British ministers over the terms of the EU exit.
IG analyst Joshua Mahony said: "There is now a clear need to get a transitional deal into place, with the negotiations looking ever more unlikely to conclude satisfactorily within the two-year deadline."
Heavily-weighted mining stocks got a boost after data revealed China's second-quarter gross domestic product grew 6.9% from a year earlier, unchanged from the first quarter and ahead of expectations for 6.8%growth. On a quarterly basis, the economy grew 1.7% compared to 1.3% in the first quarter, as expected. Chinese retail sales, industrial production and fixed asset investment data for June were also encouraging.
In corporate news, ITV was the standout gainer after it poached Carolyn McCall from easyJet to be its new chief executive.
Carillion rocketed as it won HS2 contracts worth £1.4bn as part of its CEK joint venture with Kier and Eiffage. Meanwhile, Balfour Beatty gained as it won two contracts worth £2.5bn with JV partner Vinci and Mitie was boosted by a double upgrade to 'buy' at Investec.
Centrica edged higher as it and Stadtwerke München agreed to combine Centrica's European oil and gas exploration and production business with Bayerngas Norge to form a new joint venture.
Weir Group surged as it said its updated outlook for the group's full-year performance is now for strong constant currency revenue and profit growth, with revenues and operating profits in the oil & gas division set to be above the upper end of analysts' estimates as upstream North American markets have recovered more strongly than anticipated in recent weeks.
AstraZeneca rebounded after last week's rumour that chief executive Pascal Soriot was leaving flip-flopped into new rumours that he was now in the remain camp.
Barclays nudged lower as it emerged that the trial of the bank and four former executives charged with fraud over undisclosed payments to Qatari investors has been set for January 2019.
Elsewhere, the latest survey from Rightmove released overnight revealed that the prices of homes put up for sale in the UK remained just about flat last month.
Newly-marketed property prices edged up 0.1% in June, which was stronger than the previous month’s fall of 0.4%, and is a solid performance as the start of the summer holiday season generally has a dampening effect on both prices and activity, Rightmove said.
As the fundamentals of the housing market remain good, the online property experts said, this had led to the number of sales agreed numbers remaining almost identical to those in 2016, with many parts of the country seeing as high a proportion of properties marked as sold than at any time in the last seven years.
FTSE 100 - Risers
ITV (ITV) 180.20p 2.97%
Ashtead Group (AHT) 1,618.00p 2.34%
Glencore (GLEN) 322.80p 2.12%
Anglo American (AAL) 1,140.50p 2.10%
AstraZeneca (AZN) 5,101.00p 2.05%
Fresnillo (FRES) 1,509.00p 1.89%
Kingfisher (KGF) 299.00p 1.77%
Smurfit Kappa Group (SKG) 2,361.00p 1.68%
Micro Focus International (MCRO) 2,122.00p 1.58%
Mondi (MNDI) 2,044.00p 1.54%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Shire Plc (SHP) 4,123.50p -1.10%
Pearson (PSON) 630.00p -0.87%
Babcock International Group (BAB) 848.00p -0.53%
Royal Mail (RMG) 399.10p -0.47%
Imperial Brands (IMB) 3,483.50p -0.46%
Experian (EXPN) 1,581.00p -0.44%
Hammerson (HMSO) 582.00p -0.43%
Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY) 66.70p -0.36%
Paddy Power Betfair (PPB) 7,725.00p -0.32%
Land Securities Group (LAND) 1,015.00p -0.29%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Carillion (CLLN) 69.15p 23.15%
Weir Group (WEIR) 1,950.00p 6.91%
Electra Private Equity (ELTA) 1,692.00p 4.44%
Mitie Group (MTO) 283.00p 3.40%
Balfour Beatty (BBY) 270.60p 2.93%
Rotork (ROR) 248.50p 2.77%
Vesuvius (VSVS) 593.00p 2.60%
Centamin (DI) (CEY) 163.20p 2.58%
Kaz Minerals (KAZ) 599.00p 2.48%
Petra Diamonds Ltd.(DI) (PDL) 100.90p 2.44%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
TalkTalk Telecom Group (TALK) 184.10p -2.18%
CYBG (CYBG) 273.60p -1.83%
Essentra (ESNT) 543.50p -1.54%
Barr (A.G.) (BAG) 595.50p -1.49%
Savills (SVS) 874.50p -1.46%
Metro Bank (MTRO) 3,535.00p -1.37%
Rank Group (RNK) 221.00p -1.34%
Workspace Group (WKP) 874.00p -1.19%
Wizz Air Holdings (WIZZ) 2,543.00p -1.13%
Coats Group (COA) 75.25p -0.99%
Sports nutrition company Science in Sport reported a 28% improvement in sales in its first half on Thursday to £8.27m, in a period the board said consisted of “strong” sales increases and “significant” progress in the execution of its growth strategy.
Media and entertainment company reach4entertainment has agreed a variation of the covenants on its three-year secured asset base facility with PNC Business Credit, it announced on Thursday, which it said reflected the shift in the weighting of its revenues in 2016 and 2017, which affected the 12-month rolling covenant test.
Advanced payment technology company SafeCharge said trading in the first half of its financial year was “solid” on Thursday, with the performance of SafeCharge Acquiring “particularly strong” and ahead of management expectations.
China and Mongolia-focussed closed-end investment company Origo Partners, which is seeking to divest its entire portfolio by November 2018, has entered into binding agreements with ChinaEquity International for the disposal of its 2% equity stake in Rising Technology Corporation and its 1.6% beneficial interest in Beijing Rising Information Technology.
Manufacturing conditions in the Philadelphia region deteriorated more than expected in July, according to a survey released on Thursday.
"We're not there yet", European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi said in his press conference when asked whether monetary policy needed to remain as accommodative as it was.
The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits fell more than expected last week, according to data from the Labor Department.
13:37 Thursday broker round-up
BHP Billiton: Citigroup downgrades to Neutral with a target price of 1350p.
Nyota Minerals said its cash position was little changed at the end of the latest quarter despite its most recent share placing and after the sale of its residual tenements, even as the company continued to search for a viable business after an attempted cash call fell through.
BP has begun talks to sell its North Sea oil and gas production assets, according to reports on Thursday.