Michele Maatouk WebFG News | 08 Nov, 2017 08:47 | | |
London stocks edged higher in early trade on Wednesday, helped along by a weaker pound and some well-received releases from the likes of Marks & Spencer and SSE.
At 0830 GMT, the FTSE 100 was up 0.3% to 7,533.61, while the pound was down 0.4% against the euro at 1.1316 and off 0.3% versus the dollar at 1.3133.
Data released earlier showed China’s imports rose 17.2% in October, while exports were up 6.9%, versus consensus expectations for a 16% jump and a 7.2% gain, respectively.
CMC Markets analyst Michael Hewson said: “China is making a concerted effort to move towards a more service focused economy. That being said, their demand for minerals is still a major driver of commodity prices and mining companies.”
In UK corporate news, Marks & Spencer rose after it reported stronger first-half profits than expected and outlined some material shifts in the pace and direction of its five-year transformation plan, although chief finance officer Helen Weir has stepped down.
Energy generation and supply company SSE was in the black as it confirmed plans to merge its domestic business in the UK with Npower to form a new energy company. Strong gains came despite the group reporting a 14% drop in adjusted pre-tax profits for the six months to September.
Workspace advanced as it posted a jump in interim pre-tax profit and net rental income amid good customer demand.
Tullow Oil gushed higher after it upped its full-year production guidance, while cyber security group Sophos gained ground as it raised its forecasts for new business.
Wetherspoon was trading higher after it said like-for-like sales in the first 13 weeks of the financial year were up 6.1%, while Esure rallied as it bumped up its guidance for the full year following a record third quarter thanks to a strong performance in the motor division.
OneSavings Bank was on the front foot as it reported 17% growth in its loan book for the first nine months of the year, driven primarily by its buy-to-let activities, and upgraded its loan book growth forecast.
Going the other way, Persimmon was in the red despite saying that demand for its properties remained strong in the third quarter as the housebuilder benefited from the government's Help to Buy programme.
Low-cost Hungarian airline Wizz Air flew lower despite lifting its profit outlook following record first-half results, with “robust” trading across all of the group’s markets.
In broker note action, Mondi was boosted by an upgrade to ‘overweight’ from ‘equalweight’ by Morgan Stanley, while Indivior was lifted by an upgrade to ‘buy’ at Citi. But AB Foods was hit as Goldman Sachs cut its stance on the Primark owner to ‘neutral’ from ‘buy’.
FTSE 100 - Risers
SSE (SSE) 1,451.00p 2.91%
Imperial Brands (IMB) 3,170.00p 2.26%
Mondi (MNDI) 1,834.00p 1.72%
Burberry Group (BRBY) 2,002.00p 1.57%
CRH (CRH) 2,728.00p 1.11%
British American Tobacco (BATS) 4,974.50p 0.86%
Unilever (ULVR) 4,255.00p 0.82%
Micro Focus International (MCRO) 2,658.00p 0.76%
Old Mutual (OML) 191.40p 0.74%
Rio Tinto (RIO) 3,760.50p 0.72%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Associated British Foods (ABF) 3,151.00p -2.08%
NMC Health (NMC) 3,145.00p -1.69%
Persimmon (PSN) 2,836.00p -1.32%
G4S (GFS) 263.80p -1.01%
Direct Line Insurance Group (DLG) 352.40p -0.98%
London Stock Exchange Group (LSE) 3,747.00p -0.69%
Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS) 274.50p -0.69%
Barclays (BARC) 180.15p -0.66%
Standard Life Aberdeen (SLA) 422.50p -0.66%
Antofagasta (ANTO) 981.50p -0.66%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Indivior (INDV) 403.00p 5.83%
Sophos Group (SOPH) 645.00p 4.96%
OneSavings Bank (OSB) 416.90p 4.88%
esure Group (ESUR) 268.70p 4.51%
Workspace Group (WKP) 921.50p 1.71%
Jardine Lloyd Thompson Group (JLT) 1,325.00p 1.69%
Wetherspoon (J.D.) (JDW) 1,264.00p 1.61%
Aveva Group (AVV) 2,598.00p 1.48%
Nostrum Oil & Gas (NOG) 390.50p 1.48%
Tullow Oil (TLW) 202.70p 1.45%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Wizz Air Holdings (WIZZ) 3,050.00p -8.55%
Rank Group (RNK) 228.90p -2.43%
Dignity (DTY) 2,396.00p -2.20%
Fidessa Group (FDSA) 2,228.00p -1.98%
FDM Group (Holdings) (FDM) 955.00p -1.90%
St. Modwen Properties (SMP) 388.00p -1.25%
Ferrexpo (FXPO) 257.10p -1.12%
William Hill (WMH) 269.10p -1.10%
Electra Private Equity (ELTA) 960.00p -1.08%
Redefine International (RDI) 38.09p -1.06%
Stocks reversed early gains as investors opted to play it safe going into the weekend and the euro edged a tad higher on the back of the political gyrations on Capitol Hill.
Stocks have started the morning trading slightly higher, tracking overnight gains on Wall Street but analysts are worried about buying into Thursday's bounce.
London's top flight index slipped on Friday, but managed to finish well-off its lows of the session despite renewed Brexit angst as the pound gave back early gains.
DIY retailer Kingfisher has more "reasons to be cheerful" thanks to an improving French outlook, analysts at RBC Capital Markets said on Friday, while clothes seller Supergroup remains "compelling" but its shares have gained a lot in recent weeks.
Real estate investment group Alpha Real Trust saw its net asset value (NAV) rise in its first half of trading as it moved to make further investments in build-to-rent projects.
Industrial and logistics-focussed real estate investment trust Pacific Industrial & Logistics has completed the sale of an asset located at Hammond Road, Bedford, for a total consideration of £5.8m, it announced on Friday.
DP Poland, which holds the exclusive master franchise for the Domino’s Pizza brand in Poland, celebrated the opening of its 50th location in the country on Friday.
National investment group Mercia Technologies has made a new direct investment into Aston EyeTech - a spinout from Aston University, Birmingham - which has developed a range of proprietary hardware and software products in ocular care, it announced on Friday.
Modelling, simulation and training solutions provider SimiGon has now received final regulatory approval for a $2m purchase order received from the Israeli Air Force, initially announced on 20 June 2016, it confirmed on Friday.
Agricultural investment group Agriterra saw losses widen in the first half of its trading year as subdued demand for its maize flour products slashed revenues by more than a third.