London open: Stocks push higher as Brexit talks begin

Michele Maatouk WebFG News | 19 Jun, 2017 08:41 - Updated: 09:41 | | |

London Stock Exchange AIM LSE shares

London stocks rose in early trade on Monday, taking their cue from an upbeat Asian session and with Brexit negotiations due to kick off in Brussels later.

At 0830 BST, the FTSE 100 was up 0.8% to 7,521.58, while the pound was flat against the euro at 1.1418 and versus the pound at 1.2779 as the European Union's chief negotiator Michel Barnier and UK Brexit secretary David Davis were due to meet in the Belgian capital at 1000 BST.

Neil Wilson, senior market analyst at ETX Capital, pointed out that Prime Minister Theresa May's Conservative party is pushing for a hard deal - an exit from the single market and customs union - but said that this carries a large degree of risk.

"As the larger partner, the EU holds the trump cards. The pound would gain some support above the $1.25 level but a lot would depend on the scale of any deal."

Wilson said a "very soft" Norway-style deal would be market friendly but unpalatable to the 52% and easy to argue against. "It would undoubtedly be positive for sterling and could see GBPUSD regain levels seen before the referendum, but looks highly unlikely at present."

Meanwhile, a "softish" deal, which would involve remaining in the customers union, "could be an option that both sides can just about stomach".

"It would represent a major shift in the government negotiating position for this to be on the table - a new government perhaps? Domestic political uncertainty means this scenario remains a possibility, however."

Investors will also be waking up to news that one person was killed and several injured after a man drove into pedestrians near London's Finsbury Park Mosque in the early hours of Monday morning. The driver of the van, a 48-year old man, has been arrested and the incident is being treated as a potential terrorist attack.

Over in France, President Emmanuel Macron's party won a clear parliamentary majority, weeks after his own presidential victory. His La Republique en Marche won more than 300 seats in the 577-seat National Assembly. This was fewer than some polls predicted, however.

In corporate news, Barclays advanced as the Serious Fraud Office was expected to announce as soon as Tuesday whether it has decided to bring criminal charges against some of its bankers in relation to its emergency fundraising at the height of the financial crisis.

Workspace ticked up after announcing the exchange of contracts for the disposal of the third and final phase of the mixed-use redevelopment of Bow Enterprise Park, London E3 on Monday.

Outsourcer Capita rallied as Jefferies upgraded its stance on the stock to 'buy' from 'hold' saying the risk/reward is slowly improving.

Ocado was also in the back amid speculation it could be a takeover target in the wake of Amazon's agreement to buy Whole Foods last week.

Cairn Energy was on the back foot after saying it is seeking $1bn in damages from an international arbitration case in The Hague over its long-running tax dispute with the Indian government, on top of the $104m (£81.4m) that Indian tax authorities signed off last week.

Market Movers

FTSE 100 (UKX) 7,521.58 0.78%
FTSE 250 (MCX) 19,898.42 0.41%
techMARK (TASX) 3,610.59 0.42%

FTSE 100 - Risers

Anglo American (AAL) 984.60p 1.79%
Barclays (BARC) 206.65p 1.67%
Antofagasta (ANTO) 793.00p 1.67%
Smurfit Kappa Group (SKG) 2,333.00p 1.43%
Diageo (DGE) 2,372.50p 1.32%
Tesco (TSCO) 173.35p 1.32%
Rio Tinto (RIO) 3,083.00p 1.28%
Marks & Spencer Group (MKS) 349.50p 1.25%
BP (BP.) 472.25p 1.20%
Provident Financial (PFG) 2,888.00p 1.19%

FTSE 100 - Fallers

Mondi (MNDI) 2,069.00p -1.15%
Hammerson (HMSO) 599.00p -0.50%
Mediclinic International (MDC) 791.00p -0.44%
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) 4,417.00p -0.38%
Randgold Resources Ltd. (RRS) 7,115.00p -0.14%
BT Group (BT.A) 290.95p -0.05%
RSA Insurance Group (RSA) 631.50p -0.00%
St James's Place (STJ) 1,236.00p 0.00%
3i Group (III) 912.00p 0.05%
British Land Company (BLND) 632.50p 0.08%

FTSE 250 - Risers

Ocado Group (OCDO) 290.20p 5.22%
Capita (CPI) 667.00p 3.33%
Aberdeen Asset Management (ADN) 292.50p 2.49%
Mitie Group (MTO) 294.50p 1.66%
Kaz Minerals (KAZ) 479.30p 1.65%
Temple Bar Inv Trust (TMPL) 1,291.00p 1.65%
GVC Holdings (GVC) 800.50p 1.65%
Hays (HAS) 167.70p 1.64%
OneSavings Bank (OSB) 402.50p 1.54%
Wizz Air Holdings (WIZZ) 2,331.00p 1.48%

FTSE 250 - Fallers

Diploma (DPLM) 1,093.00p -3.36%
Nostrum Oil & Gas (NOG) 487.90p -2.91%
Rank Group (RNK) 237.90p -2.30%
Workspace Group (WKP) 931.50p -1.74%
Telecom Plus (TEP) 1,227.00p -1.37%
Pets at Home Group (PETS) 162.00p -1.22%
Dairy Crest Group (DCG) 645.00p -1.15%
Entertainment One Limited (ETO) 220.20p -1.12%
John Laing Group (JLG) 305.50p -1.10%
Millennium & Copthorne Hotels (MLC) 459.30p -0.97%

More news

15 Dec London close: Footsie gains as pound drops, Wall Street hits fresh highs

The top flight index recovered some ground on Friday, but mostly on account of weakness in Sterling after German Chancellor Angela Merkel reportedly echoed other European Union officials, saying "the most difficult phase is ahead of us".

15 Dec Week ahead: US data, Catalan elections in focus

The focus in the coming week will continue to be on the ebb and flow of data out of the US, including Republicans' progress on securing passage of their tax cuts.

15 Dec US open: Stocks jump as Republicans move to secure passage of tax cuts

Wall Street is heading higher again on Friday amid news that Republicans were tweaking their proposed tax cuts in order to secure prompt passage of the US tax bill.

15 Dec Airbus chief executive to step down in board shake-up

The chief executive of French planemaker Airbus will step down from his position in 2019 as the company announced a major shake-up of its management team.

15 Dec FTSE 250 movers: TalkTalk rises but Serco gives back gains

London’s FTSE 250 was up 0.1% to 20,023.23 in afternoon trade on Friday as the Christmas lull kicked in.

15 Dec US industrial production rises slightly less than expected in November

Industrial production in the States rose slightly less quickly than expected last month, despite higher output of business equipment and materials.

15 Dec Strategic Minerals renegotiates acquisition of Leigh Creek Copper Mine

Diversified mineral production and development company Strategic Minerals announced on Friday that, after the successful completion of technical and financial due diligence on the Leigh Creek Copper Mine company, it has agreed to continue with the acquisition on renegotiated terms.

15 Dec FTSE 100 movers: Sky jumps but retailers retreat on H&M sales

London’s FTSE 100 was up 0.3% to 7,469.23 in quiet afternoon trade on Friday.

15 Dec Gfinity partners with Microsoft for next Halo World Championship

International esports entertainment group Gfinity has been named as a preferred event partner to Microsoft for the forthcoming ‘Halo World Championship 2018’ for the next season, it announced on Friday.

15 Dec Hutchison Chi-Med begins fruquintinib trial in US

Hutchison China MediTech, known as Chi-Med, has initiated the United States Phase I bridging clinical trial of fruquintinib, it announced on Friday.