London open: Stocks push higher as Brexit talks begin

Michele Maatouk Sharecast | 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

17:03 BowLeven appoints new director

AIM-listed oil and gas group, BowLeven announced on Friday that Matt McDonald would be appointed to the firm's board as non-executive director with immediate effect.

17:04 Week ahead: Not everything that happens at Jackson Hole stays there

In the coming week, the spotlight will be on the Federal Reserve bank of Kansas City's Symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

16:26 Acacia remains a 'buy' for HSBC but target price slashed

HSBC cut its target price for Acacia Mining by 47% but kept its 'buy' recommendation in place as the months-long spat with the Tanzanian government still hangs over the company.

16:10 US open: Stocks flat heading into the weekend, political ruckus weighs

Wall Street is essentially flat heading into the weekend after the head of the University of Michigan's consumer confidence survey said recent events in Charlottesville were likely to take their toll on sentiment.

15:18 FTSE 250 movers: Hikma still looking ill; Kaz Minerals buffs up

Hikma Pharmaceuticals shares continued their downward spiral as HSBC slashed their target price, telling clients its first half numbers contained lower guidance for generics and a tougher outlook for injectables and branded drugs.

14:56 Calpine agrees to be acquired for $5.6bn in cash

Shares of Calpine Corporation surged after news broke that the American power generation company had agreed to be acquired by a consortium led by Energy Capital Partners.

14:27 FTSE 100 movers: Airline shares down after Barcelona attack; Upgrade boost for Mondi, RSA

The Barcelona attack and disintegrating relationship between US President Donald Trump and the business community made for a very heavy splash of red among the Footsie on Friday.

14:16 AppScatter eyes IPO in early September

AppScatter Group, a mobile app distribution and management platform, is drumming up institutional investor support for a flotation on London's AIM market in early September.

14:14 Foot Locker stumbles taking Nike and Under Armour with it

Athletic apparel retailer, Foot Locker posted earnings per share of $0.62 on revenue of $1.7bn for the second quarter, falling short of analyst projections of an EPS of $0.90 on sales of $1.8bn.

14:12 US pre-open: Stocks edged higher as White House says Cohn to stay

Wall Street was set for slight gains at the end of the week after the White House announced that National Economic Council director Gary Cohn would not be stepping down.