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London midday: FTSE nudges up as investors pause for breath

Fri, 09th Feb 2024 10:41

(Sharecast News) - London stocks had nudged higher by midday on Friday, with Convatec in the lead after solid results from a Danish peer.

The FTSE 100 was up just 0.1% at 7,603.50.

Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell, said: "After a barrage of company announcements this week, it's no wonder that markets have paused for breath on Friday.

"Investors have had so much to take in from a wealth of big names that they're exhausted by the all the numbers."

In equity markets, medical device maker Convatec was the top performer on the FTSE 100 after well-received interim results from Danish peer Coloplast.

Supermarket giant Tesco gained after agreeing to sell its retail banking business to Barclays for £600m.

The duo also unveiled a 10-year partnership to market and distribute credit cards, unsecured personal loans and deposits using the Tesco brand, as well as explore other opportunities to offer financial services to Tesco customers.

Tesco said it expected to rake in a further £100m after the settlement of certain regulatory capital amounts and transaction costs. Combined with the previously announced special dividend of £250m paid by Tesco Bank last August, this is expected to result in total cash received of around £1bn, the majority of which will be returned to shareholders in the form of an incremental share buyback.

BAE Systems edged up after Kazakhstan-based carrier Air Astana - in which it has a 49% stake - priced its IPO at $9.50 per share, giving it a valuation of $847m.

On the downside, Legal & General was lower as Citi cut its 2023 earnings per share estimates and opened a 30-day 'negative catalyst watch' on the shares ahead of full-year results on 6 March.

Citi said it expects material EPS downgrades into results "and although this is primarily investment variance driven, this highlights the opacity of Legal & General Capital (LGC) and comes against a backdrop of L&G being the best performing UK life insurer over the past three months and what we see as limited upside capital return surprise potential".

Polymers group Victrex fell as it announced a "soft start" in its first quarter as a result of continued end-market weakness and tough comparatives with the prior year, with group revenues falling by over a fifth.

Bellway nudged lower as it said half-year housing revenue fell to more than £1.25bn from £1.80bn a year earlier, in line with the board's expectations.

Market Movers

FTSE 100 (UKX) 7,603.50 0.11%

FTSE 250 (MCX) 19,112.80 0.05%

techMARK (TASX) 4,402.63 0.20%

FTSE 100 - Risers

Convatec Group (CTEC) 239.60p 2.13%

Sage Group (SGE) 1,195.00p 1.92%

Entain (ENT) 1,004.00p 1.76%

Smith (DS) (SMDS) 314.00p 1.75%

BP (BP.) 483.80p 1.59%

3i Group (III) 2,416.00p 1.43%

Hikma Pharmaceuticals (HIK) 1,957.50p 1.42%

Relx plc (REL) 3,348.00p 1.42%

Experian (EXPN) 3,384.00p 1.38%

Coca-Cola HBC AG (CDI) (CCH) 2,207.00p 1.38%

FTSE 100 - Fallers

Glencore (GLEN) 388.00p -2.22%

British American Tobacco (BATS) 2,435.00p -1.97%

Legal & General Group (LGEN) 237.20p -1.70%

Land Securities Group (LAND) 640.20p -1.54%

Fresnillo (FRES) 486.50p -1.36%

Burberry Group (BRBY) 1,278.50p -1.35%

Croda International (CRDA) 4,958.00p -1.27%

Auto Trader Group (AUTO) 712.00p -1.17%

Prudential (PRU) 810.00p -1.00%

HSBC Holdings (HSBA) 611.60p -0.99%

FTSE 250 - Risers

Watches of Switzerland Group (WOSG) 389.60p 4.62%

IG Group Holdings (IGG) 687.50p 2.23%

Indivior (INDV) 1,402.00p 2.19%

TBC Bank Group (TBCG) 2,925.00p 2.09%

Tullow Oil (TLW) 30.66p 2.06%

Future (FUTR) 699.50p 2.04%

Asia Dragon Trust (DGN) 358.00p 1.99%

TI Fluid Systems (TIFS) 150.00p 1.90%

Aston Martin Lagonda Global Holdings (AML) 175.10p 1.80%

Me Group International (MEGP) 137.00p 1.78%

FTSE 250 - Fallers

Just Group (JUST) 81.50p -3.89%

PZ Cussons (PZC) 97.30p -3.28%

Drax Group (DRX) 442.10p -1.84%

Dr. Martens (DOCS) 85.40p -1.78%

Grainger (GRI) 259.20p -1.74%

Hill and Smith (HILS) 1,860.00p -1.59%

RHI Magnesita N.V. (DI) (RHIM) 3,496.00p -1.52%

Hochschild Mining (HOC) 92.45p -1.44%

Helios Towers (HTWS) 75.95p -1.43%

Victrex plc (VCT) 1,325.00p -1.41%

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