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London open: Stocks rally ahead of services data; Melrose surges

Thu, 3rd Sep 2020 08:17

(Sharecast News) - London stocks rose in early trade on Thursday, taking their cue from a solid session on Wall Street as US stimulus and Covid-19 vaccine hopes continue to underpin sentiment.
At 0840 BST, the FTSE 100 was up 0.9% at 5,994.57.

Spreadex analyst Connor Campbell said: "Fuelled by hopes of stimulus stateside, and actual stimulus on the continent, the European markets surged out of the gates on Thursday."

The broader mood in equity markets was lifted after France unveiled a €100bn stimulus plan to get the recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic on track. This helped to propel European indices sharply higher, with the FTSE's gains more modest in comparison.

"Receiving some run-off goodwill not only from Thursday's French announcement, but the underlying vaccine hopes that were egged on yesterday, the FTSE - perhaps hopefully of further stimulus down the road, but with no timeframe to talk of - nevertheless lagged behind its peers," Campbell said. "A 0.9% increase continues to lift the UK index away from its recent lows, but still left it short of the key 6,000 level."

On the data front, investors were looking ahead to the release of Markit's services PMI for August, which is due at 0930 BST. It is expected to be unchanged from July at 60.1.

In equity markets, Melrose Industries was sitting pretty at the top of the FTSE 100 after saying it planned big job cuts at its GKN Aerospace business as the industrial turnaround company reported a first-half loss of £560m.

The company's pre-tax loss for the six months to the end of June widened from £131m a year earlier as revenue dropped to £4.1bn from £5.6bn. Melrose said GKN's sales were expected to fall by up to 30% in 2020 and that it would make a "significant reduction" to the division's global workforce in the second half.

Meanwhile, Capita surged to the top of the FTSE 250 following a report that private equity firm CVC Capital Partners is looking to bid for the outsourcer after a slump in the share price.

According to This is Money, CVC has its eye on Capita, whose shares have fallen 82% this year. It was also understood that CVC might be facing competition from a rival suitor interesting in buying the company's education software division, which Capita put up for sale earlier this year.

On the downside, Admiral, BHP and Antofagasta were all weaker as their stock went ex-dividend.



Market Movers

FTSE 100 (UKX) 5,994.57 0.90%
FTSE 250 (MCX) 17,805.89 0.57%
techMARK (TASX) 3,856.91 1.10%

FTSE 100 - Risers

Melrose Industries (MRO) 109.95p 9.40%
British Land Company (BLND) 370.20p 5.59%
Rolls-Royce Holdings (RR.) 226.00p 3.86%
ITV (ITV) 61.30p 3.76%
International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 209.80p 3.40%
Informa (INF) 412.80p 3.20%
Compass Group (CPG) 1,265.50p 3.14%
Barclays (BARC) 106.26p 2.67%
WPP (WPP) 633.40p 2.62%
Prudential (PRU) 1,207.50p 1.98%

FTSE 100 - Fallers

Admiral Group (ADM) 2,586.00p -3.54%
BHP Group (BHP) 1,700.20p -2.30%
Next (NXT) 5,892.00p -2.29%
Polymetal International (POLY) 1,938.50p -1.25%
Antofagasta (ANTO) 1,090.00p -0.73%
Ocado Group (OCDO) 2,507.00p -0.67%
United Utilities Group (UU.) 859.60p -0.37%
Evraz (EVR) 333.60p -0.27%
Pennon Group (PNN) 1,050.00p -0.14%
Rio Tinto (RIO) 4,652.50p -0.12%

FTSE 250 - Risers

Capita (CPI) 31.88p 8.81%
National Express Group (NEX) 122.30p 7.19%
Network International Holdings (NETW) 404.60p 4.93%
Carnival (CCL) 1,071.50p 4.49%
William Hill (WMH) 185.45p 4.21%
Virgin Money UK (VMUK) 92.32p 3.99%
Micro Focus International (MCRO) 303.00p 3.98%
Meggitt (MGGT) 296.30p 3.93%
easyJet (EZJ) 612.20p 3.66%
TUI AG Reg Shs (DI) (TUI) 333.80p 3.34%

FTSE 250 - Fallers

Pershing Square Holdings Ltd NPV (PSH) 2,065.00p -5.71%
Greencoat UK Wind (UKW) 135.00p -4.53%
Barr (A.G.) (BAG) 401.50p -4.40%
Wood Group (John) (WG.) 225.20p -3.68%
Jlen Environmental Assets Group Limited NPV (JLEN) 117.50p -2.49%
Hochschild Mining (HOC) 229.40p -1.38%
Hammerson (HMSO) 288.00p -1.37%
VinaCapital Vietnam Opportunity Fund Ltd. (VOF) 318.50p -1.24%
LXI Reit (LXI) 112.60p -1.23%
Biffa (BIFF) 205.00p -1.20%

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