London close: Stocks finish firmer on England reopening progress

Market Close Report
15:30, 6th April 2021

(Sharecast News) - London equity markets finished well into positive territory on Tuesday, following a record session on Wall Street, with reopening stocks on the front foot.
The FTSE 100 ended the session up 1.28% at 6,823.55, and the FTSE 250 was 1.2% firmer at 21,994.48.

Sterling was weaker, meanwhile, last falling 0.36% on the dollar to trade at $1.3850, and sliding 0.72% against the euro to €1.1685.

"Boris Johnson helped lift UK stocks with his optimistic outlook yesterday, as the ongoing reopening plans help to lift value stocks throughout the FTSE 350," said IG senior market analyst Joshua Mahont.

"With the likes of Stagecoach, Cineworld, Hammerson, and Card Factory heading up the FTSE 350 gains, it is clear that investors are confident of a domestic bounceback."

Mahony said questions remained around international travel, for while the reopening schedule was unchanged, the prime minister's reluctance to provide a firm go-ahead for 17 May flights was further delaying any potential bout of fresh bookings.

"Nevertheless, with the vaccination programme successfully bringing down transmission rates, there is reason for optimism around the UK reopening process."

Richard Hunter, head of markets at Interactive Investor, said the recovery trade was "at full throttle", with the major US indices hitting new record highs.

He noted that Monday was the first chance for markets in the US to react to the bumper non-farm payrolls figure from Friday, where a "hugely better-than-expected" 916,000 jobs were added, while the unemployment rate declined to 6%.

In equity markets, oil giant BP finished up 3.47% after saying it expects to hit its $35bn net debt target during the first quarter of 2021 after faster-than-expected progress on its disposals programme.

The company had forecast raising $4bn to $6bn from disposals and said proceeds would now be at the upper end of this range.

Shopping centre owner Hammerson leapt 5.12%, with non-essential shops set to reopen in England next week.

Carnival was 4.99% higher after saying it plans to restart cruising from US ports in July.

Cineworld advanced 6.43%, with traders pointing to a strong performance from AMC Entertainment in the US on Monday after an analyst at B Riley said it was time to buy AMC.

The analyst noted an improving outlook for the balance sheet and a strong opening weekend for 'Godzilla versus Kong'.

He also said that AMC was well-positioned to benefit from the return of film audiences post-pandemic and this has had positive read-across to Cineworld, traders said.

TUI advanced 3.23% even after Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he was "hopeful" foreign travel could resume on 17 May, but urged people not to book summer holidays yet as more data is needed before a decision can be made.

Tullow Oil gained 1.69% after saying it has started a multi-year, multi-well drilling campaign offshore Ghana, drilling the first well at the Jubilee Field on Monday.

Elsewhere, Hikma Pharmaceuticals was boosted 2.93% by an upgrade to 'overweight' at Morgan Stanley.

AstraZeneca managed gains of 0.15%, having traded weaker earlier following reports that the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is considering restricting use of the company's Covid-19 vaccine for the under-30s due to blood clot concerns.

Market Movers

FTSE 100 (UKX) 6,823.55 1.28%
FTSE 250 (MCX) 21,994.48 1.20%
techMARK (TASX) 4,293.48 0.77%

FTSE 100 - Risers

SSE (SSE) 1,528.00p 4.87%
Antofagasta (ANTO) 1,756.00p 3.75%
BP (BP.) 299.85p 3.47%
Hargreaves Lansdown (HL.) 1,635.50p 3.45%
Entain (ENT) 1,579.00p 3.30%
Compass Group (CPG) 1,541.50p 3.11%
Scottish Mortgage Inv Trust (SMT) 1,200.00p 3.09%
3i Group (III) 1,208.00p 2.94%
Hikma Pharmaceuticals (HIK) 2,387.00p 2.93%
Rio Tinto (RIO) 5,634.00p 2.81%

FTSE 100 - Fallers

BT Group (BT.A) 152.45p -2.56%
Next (NXT) 7,920.00p -2.39%
Bunzl (BNZL) 2,322.00p -1.61%
Just Eat Takeaway.Com N.V. (CDI) (JET) 6,828.00p -0.94%
Reckitt Benckiser Group (RKT) 6,438.00p -0.91%
Rentokil Initial (RTO) 496.20p -0.76%
Smith (DS) (SMDS) 411.00p -0.63%
Ocado Group (OCDO) 2,079.00p -0.62%
Experian (EXPN) 2,533.00p -0.51%
Informa (INF) 570.60p -0.24%

FTSE 250 - Risers

Cineworld Group (CINE) 105.60p 6.43%
C&C Group (CDI) (CCR) 294.60p 5.97%
TBC Bank Group (TBCG) 1,078.00p 5.69%
Coats Group (COA) 59.00p 5.36%
Premier Foods (PFD) 99.60p 5.29%
Hammerson (HMSO) 35.55p 5.12%
Oxford Biomedica (OXB) 1,000.00p 5.04%
Carnival (CCL) 1,705.20p 4.88%
TI Fluid Systems (TIFS) 287.00p 4.74%
BlackRock World Mining Trust (BRWM) 598.00p 4.55%

FTSE 250 - Fallers

Homeserve (HSV) 1,168.00p -3.63%
Babcock International Group (BAB) 228.40p -3.63%
Aston Martin Lagonda Global Holdings (AML) 1,948.50p -3.49%
Drax Group (DRX) 406.00p -2.78%
Micro Focus International (MCRO) 543.20p -2.65%
Energean (ENOG) 840.00p -2.04%
Provident Financial (PFG) 223.40p -1.93%
Greggs (GRG) 2,273.00p -1.13%
Just Eat Takeaway.Com N.V. (CDI) (JET) 6,828.00p -0.94%
Centrica (CNA) 55.56p -0.79%

Disclaimer & Declaration of Interest

The information, investment views and recommendations in this article are provided for general information purposes only. Nothing in this article should be construed as a solicitation to buy or sell any financial product relating to any companies under discussion or to engage in or refrain from doing so or engaging in any other transaction. Any opinions or comments are made to the best of the knowledge and belief of the writer but no responsibility is accepted for actions based on such opinions or comments. Vox Markets may receive payment from companies mentioned for enhanced profiling or publication presence. The writer may or may not hold investments in the companies under discussion.

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