London close: Stocks mixed as unemployment falls in April
(Sharecast News) - London stocks ended up mixed at the close on Tuesday, as investors digested the latest UK jobs data, while stocks stateside began their session weaker after a bumper Monday.
The FTSE 100 ended the session up 0.36% at 7,172.48, while the FTSE 250 was 0.5% weaker at 22,631.72.
Sterling was in the red, last trading 0.18% weaker against the dollar at $1.4087, and sliding 0.23% on the euro to €1.1616.
"It's been another positive day for markets in Europe today with the FTSE 100 eking out a new 16 month high, however the FTSE 250 has lagged behind somewhat, in the aftermath of yesterday's confirmation of an extension of restrictions to 19 July," said CMC Markets chief market analyst Michael Hewson.
"Shares in Tui have continued to fall as it becomes apparent that the window for a summer holiday boost from UK holidaymakers has got a whole lot smaller.
"The likes of Ryanair, easyJet and IAG have seen their shares tread water."
On the flip side, Hewson noted that the likes of Restaurant Group, Cineworld and JD Wetherspoon had rebounded somewhat, as bargain hunters looked to swoop in.
"It's been a bit of a mixed bag for retail today with Primark owner Associated British Foods shares up on the day, reversing its big fall yesterday."
Investors were also looking ahead to the US Federal Reserve's two-day meeting, set to begin later in the global day.
Close attention will be given to the language from the Federal Open Market Committee's statement, and its latest economic projections.
On home shores, figures released earlier by the Office for National Statistics showed the unemployment rate fell to 4.7% in the three months to April from 4.8% in March, in line with consensus expectations.
Non-essential shops and outdoor hospitality reopened in April, while indoor hospitality resumed in May.
The data showed the number of payrolled employees rose for the sixth consecutive month, up by 197,000 in May to 28.5m.
However, it was still 553,000 below pre-pandemic levels.
Since February 2020, the largest declines in payrolled employment have been in the accommodation and food services sector, people aged under 25 years, and those living in London.
"The number of employees on payroll grew strongly in May, up by almost 200,000, although it is still over half a million down since the pandemic struck," said ONS head of economic statistics Sam Beckett.
"Job vacancies continued to recover in the spring, and our early estimates suggest that by May the total had surpassed its pre-pandemic level, with strong growth in sectors such as hospitality.
"Meanwhile the redundancy rate remains subdued, while the number of employees on furlough has continued to decline."
On Monday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a four-week delay to the lifting of lockdown in England, which had been due to take place on 21 June.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak had reportedly rejected calls from businesses demanding an extension of the furlough scheme and business rates relief, however.
The Guardian cited sources close to the Chancellor as saying Sunak believed sufficient economic support measures were already in place to cope with the delay.
According to business leaders and the Labour Party, the lack of support would lead struggling businesses into bankruptcy and result in higher levels of unemployment.
In equity markets, travel and leisure stocks were a mixed bag, having fallen across the board on Monday ahead of Johnson's announcement.
British Airways owner IAG managed gains of 0.06%, engine maker Rolls-Royce added 0.6%, Wizz Air ascended 0.83%, and Wagamama owner Restaurant Group was 1.78% firmer.
EasyJet closed flat, and train station and airport caterer SSP Group was 0.54% weaker.
Elsewhere, Just Eat Takeaway advanced 1.6% after completing the acquisition of US takeaway delivery firm Grubhub.
Primark owner Associated British Foods pushed up 3.03%, with traders pointing to readacross from a positive first-quarter update from Boohoo.
On the downside, Bellway nudged 0.34% lower even as it reported strong demand for new homes in the second half of its financial year as buyers looked for larger properties with home-working space.
In broker note action, Intermediate Capital Group was 3.72% weaker after a downgrade to 'hold' from 'add' at Numis.
Anglo American was hit 3.65% by a downgrade to 'sector perform' from 'outperform' at RBC Capital Markets, while PageGroup was knocked 2.64% lower by a downgrade to 'underweight' from 'equalweight' at Morgan Stanley.
FTSE 100 (UKX) 7,172.48 0.36%
FTSE 250 (MCX) 22,631.72 -0.50%
techMARK (TASX) 4,466.76 0.32%
FTSE 100 - Risers
Associated British Foods (ABF) 2,367.00p 3.27%
BT Group (BT.A) 197.35p 2.87%
Royal Dutch Shell 'B' (RDSB) 1,426.20p 2.34%
Ferguson (FERG) 9,844.00p 2.31%
Spirax-Sarco Engineering (SPX) 13,485.00p 2.20%
Smiths Group (SMIN) 1,634.00p 2.00%
Johnson Matthey (JMAT) 3,139.00p 1.98%
British American Tobacco (BATS) 2,849.50p 1.93%
Royal Dutch Shell 'A' (RDSA) 1,484.60p 1.80%
Just Eat Takeaway.Com N.V. (CDI) (JET) 6,465.00p 1.63%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Antofagasta (ANTO) 1,469.00p -4.11%
Intermediate Capital Group (ICP) 2,254.00p -3.68%
Anglo American (AAL) 3,000.00p -3.61%
Fresnillo (FRES) 839.80p -2.55%
Flutter Entertainment (CDI) (FLTR) 13,335.00p -2.52%
Land Securities Group (LAND) 703.20p -2.14%
British Land Company (BLND) 504.20p -2.06%
Glencore (GLEN) 321.00p -2.03%
Smurfit Kappa Group (CDI) (SKG) 3,897.00p -1.57%
Smith (DS) (SMDS) 438.80p -1.53%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Oxford Instruments (OXIG) 2,235.00p 3.00%
SSP Group (SSPG) 325.20p 2.88%
Restaurant Group (RTN) 126.00p 2.11%
Future (FUTR) 3,000.00p 2.04%
Oxford Biomedica (OXB) 1,310.00p 1.71%
Just Eat Takeaway.Com N.V. (CDI) (JET) 6,465.00p 1.63%
Cineworld Group (CINE) 88.22p 1.57%
Volution Group (FAN) 415.50p 1.34%
Ashmore Group (ASHM) 409.60p 1.34%
Britvic (BVIC) 942.00p 1.24%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Hammerson (HMSO) 41.37p -6.51%
Ibstock (IBST) 225.00p -3.85%
CMC Markets (CMCX) 452.00p -3.52%
Hochschild Mining (HOC) 170.00p -3.52%
888 Holdings (888) 370.40p -3.34%
TUI AG Reg Shs (DI) (TUI) 398.40p -3.28%
Kainos Group (KNOS) 1,398.00p -3.25%
Trainline (TRN) 264.40p -3.15%
Babcock International Group (BAB) 290.20p -3.01%
Workspace Group (WKP) 854.50p -2.90%
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