London open: Stocks nudge lower but weekly performance solid
(Sharecast News) - London stocks nudged lower in early trade on Friday as the recent rally ran out of steam.
At 0845 BST, the FTSE 100 was down 0.2% at 6,927.59.
Neil Wilson, chief market analyst at Markets.com, said: "The FTSE 100 is up around 3% this week after hitting its strongest since February 2020. It's been a very good week for UK equities as the blue chips finally broke out to post-pandemic highs and the mid-caps on the FTSE 250 hit an all-time high.
"Lots of reasons behind the positive moves in UK equities this year: a vaccine rollout of immense success and an expected economic bounce back as activity returns towards normal both here in Britain and globally are supportive. But you could also look to the relative underperformance of UK equities as a factor - from a low bar they are finally catching up, you could say."
In corporate news, Mike Ashley's Frasers Group was a trading a little lower after saying it could face extra non-cash impairments of at least £200m due to "almost certain" further Covid-19 restrictions.
Tui slumped after the travel company said it was raising up to €400m (£348m) by selling convertible bonds to strengthen its finances during continuing travel restrictions caused by the Covid-19 crisis.
British American Tobacco was knocked lower by a downgrade to 'neutral' at JPMorgan, while BAE Systems was hit by a downgrade to 'neutral' at Exane.
Babcock International slid after The Financial Times reported that the defence contractor is bracing for a big asset writedown.
On the upside, PageGroup surged to the top of the FTSE 250 as the recruiter said improving trading made it more confident about the outlook and reported a 2% increase in first-quarter profit. Peer Hays also rose sharply.
FTSE 100 (UKX) 6,927.59 -0.21%
FTSE 250 (MCX) 22,240.25 -0.03%
techMARK (TASX) 4,333.93 -0.30%
FTSE 100 - Risers
Compass Group (CPG) 1,605.00p 1.55%
Spirax-Sarco Engineering (SPX) 12,120.00p 1.42%
JD Sports Fashion (JD.) 884.40p 1.38%
Rolls-Royce Holdings (RR.) 112.56p 1.30%
Whitbread (WTB) 3,512.00p 1.27%
Weir Group (WEIR) 1,837.50p 1.27%
Next (NXT) 8,310.00p 1.27%
Burberry Group (BRBY) 2,031.00p 1.10%
Ferguson (FERG) 9,368.00p 1.08%
Smiths Group (SMIN) 1,613.00p 1.07%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
British American Tobacco (BATS) 2,788.00p -2.47%
Aviva (AV.) 400.70p -1.64%
BAE Systems (BA.) 518.60p -1.56%
Imperial Brands (IMB) 1,541.50p -1.22%
GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) 1,306.40p -1.15%
Standard Chartered (STAN) 499.00p -1.11%
Polymetal International (POLY) 1,440.50p -1.03%
United Utilities Group (UU.) 947.40p -1.02%
Hikma Pharmaceuticals (HIK) 2,393.00p -0.99%
Anglo American (AAL) 3,054.00p -0.97%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Pagegroup (PAGE) 548.00p 9.49%
Kainos Group (KNOS) 1,652.00p 3.25%
Hays (HAS) 162.50p 2.72%
Diploma (DPLM) 2,746.00p 2.01%
OSB Group (OSB) 477.20p 1.88%
Meggitt (MGGT) 494.80p 1.52%
Hilton Food Group (HFG) 1,214.00p 1.51%
Caledonia Investments (CLDN) 2,745.00p 1.48%
Aberforth Smaller Companies Trust (ASL) 1,568.00p 1.42%
RHI Magnesita N.V. (DI) (RHIM) 4,540.00p 1.25%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Babcock International Group (BAB) 219.90p -7.22%
TUI AG Reg Shs (DI) (TUI) 371.90p -6.37%
Hochschild Mining (HOC) 201.60p -3.54%
Sabre Insurance Group (SBRE) 251.00p -3.28%
Ashmore Group (ASHM) 401.40p -1.91%
Cineworld Group (CINE) 102.15p -1.78%
4Imprint Group (FOUR) 2,530.00p -1.56%
Telecom Plus (TEP) 1,274.00p -1.55%
Mitie Group (MTO) 63.80p -1.54%
Micro Focus International (MCRO) 550.60p -1.43%
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