London open: Stocks rise on recovery hopes; services data eyed

Sharecast
Opening Market Report
07:07, 7th April 2021

(Sharecast News) - London stocks rose in early trade on Wednesday amid recovery hopes, as investors eyed the latest reading on the UK services sector.
At 0840 BST, the FTSE 100 was up 0.8% at 6,877.26.

Spreadex analyst Connor Campbell said: "Despite the third wave in Europe, concerns over the AstraZeneca vaccine, and reported worries about an incoming slowdown in the UK's vaccination programme, yesterday's IMF growth upgrades have helped keep the markets feeling fresh.

"As it did on Tuesday, the FTSE 100 led the way after the bell, adding another 0.8%. Touching 6,875, the index is at a near three-month high - and if it can add another 40 or so points in the coming days, it will hit its best levels in over 13-months."

On the data front, market participants were awaiting the release of Markit's services PMI for March at 0930 BST.

In corporate news, oil giant Shell was in the black even as it said extreme weather in Texas in February was expected to hit first-quarter adjusted earnings by up to $200m.

Hilton Food Group rallied after it said annual profit rose 20% and announced a higher dividend as the food packaging group benefited from households eating at home during the pandemic.

On the downside, Flutter Entertainment was the worst performer on the FTSE 100 after a share placing and as it emerged that Fox Corp has filed a suit against the company related to its option to buy an 18.6% stake in US sports betting group FanDuel. Flutter - the majority owner of FanDuel - wants to buy the stake at an $11.2bn valuation, which is the value that was set when it bought a 37.2% stake from Fastball in December, but Flutter wants fair market value.

Traders also noted that about 2.3m shares were placed at £153 each. The placing was linked to Fastball Holdings, with Goldman Sachs acting as bookrunner.

Market Movers

FTSE 100 (UKX) 6,877.26 0.79%
FTSE 250 (MCX) 22,107.77 0.52%
techMARK (TASX) 4,299.39 0.14%

FTSE 100 - Risers

Land Securities Group (LAND) 722.20p 2.99%
Informa (INF) 585.20p 2.56%
BP (BP.) 306.95p 2.37%
Barclays (BARC) 189.74p 2.24%
M&G (MNG) 219.00p 2.19%
Prudential (PRU) 1,582.50p 2.13%
Vodafone Group (VOD) 137.00p 1.77%
Melrose Industries (MRO) 177.45p 1.75%
BT Group (BT.A) 155.25p 1.70%
Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY) 43.54p 1.66%

FTSE 100 - Fallers

Flutter Entertainment (CDI) (FLTR) 15,330.00p -2.64%
Avast (AVST) 457.10p -1.61%
Next (NXT) 7,832.00p -1.11%
London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) 7,294.00p -1.03%
AstraZeneca (AZN) 7,129.00p -0.75%
Weir Group (WEIR) 1,828.50p -0.65%
Hikma Pharmaceuticals (HIK) 2,373.00p -0.59%
Polymetal International (POLY) 1,432.00p -0.38%
Auto Trader Group (AUTO) 562.60p -0.32%
Burberry Group (BRBY) 1,974.00p -0.25%

FTSE 250 - Risers

Babcock International Group (BAB) 240.00p 5.08%
Hilton Food Group (HFG) 1,156.00p 3.40%
Hammerson (HMSO) 36.65p 3.09%
Provident Financial (PFG) 231.00p 2.94%
Wood Group (John) (WG.) 272.50p 2.83%
National Express Group (NEX) 336.80p 2.62%
Carnival (CCL) 1,750.00p 2.52%
Aston Martin Lagonda Global Holdings (AML) 2,000.00p 2.51%
Sabre Insurance Group (SBRE) 260.00p 2.36%
Rathbone Brothers (RAT) 1,842.00p 2.33%

FTSE 250 - Fallers

PureTech Health (PRTC) 400.00p -4.76%
HGCapital Trust (HGT) 325.00p -1.81%
ICG Enterprise Trust (ICGT) 1,036.00p -1.71%
Kainos Group (KNOS) 1,568.00p -1.38%
Premier Foods (PFD) 98.50p -1.10%
Hochschild Mining (HOC) 207.00p -1.05%
Softcat (SCT) 1,863.00p -1.01%
Oxford Biomedica (OXB) 990.00p -1.00%
JPMorgan Emerging Markets Inv Trust (JMG) 132.20p -0.90%
Genus (GNS) 5,020.00p -0.89%

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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