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