London stocks were still little changed by midday on Friday as investors continued to mull over Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s support package, and looked ahead to the release of key US inflation data.
The FTSE 100 was up just 0.1% at 7,569.43, underperforming European peers, with the benchmark Europe Stoxx 600 index up 0.7%.
Sophie Lund-Yates, lead equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “The UK market is ending the week on a more subdued note, as investors digest Rishi Sunak’s announcement yesterday. This epitomises an often overlooked fact – that the economy and stock market are very different beasts. While support packages and windfall taxes are what the nation has been calling for, the market effect of such measures hasn’t shown its face yet.
“The big shakedown will be how investors in the UK’s oil and gas majors like BP and Shell will feel about windfall taxes. While not a long-term problem for profits, the incentivisation to invest their profits could see dividends trimmed. That’s by no means a given, but even the possibility of such a move could see investors spooked as the dust settles.
“The US is clearly feeling more upbeat. This is stemming from today’s US Personal Consumer Expenditure Core Deflator numbers, which is the Fed’s preferred inflation targeting measure. Personal spending is expected to be up 0.7% in April, compared to 1.1% in March. A weaker number in today’s announcement would give further reason to expect that the Fed’s next rate decision will be to pause, rather than increase – as it suggests inflation’s core is having some of its energy sapped on its own.”
On the corporate front, there wasn’t a whole lot going on, but Moonpig tumbled after various shareholders sold around £80m worth of shares in the online greeting cards and gift retailer in a placing. The shares were placed at 250p each, which is an 8% discount to the closing share price on Thursday.
BP was weaker after saying late on Thursday that it would review its North Sea investments after the government unveiled a windfall tax on oil and gas producers.
Pharmaceuticals giant GlaxoSmithKline was trading down even as it said China’s National Medical Products Administration has approved a two-dose vaccine schedule for its Cervarix treatment in girls aged between 9 to 14 years for the prevention of cervical cancer.
FTSE 100 (UKX) 7,569.43 0.06%
FTSE 250 (MCX) 20,319.49 0.35%
techMARK (TASX) 4,439.14 0.34%
FTSE 100 – Risers
Scottish Mortgage Inv Trust (SMT) 784.20p 5.15%
NATWEST GROUP PLC ORD 100P (NWG) 229.10p 2.51%
Burberry Group (BRBY) 1,680.50p 2.41%
Experian (EXPN) 2,664.00p 2.15%
Prudential (PRU) 1,028.50p 2.14%
Glencore (GLEN) 528.80p 1.85%
3i Group (III) 1,285.50p 1.78%
London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) 7,520.00p 1.76%
Rentokil Initial (RTO) 507.00p 1.66%
Spirax-Sarco Engineering (SPX) 10,505.00p 1.60%
FTSE 100 – Fallers
Harbour Energy (HBR) 393.90p -8.01%
ITV (ITV) 71.68p -2.45%
SSE (SSE) 1,746.00p -1.99%
BP (BP.) 428.00p -1.67%
Pearson (PSON) 745.00p -1.66%
National Grid (NG.) 1,168.00p -1.56%
Shell (SHEL) 2,368.50p -1.48%
Kingfisher (KGF) 264.20p -1.38%
Coca-Cola HBC AG (CDI) (CCH) 1,750.50p -1.38%
United Utilities Group (UU.) 1,025.00p -1.35%
FTSE 250 – Risers
Vietnam Enterprise Investments (DI) (VEIL) 711.00p 5.65%
HarbourVest Global Private Equity Limited A Shs (HVPE) 2,350.00p 4.21%
Caledonia Investments (CLDN) 3,865.00p 3.76%
Discoverie Group (DSCV) 757.00p 3.70%
NB Private Equity Partners Ltd. (NBPE) 1,570.00p 3.29%
Ninety One (N91) 228.80p 3.16%
Syncona Limited NPV (SYNC) 196.20p 3.15%
Mercantile Investment Trust (The) (MRC) 204.00p 3.03%
FirstGroup (FGP) 133.60p 2.93%
Smithson Investment Trust (SSON) 1,285.00p 2.80%
FTSE 250 – Fallers
Moonpig Group (MOON) 244.60p -10.14%
Investec (INVP) 453.80p -6.93%
Centrica (CNA) 75.88p -4.12%
Johnson Matthey (JMAT) 2,192.00p -3.27%
Baltic Classifieds Group (BCG) 140.40p -2.77%
Drax Group (DRX) 666.00p -2.70%
Tullow Oil (TLW) 55.85p -2.27%
Petrofac Ltd. (PFC) 147.30p -2.06%
TUI AG Reg Shs (DI) (TUI) 185.10p -1.93%
Provident Financial (PFG) 255.20p -1.85%