London stocks had extended gains by midday on Tuesday after a solid session in the US which saw the Dow and S&P 500 hit record highs, underpinned by well-received results from the likes of Reckitt Benckiser and Whitbread.
The FTSE 100 was up 0.6% at 7,267.94.
Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell, said: “The FTSE 100 made a strong start on Tuesday, lifted by some strong corporate updates and as investors reacted to the fresh records set on Wall Street overnight.
“The sharp falls seen in September when the index fell below the 7,000 mark are starting to recede into the distance. However, investors will remain wary given the ongoing risks around Covid, inflation and a slowing recovery.
“Strong corporate results are helping with sentiment. Tomorrow’s Budget in the UK and Thursday’s European Central Bank meeting may help return the wider economy to the forefront of investors’ minds. Whether this will be supportive or have a negative impact on markets remains to be seen.”
Investors were also eyeing results from the across the pond later in the day, with Alphabet, Microsoft and Twitter among those slated to report.
In UK equity markets, Reckitt Benckiser surged to the top of the FTSE 100 after it upgraded its 2021 revenue outlook as the consumer goods company reported a 3.3% increase in like-for-like net revenue to £3.28bn in the third quarter. The maker of Finish dishwasher tablets and Durex condoms said it expected annual like-for-like net revenue to increase by 1-3% – up from earlier guidance of 0-2%.
Premier Inn owner Whitbread was up after it narrowed interim losses as sales rebounded ahead of expectations, with room revenues potentially hitting full recovery “at some point” in 2022 despite “challenging” supply chain issues and labour shortages.
B&M European Value Retail was boosted by an upgrade to ‘overweight’ from ‘neutral’ at JPMorgan, while Renishaw was a high riser after an upgrade to ‘buy’ at Stifel.
Essentra gained after saying it was considering selling its filters business as a first step to becoming a pure-play components business and that its results were on track to meet full-year expectations.
On the downside, IT infrastructure and services provider Softcat slumped despite reporting record full-year results amid strong public sector demand and a recovery in the corporate sector.
Cybersecurity firm Darktrace was also under the cosh again, having tumbled on Monday on the back of a Peel Hunt initiation at ‘sell’.
FTSE 100 (UKX) 7,267.94 0.62%
FTSE 250 (MCX) 23,106.55 0.72%
techMARK (TASX) 4,587.28 0.57%
FTSE 100 – Risers
Reckitt Benckiser Group (RKT) 5,825.00p 6.47%
International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 162.92p 4.21%
Compass Group (CPG) 1,494.00p 3.75%
Whitbread (WTB) 3,273.00p 3.74%
Rolls-Royce Holdings (RR.) 136.60p 3.06%
Barratt Developments (BDEV) 665.60p 3.03%
Melrose Industries (MRO) 163.75p 2.47%
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) 4,978.00p 2.47%
B&M European Value Retail S.A. (DI) (BME) 632.00p 2.36%
ITV (ITV) 105.25p 2.28%
FTSE 100 – Fallers
Ocado Group (OCDO) 1,786.50p -2.22%
Polymetal International (POLY) 1,390.50p -1.94%
Fresnillo (FRES) 907.20p -1.71%
Antofagasta (ANTO) 1,457.00p -1.62%
Rentokil Initial (RTO) 584.60p -1.42%
Hikma Pharmaceuticals (HIK) 2,433.00p -1.06%
Pershing Square Holdings Ltd NPV (PSH) 2,945.00p -0.84%
BP (BP.) 358.50p -0.60%
BHP Group (BHP) 1,985.20p -0.54%
Rio Tinto (RIO) 4,742.50p -0.50%
FTSE 250 – Risers
Ashmore Group (ASHM) 357.60p 6.43%
SSP Group (SSPG) 262.60p 5.25%
Trainline (TRN) 329.60p 5.17%
Essentra (ESNT) 287.00p 4.94%
Renishaw (RSW) 5,185.00p 4.71%
easyJet (EZJ) 620.60p 4.51%
Cineworld Group (CINE) 62.58p 3.82%
Wetherspoon (J.D.) (JDW) 984.00p 3.80%
Moneysupermarket.com Group (MONY) 225.80p 3.39%
Wizz Air Holdings (WIZZ) 4,624.00p 3.31%
FTSE 250 – Fallers
Softcat (SCT) 1,914.00p -5.15%
Premier Foods (PFD) 109.60p -3.01%
Darktrace (DARK) 728.00p -2.93%
Harbour Energy (HBR) 372.00p -2.36%
Convatec Group (CTEC) 198.30p -2.12%
Ferrexpo (FXPO) 319.80p -1.54%
TI Fluid Systems (TIFS) 257.50p -1.53%
Cairn Energy (CNE) 190.80p -1.29%
Energean (ENOG) 903.00p -1.20%
Chemring Group (CHG) 295.50p -1.17%