London close: FTSE 100 adds to gains on mixed day for stocks

by | Jul 20, 2023

(Sharecast News) – London’s stock markets closed in a mixed state on Thursday, with the leading FTSE 100 capitalising on Wednesday’s robust performance, while the FTSE 250 dipped.
Those fluctuations came as investors closely followed the latest jobless claims data from the United States.

The FTSE 100 climbed 0.76% to end the day at 7,646.05 points, while the FTSE 250 saw a marginal decrease of 0.06%, closing at 19,311.73.

In currencies front, sterling was last down 0.7% on the dollar, trading at $1.2850, while it showed more resilience against the euro, with only a slight dip of 0.06% to change hands at €1.1545.

“Yesterday the leaderboard in London was dominated by the housebuilders,” noted IG senior market analyst Axel Rudolph.

“Today it is the turn of the mining sector, along with Burberry, with something of a China theme emerging during the session.

“While the rebound in that economy has slowed, the general improvement in global economic data has investors hoping that China’s numbers will pick up too, and miners are likely to be prime beneficiary of such a development.”

US jobless claims fall, China’s central bank keeps rates steady

In economic news, the US Department of Labor reported that in the week ended 15 July, unemployment claims in America fell back.

The data revealed a decrease of 9,000 claims, with the figure landing at 228,000 – significantly lower than economists’ prediction of a surge to 244,000.

At the same time, the four-week moving average descended by 9,250 to a total of 246,750.

The number of individuals filing jobless claims not for the first time – secondary unemployment claims – meanwhile saw a modest incline of 33,000, bringing the total to 1.754 million for the week ended 8 July.

Elsewhere, the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) held steady on its benchmark lending rates earlier, sating with market expectations.

The PBoC confirmed it would retain the one-year loan prime rate at 3.55% and the five-year loan prime rate at 4.2%.

It was a decision widely anticipated by market analysts, especially since the PBoC had left its medium-term lending facility rate unchanged earlier in the week.

Mining stocks lead advances, Babcock surges on positive report

On London’s equity markets, mining stocks proved to be a bright spot, with Anglo American rising 3.34%, Glencore up 4.2%, Antofagasta ahead 2.66%, and Rio Tinto Group adding 1.53%.

Anglo American was also under the spotlight as the company announced a 42% rise in first-half production.

Elsewhere, Babcock International Group soared 14.58% after reporting an increase in annual revenues and making “excellent” progress, despite a slip in profits.

Hikma Pharmaceuticals saw a significant rise of 5.71%, following news of a tornado damaging a major Pfizer injectables plant in North Carolina.

Traders suggested that Hikma could potentially cover the production loss at the Pfizer facility, as it produces similar injectables.

M&G gained 2.78% after it confirmed it was on track to meet financial targets, even after implementing new accountancy standards.

Homewares retailer Dunelm Group rallied 1.58 as it anticipated a full-year profit slightly above market expectations, attributed to strong fourth quarter sales.

Premier Foods, the owner of brands like Mr Kipling and OXO, saw a boost of 1.88% after it reported a rise in first-quarter sales and projected its full-year trading profit at the upper end of market expectations.

Royal Mail parent International Distributions Services experienced a 2.1% gain as it confirmed its aim for adjusted operating profit for the year, and announced Martin Seidenberg as the new CEO.

Volution Group moved up 5.18%, after it reported anticipating full-year adjusted earnings per share to be at the top end of the current market forecasts.

On the downside, Ninety One Group fell 3.88%, Pennon Group by 4.3%, and Bytes Technology Group by 4.37%, as they all traded ex-dividend.

SSE saw a minor dip of 0.58% even as it maintained its full-year earnings guidance amid adverse weather conditions affecting renewables output.

Ascential took a steep hit of 8.93% following a Reuters report about major bidders withdrawing from the auction for its consumer data arm.

Finally, despite reporting a swing to pre-tax profit in the third quarter and an expected record profit for the fourth, budget airline easyJet descended by 3.9%.

Reporting by Josh White for

Market Movers

FTSE 100 (UKX) 7,646.05 0.76%
FTSE 250 (MCX) 19,311.73 -0.06%
techMARK (TASX) 4,469.25 0.19%

FTSE 100 – Risers

Glencore (GLEN) 470.40p 4.20%
Anglo American (AAL) 2,380.00p 3.34%
M&G (MNG) 204.50p 2.78%
Antofagasta (ANTO) 1,526.00p 2.66%
Abrdn (ABDN) 236.70p 2.42%
Imperial Brands (IMB) 1,849.00p 2.30%
Rolls-Royce Holdings (RR.) 154.40p 2.29%
Centrica (CNA) 125.65p 2.28%
Next (NXT) 7,204.00p 2.13%
Burberry Group (BRBY) 2,238.00p 2.01%

FTSE 100 – Fallers

Scottish Mortgage Inv Trust (SMT) 696.40p -2.16%
Rightmove (RMV) 556.20p -2.11%
Entain (ENT) 1,258.50p -1.91%
Flutter Entertainment (CDI) (FLTR) 15,420.00p -1.75%
International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 154.70p -1.59%
NATWEST GROUP (NWG) 256.90p -1.38%
Croda International (CRDA) 5,746.00p -1.38%
Diageo (DGE) 3,400.00p -1.36%
Weir Group (WEIR) 1,777.00p -1.25%
Endeavour Mining (EDV) 1,943.00p -1.22%

FTSE 250 – Risers

Babcock International Group (BAB) 361.60p 14.58%
Hikma Pharmaceuticals (HIK) 2,063.00p 5.71%
Volution Group (FAN) 402.00p 5.18%
Howden Joinery Group (HWDN) 745.60p 4.90%
IG Group Holdings (IGG) 717.50p 3.61%
W.A.G Payment Solutions (WPS) 96.80p 2.77%
North Atlantic Smaller Companies Inv Trust (NAS) 3,820.00p 2.65%
Bridgepoint Group (Reg S) (BPT) 211.40p 2.63%
Crest Nicholson Holdings (CRST) 220.60p 2.32%
International Distributions Services (IDS) 272.40p 2.10%

FTSE 250 – Fallers

Ascential (ASCL) 210.00p -8.93%
Future (FUTR) 802.00p -7.55%
Molten Ventures (GROW) 264.80p -4.89%
Wizz Air Holdings (WIZZ) 2,633.00p -4.43%
Bytes Technology Group (BYIT) 514.00p -4.37%
Pennon Group (PNN) 713.00p -4.30%
easyJet (EZJ) 475.60p -3.90%
Ninety One (N91) 170.80p -3.88%
Telecom Plus (TEP) 1,698.00p -3.74%
AJ Bell (AJB) 321.00p -3.49%

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