London close: FTSE edges up ahead of busy week

by | Jul 31, 2023

(Sharecast News) – London stocks ended a touch firmer on Monday as investors mulled the latest Chinese manufacturing data and news of further measures from authorities in China to boost consumption.
The FTSE 100 closed up 0.1% at 7,699.41.

Victoria Scholar, head of investment at Interactive Investor, said: “This week is set to be another busy week in terms of earnings reports. Also ahead, the Bank of England looks set to raise interest rates on Thursday and the US non-farm payrolls report on Friday will potentially provide clues into the Fed’s next move.”

Data released earlier by the National Bureau of Statistics showed that manufacturing activity in China shrank for the fourth month in a row.

The manufacturing PMI for July rose to 49.3 from 49.0 in June. This remained below the 50 mark that separates contraction from expansion, although it was above consensus expectations of 48.9.

Meanwhile, the non-manufacturing PMI fell to 51.5 in July from 53.2 the month before, versus consensus expectations of 53.0.

Also on Monday, Chinese authorities announced further measures to bolster consumption, targeting areas such as electric vehicles and housing and tourism.

In equity markets, BA and Iberia owner IAG flew higher as Bank of America Merrill Lynch reiterated its ‘buy’ rating on the shares and upped the price target after last week’s results.

Oil and gas stocks Ithaca, Harbour Energy and Energean rallied on news that Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is planning to grant hundreds of new licenses for firms operating in the North Sea.

Dr Martens gained as it emerged that activist investor Sparta Capital has built up a stake in the bootmaker.

On the downside, education publisher Pearson slipped even as it reported stronger first-half sales and a big jump in operating profits, along with an improved cash flow performance.

Building products manufacturer Marshalls tumbled as it warned on profits, said it will cut around 250 jobs and announced the closure of one of its factories. It pointed to high inflation, rising interest rates and weaker consumer confidence.

Vanquis Banking Group was also weaker as it announced the acquisition of money-saving fintech Snoop for an undisclosed sum.

Market Movers

FTSE 100 (UKX) 7,699.41 0.07%
FTSE 250 (MCX) 19,143.76 0.10%
techMARK (TASX) 4,439.79 -0.09%

FTSE 100 – Risers

International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 171.10p 3.60%
Centrica (CNA) 138.05p 2.87%
Weir Group (WEIR) 1,835.00p 2.51%
Scottish Mortgage Inv Trust (SMT) 735.80p 2.19%
Rightmove (RMV) 570.40p 2.08%
Antofagasta (ANTO) 1,677.50p 2.04%
Fresnillo (FRES) 618.20p 1.95%
Frasers Group (FRAS) 816.00p 1.69%
BP (BP.) 483.00p 1.60%
Glencore (GLEN) 473.55p 1.51%

FTSE 100 – Fallers

Rolls-Royce Holdings (RR.) 184.85p -4.37%
Ocado Group (OCDO) 938.40p -3.89%
Coca-Cola HBC AG (CDI) (CCH) 2,292.00p -2.68%
Hargreaves Lansdown (HL.) 851.40p -2.52%
Sainsbury (J) (SBRY) 277.40p -1.84%
Vodafone Group (VOD) 74.43p -1.74%
BT Group (BT.A) 122.00p -1.73%
Prudential (PRU) 1,082.50p -1.68%
Hiscox Limited (DI) (HSX) 1,079.00p -1.64%
Abrdn (ABDN) 231.90p -1.53%

FTSE 250 – Risers

Ithaca Energy (ITH) 176.40p 7.30%
Harbour Energy (HBR) 266.50p 5.42%
TUI AG Reg Shs (DI) (TUI) 631.50p 4.83%
Watches of Switzerland Group (WOSG) 753.00p 4.73%
Aston Martin Lagonda Global Holdings (AML) 395.40p 4.49%
Dr. Martens (DOCS) 152.60p 4.45%
Synthomer (SYNT) 83.45p 4.31%
Vietnam Enterprise Investments (DI) (VEIL) 654.00p 3.48%
Energean (ENOG) 1,158.00p 3.39%
OSB Group (OSB) 367.20p 3.26%

FTSE 250 – Fallers

C&C Group (CDI) (CCR) 138.00p -3.50%
Helios Towers (HTWS) 90.45p -3.21%
Bridgepoint Group (Reg S) (BPT) 188.90p -3.08%
Barr (A.G.) (BAG) 471.50p -2.98%
Marshalls (MSLH) 268.60p -2.75%
FDM Group (Holdings) (FDM) 546.00p -2.67%
Direct Line Insurance Group (DLG) 150.45p -2.56%
Wetherspoon (J.D.) (JDW) 676.00p -2.45%
Lancashire Holdings Limited (LRE) 597.00p -2.45%
Crest Nicholson Holdings (CRST) 213.40p -2.38%

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