London midday: FTSE gains as investors eye payrolls; Anglo American tumbles

by | Dec 8, 2023

(Sharecast News) – London stocks had edged further into the black by midday on Friday as investors eyed the release of the latest US non-farm payrolls report.
The FTSE 100 was up 0.3% at 7,536.57.

The payrolls report for November is due at 1330 GMT, along with the unemployment rate and average earnings.

Sophie Lund-Yates, lead equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “The FTSE 100 has recouped some losses as the market holds its breath ahead of the US non-farm payroll report.

“The data will help set the tone for next week’s Federal Reserve meeting, with growing hope that the US is ready to keep the pause button pressed on interest rate increases. A slowing jobs market would help cement this enthusiasm.”

In equity markets, Sainsbury’s was boosted by an upgrade to ‘buy’ from ‘neutral’ at Goldman Sachs.

Building materials distributor Grafton Group rallied after saying it has extended its share buyback programme to end of May 2024, having initially set it to expire at the end of January.

Online trading platform IG Group rose as it announced the appointment of Breon Corcoran – the former chief executive of Paddy Power Betfair- as its new CEO.

Paddy Power owner Flutter edged up as it confirmed it was working towards a listing on the New York Stock Exchange in January but also that it will not be de-listing from London.

On the downside, miner Anglo American tumbled after saying it aimed to cut operational costs by around $1bn by the end of 2024, reducing production by about 4% as near-term constraints and volatile market conditions continued to weigh on earnings.

Housebuilder Berkeley was weaker after saying it has decided not to invest in any new developments due to the adverse planning and regulatory environment, and instead focus on “financial strength” following a rise in profits in the first half.

Pre-tax profit in the six months to 31 October increased by 4.6% to £298m, as operating margins held steady at 19.5%. However, the value of reservations dropped by a third due to the impact of elevated interest rates and ongoing “elevated political and macro volatility”, the company said.

Imperial Brands was knocked lower by a downgrade to ‘sector perform’ from ‘outperform’ at RBC Capital Markets, which pointed to strong outperformance relative to British American Tobacco.

Market Movers

FTSE 100 (UKX) 7,536.57 0.30%
FTSE 250 (MCX) 18,667.13 0.26%
techMARK (TASX) 4,108.01 0.56%

FTSE 100 – Risers

Ocado Group (OCDO) 642.40p 4.46%
Sainsbury (J) (SBRY) 299.00p 3.07%
Antofagasta (ANTO) 1,492.50p 2.75%
Burberry Group (BRBY) 1,519.00p 2.57%
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) 6,722.00p 2.00%
Ashtead Group (AHT) 4,982.00p 1.99%
Airtel Africa (AAF) 115.30p 1.95%
Barclays (BARC) 142.68p 1.81%
Halma (HLMA) 2,194.00p 1.39%
Diageo (DGE) 2,800.00p 1.38%

FTSE 100 – Fallers

Anglo American (AAL) 2,043.00p -8.16%
Berkeley Group Holdings (The) (BKG) 4,787.00p -3.10%
Imperial Brands (IMB) 1,828.50p -1.51%
Smith (DS) (SMDS) 301.80p -1.05%
Mondi (MNDI) 1,470.00p -1.04%
Barratt Developments (BDEV) 536.60p -1.00%
WPP (WPP) 713.60p -0.92%
Hikma Pharmaceuticals (HIK) 1,768.50p -0.81%
Unite Group (UTG) 975.00p -0.71%
Taylor Wimpey (TW.) 136.15p -0.69%

FTSE 250 – Risers

Senior (SNR) 175.20p 4.66%
Watches of Switzerland Group (WOSG) 670.50p 3.00%
Helios Towers (HTWS) 79.85p 2.97%
IP Group (IPO) 48.00p 2.89%
Ceres Power Holdings (CWR) 180.60p 2.73%
AJ Bell (AJB) 306.80p 2.54%
IntegraFin Holding (IHP) 262.60p 2.50%
Hill and Smith (HILS) 1,808.00p 2.49%
Drax Group (DRX) 477.00p 2.43%
Apax Global Alpha Limited (APAX) 156.00p 2.36%

FTSE 250 – Fallers

Coats Group (COA) 72.00p -4.51%
OSB Group (OSB) 394.00p -2.96%
Paragon Banking Group (PAG) 541.50p -2.26%
Foresight Group Holdings Limited NPV (FSG) 396.00p -2.22%
Aston Martin Lagonda Global Holdings (AML) 223.40p -1.67%
Volution Group (FAN) 402.00p -1.57%
W.A.G Payment Solutions (WPS) 88.60p -1.56%
888 Holdings (DI) (888) 82.90p -1.49%
Moonpig Group (MOON) 147.10p -1.47%
International Distributions Services (IDS) 240.80p -1.43%

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