London midday: FTSE maintains gains on China data

by | Sep 15, 2023

(Sharecast News) – London stocks were still in the black by midday on Friday following the release of encouraging Chinese data.
The FTSE 100 was up 0.7% at 7,728.39.

Figures from the Bureau of National Statistics showed that China’s retail sales and industrial production grew more than expected in August.

Retail sales were up 4.6% on the year, beating expectations for growth of 3% and coming in ahead of July’s 2.5% increase.

Meanwhile, industrial production rose 4.5% in August on the year following 3.7% growth in July, coming in ahead of expectations of 3.9% growth.

However, fixed asset investment was 3.2% higher on the year last month, down from 3.4% in July and below expectations for a 3.3% increase. The data showed a big drop in real estate investment.

Sophie Lund-Yates, lead equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “A short, sharp economic recovery in China would help underpin confidence globally. As an export destination for 40 countries, and the largest consumer of commodities in the world, its economic fortunes are closely intertwined with others.

“There are of course some hurdles still to clear, including a creaking real estate market and record unemployment, but this first step should be taken as a positive sign.”

In equity markets, luxury fashion brand Burberry was the standout performer on the FTSE 100. Miners were also lifted by the China data, with Rio Tinto, Anglo American and Antofagasta all higher.

Games Workshop surged as it said trading for the quarter to August 27 was ahead of expectations, driven by healthy growth across all channels.

In a brief trading update ahead of its annual shareholders meeting next week, the maker of Warhammer said core revenue had risen to £121m for the quarter, ahead of the £106m posted last year with licensing revenue doubling to £6m. Pre-tax profit was estimated at around £57m, up from £39m.

“The board recognises that this performance is better than the prior year but is also aware that it is still early in the financial year. A further update will be given as appropriate,” the company added.

It also declared a dividend of 50p per share taking dividends declared so far in 2023/24 to £1.95 per share, up from £1.20 per share a year earlier.

In broker note action, Whitbread was higher as Barclays named the Premier Inn owner its “preferred pick” in the leisure sector.

Goldman Sachs upgraded Derwent London ‘buy’ and Great Portland Estates to ‘neutral’.

JPMorgan placed London Stock Exchange Group shares on “positive catalyst watch” ahead of the capital markets day in November. JPM, which rates the stock at ‘overweight’, lifted its price target to 9,920p from 9,867p.

Market Movers

FTSE 100 (UKX) 7,728.39 0.72%
FTSE 250 (MCX) 18,874.25 -0.13%
techMARK (TASX) 4,417.55 0.45%

FTSE 100 – Risers

Burberry Group (BRBY) 2,169.00p 2.70%
B&M European Value Retail S.A. (DI) (BME) 584.00p 2.60%
Flutter Entertainment (CDI) (FLTR) 14,980.00p 2.57%
Smurfit Kappa Group (CDI) (SKG) 2,916.00p 2.45%
Ocado Group (OCDO) 789.60p 2.23%
Rio Tinto (RIO) 5,320.00p 1.90%
Barclays (BARC) 162.80p 1.86%
Kingfisher (KGF) 235.90p 1.68%
Rolls-Royce Holdings (RR.) 229.70p 1.64%
Anglo American (AAL) 2,302.50p 1.61%

FTSE 100 – Fallers

Land Securities Group (LAND) 594.60p -0.97%
Fresnillo (FRES) 575.40p -0.96%
BT Group (BT.A) 117.65p -0.93%
Unite Group (UTG) 921.50p -0.75%
M&G (MNG) 202.50p -0.69%
Imperial Brands (IMB) 1,761.00p -0.51%
SEGRO (SGRO) 746.00p -0.45%
Severn Trent (SVT) 2,485.00p -0.44%
RS Group (RS1) 745.00p -0.43%
Sage Group (SGE) 1,033.50p -0.38%

FTSE 250 – Risers

Games Workshop Group (GAW) 11,570.00p 11.36%
AJ Bell (AJB) 299.80p 2.81%
Quilter (QLT) 90.40p 2.49%
Morgan Sindall Group (MGNS) 2,100.00p 2.19%
Ithaca Energy (ITH) 167.30p 2.14%
Baltic Classifieds Group (BCG) 204.00p 2.10%
Spire Healthcare Group (SPI) 221.50p 2.07%
WH Smith (SMWH) 1,419.00p 2.01%
Greggs (GRG) 2,540.00p 1.93%
PureTech Health (PRTC) 217.00p 1.88%

FTSE 250 – Fallers

Digital 9 Infrastructure NPV (DGI9) 59.20p -6.92%
Hipgnosis Songs Fund Limited NPV (SONG) 84.20p -3.22%
Balanced Commercial Property Trust Limited (BCPT) 70.00p -3.18%
Safestore Holdings (SAFE) 801.00p -2.97%
Octopus Renewables Infrastructure Trust (ORIT) 86.90p -2.91%
North Atlantic Smaller Companies Inv Trust (NAS) 3,690.00p -2.64%
Bluefield Solar Income Fund Limited (BSIF) 119.00p -2.46%
JPMorgan Indian Investment Trust (JII) 880.00p -2.44%
Capital Gearing Trust (CGT) 4,620.00p -2.33%
LondonMetric Property (LMP) 174.70p -2.29%

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