(Sharecast News) – London stocks had extended gains by midday on Thursday, building on the stellar session a day earlier, when the top-flight index had its best day so far this year on the back of a softer-than-expected inflation reading.
The FTSE 100 was up 0.7% at 7,640.79, with miners and housebuilders pacing the advance.
Susannah Streeter, head of money and markets at Hargreaves Lansdown, said miners were boosted by expectations of Chinese stimulus.
“Oil prices have steadied around $79 a barrel amid expectations of lower demand in China, as investors still waiting for more detail about what further economic stimulus from Chinese authorities will look like,” she said. “The expectation that levers will be pulled to boost domestic demand across the world’s second largest economy has helped push up commodity stocks, which are among the biggest gainers on the FTSE 100 in early trade.”
Earlier, the People’s Bank of China announced that it was keeping the one-year loan prime rate unchanged at 3.5% and the five-year rate at 4.2%.
Pantheon Macroeconomics said: “This was in line with expectations, after the PBoC held the medium-term lending facility rate steady earlier this month, and the Bank has been fending off currency pressure.”
In equity markets, heavily-weighted mining stocks were the standout performers, with Anglo American, Glencore, Antofagasta and Rio Tinto all up. Anglo American was also in focus after it said that first-half production had grown 42%.
Housebuilders were also on the up, with Persimmon, Barratt and Taylor Wimpey all higher.
Babcock surged to the top of the FTSE 250 as it reported a jump in annual revenues and said it had made “excellent” progress, despite seeing profits slide.
Hikma Pharmaceuticals jumped, with traders pointing to news that a major Pfizer injectables plant in North Carolina was hit by a tornado and heavily damaged on Wednesday. Traders said that according to Bloomberg TV, the production that will be lost from the Pfizer plant can likely be replaced by Hikma, which produces the same injectables.
M&G rose after saying it remained on track to meet its financial targets, despite adopting new accountancy standards.
Homeware retailer Dunelm rallied as it said on full-year profit was set to be “slightly ahead” of market expectations after continued robust sales in the fourth quarter.
Premier Foods was up after the Mr Kipling and OXO owner said full-year trading profit was set to be at the top end of market expectations as it posted a rise in first-quarter sales.
Royal Mail parent International Distribution Services rose as it said it was still targeting an adjusted operating profit for the year, and announced the appointment of Martin Seidenberg as its new chief executive officer.
On the downside, Ninety One, Pennon and Bytes Technology all fell as they traded without entitlement to the dividend.
Ascential slumped following a Reuters report that three major bidders for its consumer data arm have walked away from the auction.
Budget airline easyJet flew lower despite saying it swung to a pre-tax profit in the third quarter amid strong passenger demand, and that it expects to post record profit for the fourth quarter.
FTSE 100 (UKX) 7,640.79 0.69%
FTSE 250 (MCX) 19,455.08 0.69%
techMARK (TASX) 4,468.80 0.18%
FTSE 100 – Risers
Anglo American (AAL) 2,419.00p 5.04%
Persimmon (PSN) 1,237.50p 4.65%
Antofagasta (ANTO) 1,545.50p 3.97%
Glencore (GLEN) 470.20p 3.69%
Barratt Developments (BDEV) 468.30p 3.15%
Burberry Group (BRBY) 2,258.00p 2.92%
SEGRO (SGRO) 817.80p 2.79%
M&G (MNG) 204.80p 2.73%
Taylor Wimpey (TW.) 119.40p 2.67%
Rio Tinto (RIO) 5,217.00p 2.37%
FTSE 100 – Fallers
Diageo (DGE) 3,394.00p -1.54%
Flutter Entertainment (CDI) (FLTR) 15,455.00p -1.53%
Entain (ENT) 1,263.50p -1.52%
Scottish Mortgage Inv Trust (SMT) 701.40p -1.46%
Unilever (ULVR) 4,051.00p -0.83%
NATWEST GROUP (NWG) 258.40p -0.81%
F&C Investment Trust (FCIT) 888.00p -0.67%
Rightmove (RMV) 564.40p -0.67%
Croda International (CRDA) 5,780.00p -0.65%
Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY) 46.40p -0.64%
FTSE 250 – Risers
Babcock International Group (BAB) 352.60p 11.72%
Hikma Pharmaceuticals (HIK) 2,107.00p 7.97%
Volution Group (FAN) 405.00p 5.97%
IG Group Holdings (IGG) 724.50p 4.62%
Howden Joinery Group (HWDN) 736.40p 3.60%
IWG (IWG) 156.70p 3.50%
Workspace Group (WKP) 550.00p 3.48%
IntegraFin Holding (IHP) 274.60p 3.47%
Bridgepoint Group (Reg S) (BPT) 211.80p 3.32%
Redrow (RDW) 532.00p 3.30%
FTSE 250 – Fallers
Ascential (ASCL) 219.20p -4.94%
Pennon Group (PNN) 717.00p -3.76%
Future (FUTR) 838.00p -3.40%
Ninety One (N91) 172.30p -3.04%
Aston Martin Lagonda Global Holdings (AML) 351.20p -2.55%
easyJet (EZJ) 482.60p -2.49%
Bytes Technology Group (BYIT) 524.50p -2.42%
TBC Bank Group (TBCG) 2,510.00p -2.33%
Telecom Plus (TEP) 1,724.00p -2.27%
JPMorgan Japanese Inv Trust (JFJ) 480.00p -1.94%