London midday: Stocks flat as investors digest Chinese stimulus announcements

by | Jul 31, 2023

(Sharecast News) – London stocks were hugging the flatline on Monday as investors mulled the latest Chinese manufacturing data and news of further measures from authorities in China to boost consumption.
At 1226 BST, the FTSE 100 was edging up 0.02% at 7,696.06, while the second-tier index was roughly flat at 19123.65.

Data released overnight by the National Bureau of Statistics showed that manufacturing activity shrank for the fourth month in a row in China, but by less than expected.

The official non-manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index fell to 51.5 in July from 53.2 the month before, versus consensus expectations of 53.0.

But the weak PMI data was offset by Chinese authorities announcing further measures to bolster consumption, targeting areas such as electric vehicles, housing and tourism.

As an aside, Bloomberg noted that overseas funds had purchased mainland shares for five straight sessions.

On home shores, the Office for National Statistics reported that net consumer credit increased by £1.7bn in June, which was ahead of the consensus for £1.3bn.

Meanwhile, Eurostat reported that the euro area returned to growth in the second quarter with its economy expanding by 0.3% over the three months to June (consensus: 0.2%).

In UK equity markets, education publisher Pearson edged up after 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 as it pointed to high inflation, rising interest rates and weaker consumer confidence.

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

Senior was down despite posting a big jump in sales and profits for the first half of the year and announcing that it would double its interim dividend.

On the upside, Dr Martens jumped as it emerged that activist investor Sparta Capital has built up a stake in the bootmaker.

Market Movers

FTSE 100 (UKX) 7,692.12 -0.03%
FTSE 250 (MCX) 19,123.15 -0.01%
techMARK (TASX) 4,436.99 -0.15%

FTSE 100 – Risers

International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 169.65p 2.72%
Centrica (CNA) 137.45p 2.42%
Rightmove (RMV) 568.20p 1.68%
Glencore (GLEN) 473.70p 1.54%
Frasers Group (FRAS) 811.50p 1.50%
SSE (SSE) 1,694.00p 1.26%
Weir Group (WEIR) 1,811.50p 1.20%
Scottish Mortgage Inv Trust (SMT) 728.00p 1.11%
Convatec Group (CTEC) 211.00p 0.96%
Standard Chartered (STAN) 744.40p 0.92%

FTSE 100 – Fallers

Ocado Group (OCDO) 930.80p -4.67%
Rolls-Royce Holdings (RR.) 188.65p -2.41%
BT Group (BT.A) 121.70p -1.97%
Hargreaves Lansdown (HL.) 857.80p -1.79%
Vodafone Group (VOD) 74.50p -1.65%
Sainsbury (J) (SBRY) 278.50p -1.45%
Coca-Cola HBC AG (CDI) (CCH) 2,321.00p -1.44%
Prudential (PRU) 1,085.50p -1.41%
Croda International (CRDA) 5,874.00p -1.38%
M&G (MNG) 199.15p -1.26%

FTSE 250 – Risers

Ithaca Energy (ITH) 178.70p 8.70%
Dr. Martens (DOCS) 154.30p 5.61%
Mobico Group (MCG) 94.90p 4.46%
Vietnam Enterprise Investments (DI) (VEIL) 658.00p 4.11%
Harbour Energy (HBR) 262.90p 4.00%
Energean (ENOG) 1,159.00p 3.48%
OSB Group (OSB) 367.80p 3.43%
TUI AG Reg Shs (DI) (TUI) 617.00p 2.66%
Aston Martin Lagonda Global Holdings (AML) 388.20p 2.59%
Drax Group (DRX) 613.60p 2.57%

FTSE 250 – Fallers

Marshalls (MSLH) 253.80p -8.11%
CMC Markets (CMCX) 132.80p -5.68%
Vanquis Banking Group 20 (VANQ) 121.00p -5.62%
Senior (SNR) 166.60p -2.23%
IntegraFin Holding (IHP) 244.80p -2.08%
Travis Perkins (TPK) 873.00p -1.95%
PZ Cussons (PZC) 165.00p -1.90%
Lancashire Holdings Limited (LRE) 600.50p -1.88%
Bridgepoint Group (Reg S) (BPT) 191.50p -1.74%
Premier Foods (PFD) 126.80p -1.71%

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