London midday: Stocks push higher as investors eye US data

by | Mar 30, 2023

London stocks had extended gains by midday on Thursday as investors shifted their attention to upcoming US data releases.
The FTSE 100 was up 0.8% at 7,621.58.

CMC Markets analyst Michael Hewson said: “The next few days are likely to be a key test of this stabilisation with some key US inflation data tomorrow and next week’s US jobs data for March.

“Before that we have the final iteration of US Q4 GDP which is expected to see a modest revision upwards to 2.8% from 2.7%, which would be a modest slowdown from the 3.2% seen in Q3. Core PCE for Q4 is expected to remain steady at 4.3%.”

The US GDP figures are due at 1330 BST.

On home shores, investors digested data showing that car production jumped last month as supply chain shortages eased and demand for electric vehicles strengthened.

According to the Society for Motor Manufacturers and Traders, UK car production rose 13.1% year-on-year to 69,707 units. The trade body said volumes had been “buoyed” by improvement in supply chains, particularly around semiconductors.

Strong demand for electric cars also helped, with the number of hybrid, plug-in hybrid and battery electric vehicles produced in total rising to 27,392 from 15,905 a year previously.

A total of 56,634 cars were made for export, or for 81.2% of output, up from 50,786 a year previously. Most headed to the European Union, with strong demand from the bloc helping to offset falls in exports to the US and China, down 19.1% and 21.6% respectively.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “February’s growth in UK car production signposts an industry that is on the road to recovery. The fundamentals of the sector are strong.

“The take advantage of global opportunities, however, we must scale up at pace and make the UK the most attractive destination for automotive investment by addressing trading and fiscal costs and delivering low carbon, affordable energy.”

In equity markets, energy firm SSE rallied after it lifted its full-year earnings per share guidance as it hailed a strong performance from its flexible generation plant. It now expects adjusted EPS of more than 160p per share for the full-year 2022/23, up from previous guidance of more than 150p.

Petrofac surged after saying that it and Hitachi Energy had been awarded a €13bn framework agreement by Dutch-German electricity grid operator TenneT. This is Petrofac’s largest ever contract.

Moonpig racked up impressive gains after the online greeting cards and gift retailer backed its full-year guidance as it hailed a record Mother’s Day performance.

On the downside, Phoenix Group, Aviva, Abrdn, Taylor Wimpey, Smith & Nephew, Mondi and Moneysupermarket all fell as they traded without entitlement to the dividend.

Drax was still in the red but well off earlier lows, as it insisted it still plans to install carbon capture technology at its power plants even after the government rejected its plans to introduce the technology at a power plant in England.

Market Movers

FTSE 100 (UKX) 7,621.58 0.76%
FTSE 250 (MCX) 18,863.87 1.24%
techMARK (TASX) 4,547.53 0.38%

FTSE 100 – Risers

Ocado Group (OCDO) 511.60p 7.03%
JD Sports Fashion (JD.) 175.30p 4.22%
SSE (SSE) 1,799.00p 3.54%
Land Securities Group (LAND) 616.40p 3.32%
Endeavour Mining (EDV) 1,980.00p 3.29%
SEGRO (SGRO) 755.60p 3.08%
British Land Company (BLND) 384.90p 2.89%
Prudential (PRU) 1,120.00p 2.85%
International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 147.04p 2.77%
Barclays (BARC) 145.70p 2.59%

FTSE 100 – Fallers

Phoenix Group Holdings (PHNX) 544.80p -3.88%
Aviva (AV.) 405.90p -3.38%
Taylor Wimpey (TW.) 117.60p -3.09%
Abrdn (ABDN) 204.10p -2.20%
Mondi (MNDI) 1,279.50p -1.92%
Smith & Nephew (SN.) 1,103.50p -1.52%
British American Tobacco (BATS) 2,852.00p -0.80%
BAE Systems (BA.) 979.20p -0.73%
Haleon (HLN) 321.45p -0.62%
London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) 7,834.00p -0.38%

FTSE 250 – Risers

TUI AG Reg Shs (DI) (TUI) 664.60p 21.53%
Essentra (ESNT) 197.60p 5.67%
Hammerson (HMSO) 23.97p 5.13%
Marshalls (MSLH) 312.00p 4.84%
Future (FUTR) 1,144.00p 4.57%
IWG (IWG) 159.55p 4.55%
Tullow Oil (TLW) 30.56p 4.30%
Wizz Air Holdings (WIZZ) 2,848.00p 4.17%
ASOS (ASC) 774.50p 4.10%
Currys (CURY) 59.15p 4.05%

FTSE 250 – Fallers Group (MONY) 248.40p -2.89%
Ferrexpo (FXPO) 114.60p -1.80%
Ithaca Energy (ITH) 151.95p -1.71%
CMC Markets (CMCX) 172.40p -1.71%
Abrdn Private Equity Opportunities Trust (APEO) 411.00p -1.67%
Drax Group (DRX) 565.50p -1.57%
Primary Health Properties (PHP) 101.50p -1.07%
NB Private Equity Partners Ltd. (NBPE) 1,400.00p -1.06%
Baillie Gifford Japan Trust (BGFD) 734.00p -0.94%
Worldwide Healthcare Trust (WWH) 3,055.00p -0.81%

Related articles

Trending stories

Join our mailing list

Subscribe to our mailing list to receive regular updates!