London open: Stocks edge up ahead of ECB; RICS survey in focus

by | Sep 14, 2023

(Sharecast News) – London stocks edged up in early trade on Thursday as investors mulled the latest UK house price data and eyed a policy announcement from the European Central Bank.

At 0820 BST, the FTSE 100 was up 0.2% at 7,544.28.

Richard Hunter, head of markets at Interactive Investor, said: “UK markets mirrored the overnight trading action elsewhere, with the FTSE100 opening marginally higher.

“With a sideways glance towards an interest rate decision later by the European Central Bank where a further rise is possible, the update will provide another reminder if it were needed that the battle against inflation remains live.”

The ECB rate announcement is due at 1315 BST, with markets pricing in a 63% chance of a 25 basis points hike, according to Matt Britzman, equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown.

Investors will also be eyeing the US producer price index for August at 1330 BST, along with retail sales.

On Wednesday, data showed the US consumer price index ticked higher than expected in August, rising by 3.7% at a headline annual level, versus estimates of 3.6%, and by 0.6% on a monthly basis, which was in line.

Core inflation, which strips out volatile energy and food prices, rose by 4.3% on an annual basis and by 0.3% monthly.

On home shores, the latest Residential Market Survey from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors showed that house prices fell sharply last month amid higher mortgage rates.

The net balance for house prices fell from -55 in July to -68 last month, the most negative reading since February 2009.

New buyer enquiries slipped to -47 from -45, with new sale instructions falling to -26 from -17.

Respondents also reported a decline in newly agreed sales, from -45 to -47 – the weakest reading since the early stages of the pandemic.

Simon Rubinsohn, RICS’ chief economist, said: “The latest round of feedback from Rics members continues to point to a sluggish housing market with little sign of any relief in prospect.

“Buyer enquiries remain under pressure against a backdrop of economic uncertainty and the high cost of mortgage finance. Meanwhile, prices are continuing to slip, albeit that the relatively modest fall to date needs to be seen in the context of the substantial rise recorded during the pandemic.

“Critically, affordability metrics still remain stretch in many parts of the country.”

Looking ahead, respondents expected sales to remain subdued, although the balance did turn marginally less negative, at -38 compared to -45 a month previously.

In equity markets, miners were on the rise after an upbeat note by JPMorgan Cazenove. The bank upgraded Rio Tinto to ‘neutral’ from ‘underweight’. It also lifted its price target for Anglo American and said it remains its “top pick” in the sector.

Hilton Food Group rallied as the food packaging business said it will expand into the North American market after entering a long-term supply agreement with Walmart Canada.

Online travel platform Trainline surged after it launched a £50m share buyback, as ticket sales grew by almost a quarter in the first six months of its financial year. Group net ticket sales grew 23% year-on-year to £2.6bn in the six months to August 31, driving growth in group revenue of 19% to £197m.

On the downside, Melrose, Unite Group and Intertek fell as they traded without entitlement to the dividend.

Outside the FTSE 350, Deliveroo shot higher following a Bloomberg report that activist investor Sachem Head Capital Management has taken a stake.

Market Movers

FTSE 100 (UKX) 7,544.28 0.24%
FTSE 250 (MCX) 18,566.44 0.03%
techMARK (TASX) 4,342.00 0.06%

FTSE 100 – Risers

Rio Tinto (RIO) 5,130.00p 2.91%
Anglo American (AAL) 2,151.50p 2.45%
Smurfit Kappa Group (CDI) (SKG) 2,822.00p 1.51%
Glencore (GLEN) 437.75p 1.35%
Fresnillo (FRES) 580.00p 1.05%
Rightmove (RMV) 560.60p 0.97%
BP (BP.) 512.90p 0.92%
United Utilities Group (UU.) 955.60p 0.89%
Berkeley Group Holdings (The) (BKG) 4,132.00p 0.78%
Flutter Entertainment (CDI) (FLTR) 14,095.00p 0.71%

FTSE 100 – Fallers

Melrose Industries (MRO) 492.00p -1.84%
WPP (WPP) 757.40p -1.59%
RS Group (RS1) 737.00p -1.58%
F&C Investment Trust (FCIT) 872.00p -1.02%
Unite Group (UTG) 916.50p -0.92%
Intertek Group (ITRK) 4,153.00p -0.81%
International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 152.60p -0.78%
M&G (MNG) 200.70p -0.74%
Rolls-Royce Holdings (RR.) 223.70p -0.71%
Weir Group (WEIR) 1,889.50p -0.58%

FTSE 250 – Risers

Trainline (TRN) 268.00p 8.33%
Hilton Food Group (HFG) 769.00p 5.92%
Hipgnosis Songs Fund Limited NPV (SONG) 97.90p 5.27%
Pets at Home Group (PETS) 364.20p 4.24%
Discoverie Group (DSCV) 750.00p 3.59%
Pagegroup (PAGE) 418.20p 2.45%
Great Portland Estates (GPE) 426.00p 2.40%
Clarkson (CKN) 2,780.00p 2.39%
Dunelm Group (DNLM) 1,143.00p 2.33%
Spire Healthcare Group (SPI) 218.50p 2.10%

FTSE 250 – Fallers

International Public Partnerships Ltd. (INPP) 126.60p -2.62%
Jupiter Fund Management (JUP) 95.50p -2.25%
IWG (IWG) 164.70p -2.14%
Aston Martin Lagonda Global Holdings (AML) 327.40p -2.03%
LXI Reit (LXI) 91.85p -1.87%
Apax Global Alpha Limited (APAX) 163.80p -1.80%
SDCL Energy Efficiency Income Trust (SEIT) 72.70p -1.76%
Balanced Commercial Property Trust Limited (BCPT) 70.30p -1.54%
Vanquis Banking Group 20 (VANQ) 115.40p -1.54%
Diversified Energy Company (DEC) 84.95p -1.51%

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