London open: Stocks edge higher as investors shrug off North Korean concerns

Wed 30 Aug 2017

LONDON (SHARECAST) - (ShareCast News) - London stocks edged higher in early trade on Wednesday, tracking gains in the US and Asia as investors shrugged off concerns about North Korea.
At 0820 BST, the FTSE 100 was up 0.5% to 7,372.58, while the pound was down 0.1% against the dollar at 1.2908 and 0.1% firmer versus the euro at 1.0795, steadying after it sank against the single currency on Tuesday amid the latest Brexit talks.

Analysts attributed the calmer tone in markets in part to US President Trump's measured response to North Korea's missile launch over Japan.

David Morrison, senior market strategist at SpreadCo, said: "Rather than unleashing a Tweet-storm Mr Trump paused before stating that all options were on the table when it came to dealing with the rogue state. So traders switched back into their default 'buy the dip' setting hoping to take advantage of Tuesday's sharp sell-off to pick up risk assets at cheaper prices."

On the data front, net lending to individuals, consumer credit, mortgage approvals and money supply are due at 0830 BST. Investors will also be eyeing the release of second-quarter US GDP at 1330 BST, while the ADP employment report at 1315 BST will be watched ahead of Friday's non-farm payrolls.

In corporate news, Diploma was in the black after saying it had continued to trade well in the second half of the year and remained on track to post full year results in line with expectations.

WH Smith was also higher after saying results for the year to the end of August should hit target and that it continues to see further opportunities for international growth in via the airport market.

Hansteen Holdings advanced as it announced the sale of Carvers Trading Estate in Ringwood, north east of Bournemouth on Wednesday for 7.06m, reflecting a net initial yield of 4.93% and a capital value per square foot of 137.

Workspace racked up healthy gains as it exchanged contracts for the disposal of Zennor Road Industrial Estate in Balham, London, for 30m.

Going the other way, Spectris was in the red after saying it will sell its Microscan Systems unit to Omron Corporation for $157m in cash, while Petrofac declined despite reporting a jump in first-half pre-tax profit, as it cut its dividend.

James Fisher retreated despite posting a rise in first-half underlying operating profits and lifting its dividend, while Dunelm was hit by the resignation of its chief executive for "personal reasons".

Market Movers

FTSE 100 (UKX) 7,372.58 0.48%
FTSE 250 (MCX) 19,622.03 0.48%
techMARK (TASX) 3,375.14 0.38%

FTSE 100 - Risers

Ashtead Group (AHT) 1,637.00p 2.63%
Ferguson (FERG) 4,550.00p 2.02%
ITV (ITV) 156.00p 1.96%
Aviva (AV.) 523.00p 1.16%
Prudential (PRU) 1,806.50p 1.06%
BT Group (BT.A) 290.55p 0.97%
Smiths Group (SMIN) 1,543.00p 0.92%
British Land Company (BLND) 608.00p 0.91%
Glencore (GLEN) 356.15p 0.91%
CRH (CRH) 2,670.00p 0.87%

FTSE 100 - Fallers

Randgold Resources Ltd. (RRS) 7,800.00p -1.45%
Provident Financial (PFG) 897.50p -0.99%
Fresnillo (FRES) 1,608.00p -0.80%
Johnson Matthey (JMAT) 2,776.00p -0.75%
Unilever (ULVR) 4,477.50p -0.48%
Centrica (CNA) 192.80p -0.36%
WPP (WPP) 1,417.00p -0.28%
AstraZeneca (AZN) 4,481.00p -0.23%
Worldpay Group (WPG) 416.80p -0.14%
National Grid (NG.) 961.00p -0.08%

FTSE 250 - Risers

FirstGroup (FGP) 118.10p 3.51%
Unite Group (UTG) 689.50p 3.45%
Ocado Group (OCDO) 299.50p 2.71%
JD Sports Fashion (JD.) 311.20p 2.60%
Intu Properties (INTU) 248.60p 2.01%
McCarthy & Stone (MCS) 166.90p 1.77%
Workspace Group (WKP) 886.00p 1.72%
Grafton Group Units (GFTU) 776.00p 1.64%
Mitchells & Butlers (MAB) 248.50p 1.59%
Tullow Oil (TLW) 155.50p 1.37%

FTSE 250 - Fallers

Acacia Mining (ACA) 210.40p -2.32%
Dunelm Group (DNLM) 588.00p -1.67%
Coats Group (COA) 78.00p -1.27%
John Laing Group (JLG) 291.30p -1.25%
PayPoint (PAY) 900.50p -0.77%
Polymetal International (POLY) 949.50p -0.68%
Softcat (SCT) 393.00p -0.51%
Just Group (JUST) 150.20p -0.40%
Bovis Homes Group (BVS) 1,044.00p -0.38%
Smith (DS) (SMDS) 487.00p -0.31%
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