London open: Stocks nudge up as investors mull corporate news; ECB eyed

Thu 07 Sep 2017

LONDON (SHARECAST) - (ShareCast News) - London stocks edged just a touch higher in early trade on Thursday as investors sifted through corporate news and eyed the latest rate announcement from the European Central Bank.
At 0830 BST, the FTSE 100 was up 0.1% to 7,358.38.

The European Central Bank rate at 1245 BST and press conference at 1330 BST will be in focus. With rates largely expected to remain on hold, attention will be on what ECB chief Mario Draghi has to say.

Accendo Markets said: "While many had been hoping that this meeting would provide more clarity on a firm date for the ECB to begin the long awaited tapering of its quantitative easing programme, the overwhelming strength of the Euro in recent months could now delay the decision.

"Expect instead a press conference and Q&A laden with references to the strong euro and its impact on both inflation and Eurozone exporters, with any firm announcement on the start date and duration of tapering now expected in October."

In corporate news, AstraZeneca rose after putting out a pair of positive respiratory updates from Phase III trials of combined treatment Duaklir and Phase IIb trials of tezepelumab.

Imperial Brands was up after agreeing to sell 13.275m ordinary shares of 20 euro cents each in Compañía De Distribución Integral Logista Holdings on the Madrid Stock Exchange, raising gross proceeds of £230.8m through the placing.

Housebuilder Bovis Homes rose despite reporting a 31% drop in first-half pre-tax profit as total completions fell and the company said it was cutting back its growth targets.

ZPG rallied as it said it was buying financial services comparison website in deal worth up to £140m.

Go-Ahead Group fell as it reported that pre-tax profit for the full year fell 5.7%, while Ashmore was in the red despite posting a rise in full-year profits as assets under management grew.

Capita was under the cosh after it cuts its underlying operating profit for 2016 as it adopted new accounting standards, while Sanne retreated after the release of its first-half results.

Admiral was weaker as it went ex-dividend, along with BHP Billiton, Land Securities, and Glencore, among others.

Market Movers

FTSE 100 (UKX) 7,358.38 0.06%
FTSE 250 (MCX) 19,598.87 -0.27%
techMARK (TASX) 3,428.24 0.25%

FTSE 100 - Risers

Imperial Brands (IMB) 3,295.00p 2.65%
Micro Focus International (MCRO) 2,401.00p 2.48%
Direct Line Insurance Group (DLG) 378.90p 1.96%
Sage Group (SGE) 690.00p 1.17%
Provident Financial (PFG) 799.00p 1.14%
Barratt Developments (BDEV) 601.50p 1.01%
AstraZeneca (AZN) 4,621.50p 0.98%
GKN (GKN) 324.20p 0.93%
British American Tobacco (BATS) 4,856.50p 0.92%
Ashtead Group (AHT) 1,672.00p 0.91%

FTSE 100 - Fallers

BHP Billiton (BLT) 1,448.50p -2.43%
Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS) 240.90p -1.51%
Admiral Group (ADM) 1,854.00p -1.12%
Standard Chartered (STAN) 741.50p -1.04%
Glencore (GLEN) 362.00p -1.04%
Antofagasta (ANTO) 1,032.00p -0.96%
Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY) 62.47p -0.92%
Land Securities Group (LAND) 997.00p -0.89%
Fresnillo (FRES) 1,595.00p -0.81%
Next (NXT) 4,339.00p -0.80%

FTSE 250 - Risers

Bovis Homes Group (BVS) 1,122.00p 6.65%
ZPG Plc (ZPG) 375.90p 6.01%
Cairn Energy (CNE) 177.80p 1.25%
FDM Group (Holdings) (FDM) 919.50p 1.16%
Wizz Air Holdings (WIZZ) 2,935.00p 1.10%
Capital & Counties Properties (CAPC) 270.90p 0.97%
AA (AA.) 162.40p 0.87%
Crest Nicholson Holdings (CRST) 544.50p 0.83%
Berkeley Group Holdings (The) (BKG) 3,687.00p 0.82%
Thomas Cook Group (TCG) 124.00p 0.81%

FTSE 250 - Fallers

Ashmore Group (ASHM) 330.90p -9.39%
Capita (CPI) 606.50p -5.82%
Sanne Group (SNN) 743.50p -4.92%
Go-Ahead Group (GOG) 1,688.00p -3.71%
Phoenix Group Holdings (DI) (PHNX) 734.00p -3.48%
Pagegroup (PAGE) 484.10p -3.47%
Vectura Group (VEC) 92.15p -3.00%
Dixons Carphone (DC.) 168.40p -2.43%
Clarkson (CKN) 2,762.00p -2.33%
Millennium & Copthorne Hotels (MLC) 453.00p -2.31%
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