London open: Stocks rise as North Korea concerns recede, insurers gain

Mon 11 Sep 2017

LONDON (SHARECAST) - (ShareCast News) - London stocks rose in early trade on Monday as worries about North Korea receded, with a strong showing in the insurance sector lending a hand.
At 0830 BST, the FTSE 100 was up 0.5% to 7,413.97, as investors set aside their worries about North Korea - at least for now - breathing a sigh of relief that the country chose not to launch more missiles to celebrate its 69th anniversary over the weekend.

Insurers Prudential, Admiral, RSA, Direct Line, Beazley, Lancashire and Hiscox all made healthy gains, with traders pointing to the fact that Hurricane Irma's strength was downgraded as it hit Florida. The likes of Admiral and Direct Line were also likely to still be benefiting from last week's news about changes to the Ogden discount rate.

Elsewhere, AstraZeneca rallied as it said it had seen positive results from two trials for lung cancer treatments, while Derwent London racked up healthy gains after saying it has pre-let most of the remaining office space at 80 Charlotte Street in London to The Boston Consulting Group.

Vodafone edged higher after announcing that its Germany division is to invest around €2bn of "incremental capital expenditure" by the end of the 2021 calendar year in gigabit ultrafast fibre broadband services.

Kaz Minerals advanced after appointing John Hadfield as its new chief financial officer with effect from January 2018, while John Laing gained ground as it posted an 11.5% jump in its net asset value for the first half.

British Land was boosted by an upgrade to 'buy' at Deutsche Bank, while SIG was lifted by an upgrade to 'buy' at Canaccord.

On the downside, Associated British Foods was in the red despite saying group operating profits will be "well ahead" of last year after its Primark clothing arm was able to reduce levels of price promotion, with the sugar business also adding a hefty spoonful to the bottom line.

Outsourcer Carillion slumped as it announced that its finance director has left the company with immediate effect with three other directors departing at the end of the month.

Shares in Petra Diamonds tanked after the company confirmed that a parcel of diamonds from its Williamson mine in Tanzania has been blocked from export to its marketing office in Antwerp and some of its key personnel from Williamson are being questioned by the authorities.

The statement was made in response to earlier press reports about the findings of an investigation into the diamond sector by a parliamentary committee in Tanzania. Petra said "the grounds upon which these actions have been taken have not been formally made know to the company" yet, but according to reports, the government has accused Petra of declaring a lower value when trying to export the gems.

Market Movers

FTSE 100 (UKX) 7,413.97 0.49%
FTSE 250 (MCX) 19,679.33 0.35%
techMARK (TASX) 3,469.14 0.30%

FTSE 100 - Risers

AstraZeneca (AZN) 4,897.00p 2.52%
Provident Financial (PFG) 805.00p 2.45%
British Land Company (BLND) 611.00p 1.84%
Carnival (CCL) 5,110.00p 1.49%
Prudential (PRU) 1,783.50p 1.36%
Persimmon (PSN) 2,561.00p 1.18%
Admiral Group (ADM) 1,860.00p 1.15%
ITV (ITV) 162.20p 1.12%
RSA Insurance Group (RSA) 642.00p 1.02%
Direct Line Insurance Group (DLG) 386.80p 1.02%

FTSE 100 - Fallers

Micro Focus International (MCRO) 2,373.00p -1.86%
Fresnillo (FRES) 1,587.00p -1.73%
Randgold Resources Ltd. (RRS) 8,005.00p -1.54%
Rolls-Royce Holdings (RR.) 894.50p -0.62%
Associated British Foods (ABF) 3,247.00p -0.55%
Antofagasta (ANTO) 1,003.00p -0.30%
Next (NXT) 4,349.00p -0.14%
Unilever (ULVR) 4,509.00p -0.03%
Coca-Cola HBC AG (CDI) (CCH) 2,661.00p 0.00%
Sage Group (SGE) 697.50p 0.00%

FTSE 250 - Risers

Beazley (BEZ) 474.80p 5.17%
Lancashire Holdings Limited (LRE) 641.00p 4.91%
Hiscox Limited (DI) (HSX) 1,261.00p 3.43%
Sophos Group (SOPH) 548.50p 2.79%
SIG (SHI) 174.80p 2.51%
Euromoney Institutional Investor (ERM) 1,137.00p 2.43%
ZPG Plc (ZPG) 372.10p 2.41%
Nostrum Oil & Gas (NOG) 390.60p 2.39%
PayPoint (PAY) 940.00p 2.12%
esure Group (ESUR) 263.30p 1.93%

FTSE 250 - Fallers

Carillion (CLLN) 41.61p -5.15%
Fidessa Group (FDSA) 2,020.00p -2.46%
Morgan Advanced Materials (MGAM) 286.40p -2.42%
Marshalls (MSLH) 425.80p -2.32%
Sirius Minerals (SXX) 26.99p -2.22%
Sanne Group (SNN) 792.50p -1.98%
Millennium & Copthorne Hotels (MLC) 457.00p -1.93%
Centamin (DI) (CEY) 153.50p -1.79%
Stobart Group Ltd. (STOB) 297.80p -1.78%
Acacia Mining (ACA) 189.00p -1.56%
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