London midday: Stocks maintain gains as sterling perks up on jobs data

Tue 11 Jun 2019

LONDON (SHARECAST) - (Sharecast News) - London stocks were still in the green by midday on Tuesday, with miners leading the charge and sterling a touch higher following upbeat UK labour data.
The FTSE 100 was up 0.5% at 7,410.28, while the pound was 0.2% firmer against the dollar and the euro at 1.2715 and 1.1237, respectively, perking up following the release of a better-than-expected jobs report.

Spreadex analyst Connor Campbell said: "Including bonuses wage growth came in at 3.1%, beating estimates of 2.9%, with the previous month's reading revised up to 3.3%. Strip away bonuses and the picture was even rosier, rising from 3.3% to 3.4% month-on-month.

"The unemployment rate, meanwhile, held at a 44-year low of 3.8%. The one blemish in the jobs report was an unexpected jump in the claimant count change, almost double what was forecast at 23.2k."

The figures were a welcome relief after Tuesday's disappointing GDP data, which showed that the UK economy contracted 0.4% in April as car production slumped.

More broadly, investors continued to eye trade developments after US President Trump reiterated his threat to impose tariffs on an additional $300bn of Chinese goods. Trump said on Monday that he will raise tariffs if China's leader Xi Jinping doesn't meet him at the G20 meeting in Japan later this month.

Neil Wilson, chief market analyst at said the market's going to remain sensitive to trade news flow for some time, particularly as we head into the G20. "We'd assume there will be a meeting but cordial it may not be," he said.

In equity markets, miners were the standout gainers, with Antofagasta, Anglo American, BHP and Glencore all up amid rising copper and iron ore prices. The sector - and the overall tone in financial markets - was underpinned by signs that more government stimulus may be on its way in China.

Safety, health and environment technology company Halma was up as it posted record full-year results thanks to strong growth across all four of its sector.

Over-50s specialist Saga rallied after announcing a savings partnership with Goldman Sachs' savings arm, Marcus.

On the downside, Ted Baker shares tumbled after the fashion retailer warned on profits amid "extremely difficult trading conditions". The company said pre-tax profit for the year to January 2020 are now expected to come in between 50m and 60m versus consensus of around 70m.

Compass Group fell as it agreed to buy Nordic food catering business Fazer Food Services for around €475m.

Bellway retreated even as the housebuilder said full-year earnings growth would be in line with expectations, adding that costs were under control, helping to ease gross margin pressures.

Market Movers

FTSE 100 (UKX) 7,410.28 0.47%
FTSE 250 (MCX) 19,320.68 0.06%
techMARK (TASX) 3,609.33 0.54%

FTSE 100 - Risers

Antofagasta (ANTO) 860.60p 3.14%
Hikma Pharmaceuticals (HIK) 1,659.50p 2.85%
Evraz (EVR) 666.60p 2.71%
Anglo American (AAL) 2,063.50p 2.69%
BHP Group (BHP) 1,897.40p 2.45%
Glencore (GLEN) 271.30p 2.40%
NMC Health (NMC) 2,319.66p 2.28%
Halma (HLMA) 1,945.00p 2.18%
Rio Tinto (RIO) 4,684.00p 2.11%
Melrose Industries (MRO) 176.00p 1.88%

FTSE 100 - Fallers

Fresnillo (FRES) 776.20p -1.72%
Centrica (CNA) 94.28p -1.42%
United Utilities Group (UU.) 811.40p -1.41%
Associated British Foods (ABF) 2,498.00p -0.95%
Compass Group (CPG) 1,840.50p -0.94%
Ocado Group (OCDO) 1,155.00p -0.86%
Severn Trent (SVT) 2,037.00p -0.83%
Pearson (PSON) 803.60p -0.74%
Standard Chartered (STAN) 702.10p -0.72%
Morrison (Wm) Supermarkets (MRW) 196.35p -0.66%

FTSE 250 - Risers

Woodford Patient Capital Trust (WPCT) 63.87p 8.25%
Stobart Group Ltd. (STOB) 109.60p 5.79%
Kaz Minerals (KAZ) 568.40p 5.49%
Saga (SAGA) 42.76p 3.89%
Games Workshop Group (GAW) 4,934.00p 3.87%
Kier Group (KIE) 166.00p 3.04%
Weir Group (WEIR) 1,556.00p 2.98%
Fidelity China Special Situations (FCSS) 217.06p 2.38%
Aston Martin Lagonda Global Holdings (AML) 1,047.20p 2.37%
Synthomer (SYNT) 368.14p 2.26%

FTSE 250 - Fallers

Ted Baker (TED) 997.24p -25.91%
Funding Circle Holdings (FCH) 248.31p -4.31%
Metro Bank (MTRO) 601.25p -4.03%
Entertainment One Limited (ETO) 380.20p -3.65%
Premier Oil (PMO) 72.00p -3.36%
Amigo Holdings (AMGO) 277.00p -2.98%
Just Group (JUST) 50.10p -2.72%
Stagecoach Group (SGC) 127.50p -2.60%
Indivior (INDV) 43.11p -2.47%
Pets at Home Group (PETS) 178.10p -2.30%
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