|CATEGORY: MARKET REPORT - OPENING
Thu 07 Nov 2019
LONDON (SHARECAST) - (Sharecast News) - London stocks edged higher in early trade on Thursday amid renewed optimism over a US-China trade deal, as investors waded through an avalanche of corporate releases and eyed the latest policy announcement from the Bank of England.
At 0840 GMT, the FTSE 100 was up 0.2% at 7,413.49.
The mood lifted after China said that it and the US had agreed to cancel existing tariffs in different phases.
Neil Wilson, chief market analyst at Markets.com, said: "China said that if a 'phase one' deal is reached, both sides must cancel existing tariffs at the same time. The comments dealt a boost to risk sentiment as European markets opened. It comes after fears were raised yesterday about whether a phase one deal could be reached as a proposed meeting between US president Donald Trump and Chinese president Xi Jinping was pushed back to December.
"Let's be clear - this is more of the same kind of pump we see almost daily. But it's decidedly positive nonetheless. The question remains whether the White House would be prepared to ditch all tariffs in exchange for some vague commitments on agricultural products and IP and think it can sell that as a win to voters. However, the comments from the Chinese commerce ministry do indicate a path out of the mire."
On home turf, the BoE was expected to stand pat on rates and keep the asset purchase programme unchanged when it makes its policy announcement at midday.
CMC Markets David Madden said: "The UK central bank is basically locked in the Brexit waiting room, whereby they are likely to keep their policy on hold until the UK leaves the EU.
"The BoE appears to be playing the wait and see game. The fact the Fed have cut rates three times in four months ,and the European Central Bank are about to restart their quantitative easing scheme, would suggest the BoE's next move could be a rate cut."
On the corporate front, there was a veritable deluge of earnings releases for investors to seek their teeth into.
Auto Trader was sitting pretty at the top of the FTSE 100 after the car marketplace reported a rise in first-half profit and revenue and backed its expectations for the year.
RSA Insurance was also on the rise after it said net written premiums for the year to date were flat but underwriting profit was up "strongly".
Sainsbury's gained ground despite posting a slump in first-half profits, as it also said that second-half profit would benefit from the annualisation of last year's colleague wage increase and a normalisation of marketing costs and weather comparatives.
Tate & Lyle rose to the top of the FTSE 250 after well-received first-half numbers, while luxury car maker Aston Martin revved higher despite saying it swung to a third-quarter loss in "tough" trading conditions.
IMI, Provident Financial and Bank of Georgia were all trading higher after updates.
On the downside, Hiscox was knocked lower by a downgrade to 'neutral' at JMorgan, while BP, Card Factory and Softcat were all down as their stock went ex-dividend.
Senior was the worst performer on the 250 after it said revenue in the last four months had been lower than its previous expectations due to weakness in wide-body commercial aircraft engine demand and the impact of the 737 MAX situation.
FTSE 100 (UKX) 7,413.49 0.23%
FTSE 250 (MCX) 20,319.96 0.51%
techMARK (TASX) 3,974.14 0.34%
FTSE 100 - Risers
Auto Trader Group (AUTO) 569.80p 3.83%
Evraz (EVR) 388.90p 3.49%
RSA Insurance Group (RSA) 550.40p 3.42%
Associated British Foods (ABF) 2,471.00p 2.02%
Glencore (GLEN) 261.65p 1.83%
Whitbread (WTB) 4,271.00p 1.62%
Sainsbury (J) (SBRY) 208.70p 1.56%
International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 553.80p 1.54%
NMC Health (NMC) 2,379.00p 1.45%
TUI AG Reg Shs (DI) (TUI) 1,049.50p 1.35%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Hiscox Limited (DI) (HSX) 1,326.00p -4.54%
Imperial Brands (IMB) 1,752.40p -2.16%
BP (BP.) 508.20p -1.15%
Unilever (ULVR) 4,659.00p -0.65%
Hikma Pharmaceuticals (HIK) 2,016.00p -0.44%
National Grid (NG.) 894.00p -0.42%
Schroders (SDR) 3,238.00p -0.37%
Land Securities Group (LAND) 904.60p -0.35%
Fresnillo (FRES) 703.40p -0.31%
United Utilities Group (UU.) 847.40p -0.31%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Tate & Lyle (TATE) 714.02p 7.57%
Aston Martin Lagonda Global Holdings (AML) 446.00p 6.83%
TI Fluid Systems (TIFS) 214.00p 6.20%
Marks & Spencer Group (MKS) 191.10p 5.00%
IMI (IMI) 1,112.00p 4.76%
Provident Financial (PFG) 454.80p 4.07%
Kainos Group (KNOS) 514.00p 2.80%
Ferrexpo (FXPO) 134.50p 2.63%
Bank of Georgia Group (BGEO) 1,387.30p 2.61%
Virgin Money UK (VMUK) 146.85p 2.48%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Senior (SNR) 166.85p -11.15%
Card Factory (CARD) 166.80p -4.14%
Galliford Try (GFRD) 723.00p -2.56%
FirstGroup (FGP) 125.60p -1.64%
Contour Global (GLO) 214.50p -1.61%
Softcat (SCT) 1,060.41p -1.54%
Trainline (TRN) 421.00p -1.17%
Safestore Holdings (SAFE) 696.00p -1.00%
4Imprint Group (FOUR) 2,921.00p -0.98%
Inchcape (INCH) 634.00p -0.94%