London midday: Stocks continue to push higher tracking gains on Wall Street

Fri 27 Dec 2019

LONDON (SHARECAST) - (Sharecast News) - London stocks were extending their year-end push higher amid a trickle of corporate news and after a solid Boxing Day session on Wall Street.
In particular, on Thursday, the tech-heavy US Nasdaq Composite climbed past the psychological 9,000 point mark for the first time ever, with the likes of Tesla and Amazon pacing gains and futures were pointing to further gains in Friday's session.

An announcement from China's Commerce Ministry that Beijing was in contact with the US regarding the signing of their initial trade deal lay behind those gains, alongside data showing record online spending by American consumers over the festive period.

Earlier in the week, Donald Trump said the deal was "getting done", adding that there would be a signing ceremony with Chinese leader Xi Jinping.

Against that backdrop, as of 1152 GMT, the FTSE 100 was climbing 0.38% to 7,661.34 even as the pound added 0.54% against the US dollar to trade at 1.30743, while the second-tier FTSE 250 was up by 0.20% at 22,026.36.

To take note of, February-dated Brent was up by 0.18% to $68.04 a barrel on ICE, following a report from the American Petroleum Institute, two days earlier, showing a large 7.9m barrel drawdown in the country's oil stockpiles over the preceding week.

On home shores, according to The Times, the Treasury was preparing proposals aimed at boosting economic wellbeing in the north and the Midlands, instead of focusing on overall growth at the national level.

No major data releases were scheduled on either side of the Atlantic on Friday.

In the corporate space meanwhile, NMC Health announced some initial findings of its review following the "attack" from short seller Muddy Waters on Friday, reporting that it has obtained a letter from STH Consultant - the engineering consultant retained for the NMC Royal Women's Hospital development project - confirming the total built-up floor area of the hospital at 18,595 square metres.

The FTSE 100 firm said it had also made available Health Authority of Abu Dhabi approved floor plans of the hospital.

US Solar Fund announced its third acquisition on Friday, confirming that it had executed binding agreements to acquire 100% of the cash equity interests in an approximately 39MW DC portfolio of eight operating utility-scale solar power projects located in North Carolina.

The London-listed company said it would acquire the portfolio from Greenbacker Renewable Energy Company, and fund the acquisition with cash of around $36m, adding it did not anticipate using debt at this time.

Anglo African Oil & Gas has entered into a conditional sale and purchase agreement with Zenith Energy for the sale of an 80% interest in its wholly-owned subsidiary, Anglo African Oil & Gas Congo, which holds a 56% interest in Tilapia in the Republic of the Congo.

The AIM-traded firm said the consideration for the disposal would be the payment by Zenith of 1m, of which 0.5m in cash would payable in six equal monthly instalments from the date of completion, and 0.5m worth of Zenith ordinary shares would be issued at the volume-weighted average price of a Zenith share for a period of 14 trading days prior to completion of the disposal.

Market Movers

FTSE 100 (UKX) 7,659.42 0.36%
FTSE 250 (MCX) 22,036.02 0.25%
techMARK (TASX) 4,233.54 0.27%

FTSE 100 - Risers

Evraz (EVR) 408.30p 3.13%
Glencore (GLEN) 240.00p 2.24%
BHP Group (BHP) 1,826.80p 1.98%
Just Eat (JE.) 826.00p 1.98%
TUI AG Reg Shs (DI) (TUI) 974.80p 1.52%
DCC (DCC) 6,644.00p 1.50%
Scottish Mortgage Inv Trust (SMT) 590.00p 1.46%
Polymetal International (POLY) 1,187.00p 1.45%
Auto Trader Group (AUTO) 606.80p 1.40%
United Utilities Group (UU.) 963.80p 1.37%

FTSE 100 - Fallers

NMC Health (NMC) 1,745.00p -2.08%
Smith & Nephew (SN.) 1,859.00p -1.12%
Carnival (CCL) 3,674.00p -1.02%
Standard Chartered (STAN) 721.00p -0.83%
Experian (EXPN) 2,585.00p -0.77%
Bunzl (BNZL) 2,134.00p -0.74%
Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY) 63.10p -0.50%
Standard Life Aberdeen (SLA) 335.40p -0.45%
Informa (INF) 866.60p -0.41%
Compass Group (CPG) 1,911.00p -0.39%

FTSE 250 - Risers

Hastings Group Holdings (HSTG) 181.30p 3.01%
Fresnillo (FRES) 618.00p 3.00%
BlackRock World Mining Trust (BRWM) 386.00p 2.93%
Tullow Oil (TLW) 65.50p 2.83%
Henderson Smaller Companies Inv Trust (HSL) 1,100.00p 2.80%
Airtel Africa (AAF) 78.65p 2.14%
Premier Oil (PMO) 97.80p 2.09%
Ferrexpo (FXPO) 158.45p 2.03%
Syncona Limited NPV (SYNC) 222.00p 1.83%
Hammerson (HMSO) 310.50p 1.80%

FTSE 250 - Fallers

Sirius Minerals (SXX) 3.55p -2.74%
Virgin Money UK (VMUK) 189.40p -2.62%
Convatec Group (CTEC) 197.00p -2.14%
Dixons Carphone (DC.) 144.15p -2.01%
FDM Group (Holdings) (FDM) 1,034.00p -1.71%
Bakkavor Group (BAKK) 141.80p -1.66%
Capita (CPI) 165.60p -1.63%
Worldwide Healthcare Trust (WWH) 3,205.00p -1.54%
Witan Inv Trust (WTAN) 231.00p -1.49%
Drax Group (DRX) 321.00p -1.41%
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