London close: Stocks firmer after raft of earnings

Wed 20 Apr 2022

LONDON (SHARECAST) - (Sharecast News) - London stocks closed in the green on Wednesday, as investors sifted through a raft of earnings news, with positive updates from the likes of CRH and Qinetiq helping to lift the mood.
The FTSE 100 ended the session up 0.37% at 7,629.22, and the FTSE 250 was ahead 0.58% at 21,084.00.

Sterling was in a mixed state, meanwhile, last trading 0.42% higher on the dollar at $1.3053, while it weakened 0.22% against the euro to €1.2022.

"Equity markets in Europe are higher thanks to the bullish session in the US last night," said Equiti Capital market analyst David Madden.

"Even though the war in Ukraine persists, the mood in the markets is upbeat.

"Although there is speculation that Western governments will announce additional sanctions on Russia, the fact it has yet to happen has acted as a green light to the bulls."

Madden noted that continental European indices were outperforming London as the DAX, the CAC and the FTSE MIB were all up over 1%.

"A sell-off in telecoms, pharma and mining stocks is holding back the British market.

"Sentiment in the US is still bullish as the Dow Jones broke above the 35,000 mark and it hit a two-week high.

"Due to the brutal fall in Netflix, the S&P 500 is only showing a moderate gain."

Economic news was thin on the ground in the UK, but on the continent, official data released earlier showed eurozone industrial production rebounding in February, fuelled by an increase in consumer goods.

According to Eurostat, seasonally-adjusted industrial production rose 0.7% month-on-month, and by 0.6% in the wider bloc.

That compared to a fall of 0.7% in January in the Eurozone, and a 0.3% decline across the EU.

Year-on-year, industrial production increased by 2.0% and by 3.0% in the Eurozone and EU respectively.

Production of durable consumer goods rose 2.7% in the Eurozone, while non-durable consumer goods improved 1.9% and intermediate goods increased 0.9%.

The production of capital goods fell by 0.1%, while energy was down 1.1%.

"February is the final month of data that does not incorporate the war in Ukraine, and therefore there is a question about how relevant these numbers are," said Bert Colijn, senior eurozone economist at ING.

"The main thing it tells us is that Eurozone industry was in a decent state ahead of the war, as production had stabilised at levels seen prior to the pandemic and supply chain problems were reducing.

"The outlook for industry remains clouded by uncertainty and sees clear risks to output."

Colijn noted that supply chain problems worsened again in March as the war in Ukraine disrupted things, while Chinese lockdowns were now beginning to also impact transportation.

"Expect production data to become more volatile from here on."

German producer prices, meanwhile, surged at a record rate last month, as the war in Ukraine started to weigh heavily.

According to Destatis, producer prices rose 30.9% in March year-on-year - the highest increase since records began in 1949 - or by 4.9% over the prior month in February.

Most analysts had been expecting an annual increase closer to 28.2%, according to a Reuters poll.

On home shores, building materials group CRH rallied 5.88% after it reported a positive start to the year, with group like-for-like sales up 13% in the first quarter and first-half sales, EBITDA and margin set to be ahead of the prior year.

Qinetiq gained 1.9% after the defence engineer lifted annual earnings guidance as strong order intake boosted revenues.

Investment company Petershill Partners jumped 5.67% after it said that maiden results were ahead of expectations at the IPO.

Just Eat Takeaway racked up gains of 2.14% after saying it was considering the partial or full sale of GrubHub as it reported a dip in first-quarter orders and cut its full-year guidance.

On the downside, Anglo-Australian mining giant Rio Tinto lost 4.75% after it reported lower-than-expected iron ore shipments in the first quarter.

It also warned of inflationary risk, a resurgence of Covid lockdowns in China and the impact of a prolonged Russia-Ukraine war, with miners weaker in general as copper prices fell.

Centamin lost 5.47% after the gold miner said production fell in the first quarter, as planned.

Oxford Biomedica slid 14.71% after it said 2022 revenues were set to be lower on the year due to a pause in vaccine manufacturing.

Petropavlovsk tumbled 23.23% after Gazprombank demanded a $300m loan repayment from the gold miner, which has operations in Russia.

Quilter was in the red by 2.89% after it posted a 4% dip in first-quarter assets under management.

Hikma Pharmaceuticals slipped 1.87% despite saying it received preliminary approval from the US Federal Trade Commission for the acquisition of sterile injectables company Custopharm from Water Street Healthcare, for up to $425m.

Market Movers

FTSE 100 (UKX) 7,629.22 0.37%
FTSE 250 (MCX) 21,084.00 0.58%
techMARK (TASX) 4,408.69 0.01%

FTSE 100 - Risers

CRH (CDI) (CRH) 3,215.50p 5.88%
Ashtead Group (AHT) 4,776.00p 4.01%
Experian (EXPN) 2,817.00p 3.91%
Ferguson (FERG) 10,610.00p 3.51%
Intermediate Capital Group (ICP) 1,668.00p 3.31%
Coca-Cola HBC AG (CDI) (CCH) 1,624.50p 3.12%
Reckitt Benckiser Group (RKT) 6,124.00p 2.92%
M&G (MNG) 215.40p 2.77%
Compass Group (CPG) 1,715.50p 2.76%
WPP (WPP) 1,004.00p 2.68%

FTSE 100 - Fallers

Ocado Group (OCDO) 1,082.00p -5.34%
Rio Tinto (RIO) 5,850.00p -4.75%
Glencore (GLEN) 518.90p -3.12%
Antofagasta (ANTO) 1,636.00p -3.02%
Anglo American (AAL) 4,035.50p -2.88%
ITV (ITV) 72.56p -2.26%
Rolls-Royce Holdings (RR.) 93.42p -2.18%
Hikma Pharmaceuticals (HIK) 2,042.00p -1.87%
Pershing Square Holdings Ltd NPV (PSH) 2,910.00p -1.69%
Fresnillo (FRES) 785.20p -1.63%

FTSE 250 - Risers

Darktrace (DARK) 411.20p 7.03%
JTC (JTC) 763.00p 7.01%
Petershill Partners (PHLL) 279.50p 5.67%
Caledonia Investments (CLDN) 3,820.00p 4.37%
Watches of Switzerland Group (WOSG) 1,168.00p 3.64%
Kainos Group (KNOS) 1,305.00p 3.49%
TI Fluid Systems (TIFS) 170.40p 3.39%
Trainline (TRN) 286.70p 3.36%
Apax Global Alpha Limited (APAX) 200.00p 3.31%
Diploma (DPLM) 2,884.00p 3.22%

FTSE 250 - Fallers

Oxford Biomedica (OXB) 545.00p -14.71%
Centamin (DI) (CEY) 92.00p -5.47%
888 Holdings (888) 204.00p -4.76%
Hochschild Mining (HOC) 132.40p -3.92%
Quilter (QLT) 141.25p -2.89%
Fidelity China Special Situations (FCSS) 244.00p -2.79%
PureTech Health (PRTC) 189.40p -2.67%
Polymetal International (POLY) 233.70p -2.67%
UK Commercial Property Reit Limited (UKCM) 90.70p -2.57%
Harbour Energy (HBR) 516.40p -2.57%
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