London close: CRH, major miners lead top-flight index higher
London stocks finished above the waterline on Wednesday, underpinned by strength in the heavyweight mining sector.
The FTSE 100 ended the session up 1.68% at 7,039.30, and the FTSE 250 was 0.25% firmer at 22,385.90.
Sterling was stronger as well, last trading 0.19% higher against the dollar at $1.3913, and advancing 0.32% on the euro to €1.1596.
“The cyclical recovery play is in fine form on the FTSE 100, with miners, banks and housebuilders on the up and Ocado, the sole real tech-growth firm in the index, dropping sharply,” said IG chief market analyst Chris Beauchamp.
“After a struggle in March and April the UK’s headline index is back at the highs for the year, and seemingly-determined to keep going.”
Beauchamp said it “made sense to keep faith” in the top-flight index in recent months, buying the dips in a way that would have been a “very bad idea” in the summer, when growth stocks were in focus.
“Further strong data from the US and elsewhere should mean the cyclical stocks that are today’s winners will keep moving higher in the long-term.”
Miners were the standout gainers, with Anglo American up 6.29%, BHP ahead 4.99%, Glencore rising 4.63%, and Rio Tinto 4.74% higher amid rising metals prices.
CRH ended the day up 5.34%, closing at its highest price since 1995 after Jefferies said strong results from US peers Martin Marietta and Vulcan Materials were positive for the building materials group.
Jefferies analyst Glynis Johnson, who rates CRH shares a 'buy', said the short-term outlook was improving because of the US's expected infrastructure programme in 2021.
Johnson also cited strong merger and acquisition pipelines for Martin Marietta and Vulcan as supporting the view that mergers and acquisitions would help drive CRH's growth.
“We continue to see scope for meaningful earnings upgrades which we believe will support share price momentum through the year,” Johnson wrote in a note to clients.
Croda gained 3.22% after the speciality chemicals firm announced a strategic review of its Performance Technologies and Industrial Chemicals (PTIC) businesses.
On the downside, Just Eat Takeaway was 1.22% lower and Ocado lost 2.1%, both stocks having benefited from lockdowns and restrictions on bricks-and-mortar trading.
Virgin Money slumped 1.2% despite saying that first-half profit more than doubled as Covid-19 impairment charges tumbled.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Anglo American (AAL) 3,270.50p 6.29%
CRH (CDI) (CRH) 3,607.00p 5.34%
BHP Group (BHP) 2,306.00p 4.99%
Rio Tinto (RIO) 6,408.00p 4.74%
Glencore (GLEN) 309.90p 4.63%
Evraz (EVR) 665.60p 3.94%
Informa (INF) 573.00p 3.92%
Taylor Wimpey (TW.) 180.25p 3.80%
Barclays (BARC) 176.76p 3.43%
NATWEST GROUP PLC ORD 100P (NWG) 199.25p 3.24%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Ocado Group (OCDO) 1,962.00p -2.10%
Land Securities Group (LAND) 718.60p -1.72%
Just Eat Takeaway.Com N.V. (CDI) (JET) 7,181.00p -1.22%
Avast (AVST) 457.80p -1.04%
Hikma Pharmaceuticals (HIK) 2,337.00p -0.97%
SEGRO (SGRO) 999.80p -0.86%
British Land Company (BLND) 520.80p -0.57%
National Grid (NG.) 912.40p -0.32%
DCC (CDI) (DCC) 6,328.00p -0.32%
Diageo (DGE) 3,241.00p -0.25%
FTSE 250 - Risers
John Laing Group (JLG) 317.60p 4.13%
Travis Perkins (TPK) 1,578.00p 3.98%
Tullow Oil (TLW) 55.94p 3.67%
Vesuvius (VSVS) 550.00p 3.48%
Playtech (PTEC) 486.00p 3.18%
Babcock International Group (BAB) 291.10p 3.04%
Euromoney Institutional Investor (ERM) 997.00p 2.78%
Vistry Group (VTY) 1,243.50p 2.77%
Investec (INVP) 286.00p 2.77%
Energean (ENOG) 852.00p 2.65%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
PZ Cussons (PZC) 257.00p -3.38%
Oxford Biomedica (OXB) 1,038.00p -3.35%
C&C Group (CDI) (CCR) 290.20p -3.07%
Syncona Limited NPV (SYNC) 237.50p -2.86%
Vectura Group (VEC) 113.80p -2.74%
XP Power Ltd. (DI) (XPP) 4,980.00p -2.73%
LXI Reit (LXI) 134.60p -2.60%
GCP Student Living (DIGS) 161.20p -2.54%
UDG Healthcare Public Limited Company (CDI) (UDG) 858.50p -2.50%
Morgan Sindall Group (MGNS) 2,235.00p -2.40%