London close: FTSE finishes firmer while airlines descend
London stocks were just above the waterline at the close on Tuesday, amid worries about rate hikes and as investors kept their wallets closed ahead of key US earnings.
The FTSE 100 ended the session up 0.19% at 7,217.53, and the FTSE 250 was 0.37% firmer at 23,054.09.
Sterling was also in the green, last trading 0.53% higher on the dollar at $1.3799, and gaining 0.34% against the euro to €1.1863.
“Airlines are on the back foot once again today, with sharp losses for IAG, Tui, and easyJet dragging down the wider FTSE index,” said IG senior market analyst Joshua Mahony.
“Rising UK Covid-19 cases and the recent emergence of the ‘Delta-plus’ strain do provide a little cause for concern, although there remains hope that the successful vaccination drive should help protect the travel sector from any further disruptions.”
Mahony also pointed to the news that the Civil Aviation Authority approved a “whopping” 53% rise in landing fees at Heathrow, making it the most expensive airport in the world.
“That is a particularly difficult pill to swallow for airlines that have been hoping to raise prices in a bid to improve margins and regain lost lockdown earnings.”
In economic news, it emerged that the government was looking at linking mortgages to compulsory green improvements to homes.
According to the Times, the government wanted mortgage lenders to disclose the energy efficiency of the homes they lend for, with targets set to improve the insulation of the buildings in their portfolios.
Under the planned rules, lenders would need to get properties up to a ‘C’ Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating, with mandatory targets possible if the home building industry failed to improve standards.
In equity markets, British Airways and Iberia owner IAG descended 5.78% after a downgrade to ‘hold’ from ‘buy’ at Berenberg.
Gambling firm 888 was on the back foot by 2.07%, after it said it would take a $10m hit to profits after its Dutch business stopped operations from the start of October because of changes to gaming rules.
On the upside, Pearson was ahead 2.54% after an upgrade to ‘hold’ from ‘sell’ at Berenberg and an upgrade to ‘neutral’ from ‘underperform’ at Credit Suisse.
Hikma rose 2.77% after an upgrade to ‘overweight’ at Morgan Stanley, while precious metals miners Fresnillo and Polymetal were ahead 2.85% and 2.08% respectively, as gold prices rose.
Elsewhere, Bellway advanced 1.58% after the housebuilder increased its final dividend by almost two-thirds as it reported a 72% increase in annual profit and a solid order book.
Greeting cards retailer Moonpig was up 4.2% after an initiation at ‘buy’ by Berenberg.
Online price comparison platform Moneysupermarket leapt 8.87% after announcing the acquisition of consumer cashback website Quidco for up to £101m.
RHI Magnesita was ahead 7.65% after the release of a third-quarter trading update and as it announced the acquisition of a stake in a Turkish producer of refractories for the cement, steel, glass and other industries.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Fresnillo (FRES) 887.60p 2.85%
Hikma Pharmaceuticals (HIK) 2,413.00p 2.77%
Pearson (PSON) 630.80p 2.54%
Hargreaves Lansdown (HL.) 1,547.50p 2.49%
Entain (ENT) 2,184.00p 2.21%
Phoenix Group Holdings (PHNX) 675.60p 2.17%
B&M European Value Retail S.A. (DI) (BME) 606.20p 2.11%
Polymetal International (POLY) 1,371.50p 2.08%
Smith & Nephew (SN.) 1,287.00p 1.90%
JD Sports Fashion (JD.) 1,052.50p 1.88%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 166.26p -5.78%
Glencore (GLEN) 380.70p -2.99%
Rolls-Royce Holdings (RR.) 139.56p -2.24%
Reckitt Benckiser Group (RKT) 5,399.00p -1.98%
Unilever (ULVR) 3,787.00p -1.34%
Associated British Foods (ABF) 1,790.50p -1.30%
Johnson Matthey (JMAT) 2,660.00p -1.15%
Smurfit Kappa Group (CDI) (SKG) 3,628.00p -1.06%
Bunzl (BNZL) 2,518.00p -0.95%
St James's Place (STJ) 1,520.50p -0.69%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Moneysupermarket.com Group (MONY) 221.00p 8.87%
RHI Magnesita N.V. (DI) (RHIM) 3,180.00p 7.65%
Vesuvius (VSVS) 474.80p 5.78%
Darktrace (DARK) 920.50p 5.71%
CLS Holdings (CLI) 230.00p 4.28%
IntegraFin Holding (IHP) 565.00p 4.24%
Moonpig Group (MOON) 342.20p 4.20%
Chrysalis Investments Limited NPV (CHRY) 244.00p 3.83%
AO World (AO.) 153.50p 3.58%
Diversified Energy Company (DEC) 116.00p 3.20%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
TUI AG Reg Shs (DI) (TUI) 243.70p -5.54%
Harbour Energy (HBR) 373.60p -5.37%
Baltic Classifieds Group (BCG) 208.00p -4.59%
IP Group (IPO) 123.60p -3.59%
QinetiQ Group (QQ.) 282.40p -2.96%
Centamin (DI) (CEY) 97.52p -2.64%
Carnival (CCL) 1,495.00p -2.62%
easyJet (EZJ) 613.20p -2.20%
BH Macro Ltd. GBP Shares (BHMG) 3,570.00p -2.20%
888 Holdings (888) 407.40p -2.07%