London close: Miners lead top-flight index higher
London stocks closed in positive territory on Thursday, supported by a solid showing in the mining sector as investors turned their attention to earnings.
The FTSE 100 ended the session up 0.63% at 6,983.50, and the FTSE 250 was 0.52% firmer at 22,472.04.
Sterling was trading stronger as well, last gaining 0.01% on the dollar to $1.3780, and advancing 0.12% against the euro to €1.1517.
“Another day of impressive banking earnings has helped boost US markets today, with earnings season bringing a renewed sense of optimism for markets,” said IG senior market analyst Joshua Mahony.
He pointed out that Bank of America and Citigroup followed the trend set by Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase, with write-downs on bad debt provisions and impressive trading revenues bolstering profits.
“Certainly today's earnings will provide a boost to banks in the UK, with the actions from Rishi Sunak likely to help FTSE financials similarly draw funds from the huge provisions set aside for bad loans that have failed to materialise.
“The impressive 9.8% US retail sales figure for March highlights the benefits of Joe Biden’s $1.9trn coronavirus support package with a fresh raft of direct payments helping to drive renewed consumer spending.”
In equity markets, miners were on the rise, with Antofagasta up 3.36%, BHP ahead 1.52% and Rio Tinto 2.31% higher as metals prices pushed up.
B&Q owner Kingfisher was ahead 3.5% after an upgrade to ‘neutral’ at Citi, which said ongoing DIY strength amid extended lockdowns provides good support to current expectations.
Ladbrokes owner Entain gained 1.09% after it said momentum continued into 2021 as it experienced a strong first quarter of online trading.
Builders’ merchant Travis Perkins rallied 2.19% after it posted like-for-like sales growth of 17% for the first quarter, excluding Wickes.
Online electricals retailer AO World advanced 1.89% as it said full-year underlying earnings were set to be in line with market expectations despite Covid-related costs, as revenues surged 62%.
Lost cost airline Wizz Air managed to close 0.84% firmer after a choppy session, having said it expected a full-year loss of up to €590m and a "gradual" traffic recovery into late summer.
On the downside, Legal & General was off 0.7% and Lloyds Banking Group lost 1.04% as they traded without entitlement to the dividend.
Outside the FTSE 350, online food delivery company Deliveroo traded 3.77% lower after it left its full-year guidance unchanged and reported a more-than-doubling of orders in the first quarter.
“The company kept its guidance unchanged for full year annual gross transaction value growth of between 30% to 40%, and a gross profit margin of 7.5% to 8%, though the guidance came with a warning that growth might slow as lockdown restrictions are eased,” said CMC Markets analyst Michael Hewson.
“This will be a concern across the sector, which makes it doubly important that Deliveroo is able to expand in other areas of its business model, where it has an advantage.”
FTSE 100 - Risers
Smurfit Kappa Group (CDI) (SKG) 3,570.00p 4.72%
GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) 1,348.40p 4.56%
Mondi (MNDI) 1,942.50p 3.74%
Kingfisher (KGF) 351.80p 3.50%
Antofagasta (ANTO) 1,869.50p 3.36%
B&M European Value Retail S.A. (DI) (BME) 557.80p 3.33%
Fresnillo (FRES) 929.80p 2.97%
Polymetal International (POLY) 1,526.00p 2.59%
United Utilities Group (UU.) 966.40p 2.37%
Smith (DS) (SMDS) 416.00p 2.36%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Legal & General Group (LGEN) 276.10p -5.02%
Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY) 42.81p -2.33%
Standard Life Aberdeen (SLA) 285.00p -2.23%
JD Sports Fashion (JD.) 911.40p -2.08%
Compass Group (CPG) 1,573.00p -1.84%
HSBC Holdings (HSBA) 421.15p -1.81%
Evraz (EVR) 611.00p -1.73%
St James's Place (STJ) 1,336.00p -1.66%
BP (BP.) 303.50p -1.57%
NATWEST GROUP PLC ORD 100P (NWG) 194.25p -1.57%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Countryside Properties (CSP) 541.00p 5.05%
Future (FUTR) 2,348.00p 5.01%
Trainline (TRN) 489.80p 3.51%
Bytes Technology Group (BYIT) 468.00p 3.27%
Investec (INVP) 245.30p 3.24%
Crest Nicholson Holdings (CRST) 428.00p 3.23%
Dr. Martens (DOCS) 483.60p 2.89%
Electrocomponents (ECM) 1,081.00p 2.85%
UDG Healthcare Public Limited Company (CDI) (UDG) 840.00p 2.82%
Redrow (RDW) 682.40p 2.77%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
OSB Group (OSB) 471.80p -4.53%
Jupiter Fund Management (JUP) 276.80p -3.96%
Syncona Limited NPV (SYNC) 231.50p -3.52%
SSP Group (SSPG) 304.00p -3.49%
Carnival (CCL) 1,670.20p -3.43%
Virgin Money UK (VMUK) 190.30p -2.73%
TUI AG Reg Shs (DI) (TUI) 389.20p -2.46%
FirstGroup (FGP) 91.00p -2.20%
Energean (ENOG) 860.00p -2.16%
Vesuvius (VSVS) 537.50p -1.83%