London close: Mining plays take FTSE near 19-month highs
London stocks closed in positive territory on Thursday as concerns about inflation eased, with miners pacing the advance.
The FTSE 100 ended the session up 0.92% at 7,207.71, and the FTSE 250 was 0.99% firmer at 22,860.39.
Sterling was in the green as well, last rising 0.2% on the dollar to $1.3686, and advancing 0.21% against the euro to €1.1806.
“Markets throughout Europe and the US have enjoyed a welcome day of positivity, with the FTSE 100 moving within touching distance of 19-month highs,” said IG senior market analyst Joshua Mahony.
“Fears around energy prices and inflation appear to have eased for now, although today’s 5% rise in natural gas prices raise the risk that this respite may be brief in nature.
“The collapse of another three UK energy providers this week highlights the fact that prices are going to rise sharply for providers to stay in business.”
Mahony noted, however, that the Business Secretary said forecasts of a mild winter could avoid the kind of squeeze seen in China.
“However, the risk of factory closures and a jump in the cost of living remain a distinct possibility if temperatures drop and usage heads upwards.
“Seven-year highs for unleaded petrol prices highlight ongoing inflationary pressures for consumers, with the continued rise in costs also likely hamper business margins.”
Across the pond, wholesale inflation in the US rose a bit less quickly than expected last month, despite big jumps for energy and food prices.
According to the US Department of Labor, so-called final demand prices rose at a month-on-month pace of 0.5% in September, against expectations for a 0.6% increase.
In annual terms, the rate of producer price increases picked up from the 8.3% pace observed in August to 8.6%.
On home shores, a closely-watched industry survey showed house prices continued to grow in September, albeit at a slower rate than previously seen.
The latest RICS Residential Market Survey for September reported a net balance for house prices of 68%.
That was down on August’s net balance of 73%, and notably lower than May’s peak of 82%. It was also below consensus, for 70%.
“The imbalance between demand and supply remains the most striking theme of the September survey,” said Simon Rubinsohn, chief economist at the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.
“And feedback from members provides little reason to believe these issues will be resolved anytime soon.
“This is very clearly reflected in the forward looking metrics, with both price and rent expectations close to series highs, to put greater pressure on affordability at a time when money markets are sensing interest rate increases coming sooner rather than later.”
In equities, miners were well above the waterline, with Antofagasta up 3.07%, Anglo American ahead 3.43%, Rio Tinto rising 3.67% and Glencore 3.37% higher.
Polymetal was also in the green, rising 2.27% as gold prices advanced.
“Gold prices have continued to push higher, hitting $1,800 an ounce, with the sell-off in the US dollar, and weakness in long term US yields helping to push prices back towards and above the 200-day moving average,” said CMC Markets analyst Michael Hewson.
Hays advanced 3.02% as the recruiter posted a rise in first-quarter net fees, highlighting good growth in all regions.
Elsewhere, cyber defence firm Darktrace was in the black for the second day in a row, rising 5.8%, after upgrading its revenue guidance on Wednesday.
Grainger was ahead 4.58% after the private property rental company reported a rebound in performance in the second half of its fiscal year, with lettings at 94% as Covid restrictions were lifted.
On the downside, Qinetiq shares tumbled 13.18% after the defence technology company warned that technical and supply chain issues on a large complex programme could lead to a one-off write down to its short-term guidance.
Dunelm reversed earlier gains to close down 0.15% after the homeware retailer reported a rise in first-quarter sales, but cautioned that supply-chain and inflationary pressures made the future outlook uncertain as it maintained full-year guidance.
Domino’s Pizza Group slid 4.15% even after it posted a jump in third-quarter sales and announced plans to create 8,000 jobs.
Tesco was off 0.06% and Close Brothers lost 0.4%, as both stocks traded without entitlement to the dividend.
FTSE 100 - Risers
BHP Group (BHP) 1,992.00p 3.70%
Rio Tinto (RIO) 5,111.00p 3.67%
Anglo American (AAL) 2,879.50p 3.43%
Glencore (GLEN) 384.80p 3.37%
International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 177.16p 3.26%
Intermediate Capital Group (ICP) 2,106.00p 3.08%
Antofagasta (ANTO) 1,476.00p 3.07%
Burberry Group (BRBY) 1,908.50p 2.64%
Whitbread (WTB) 3,319.00p 2.44%
Polymetal International (POLY) 1,349.00p 2.27%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Tesco (TSCO) 266.40p -1.24%
London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) 7,834.00p -1.21%
Admiral Group (ADM) 2,976.00p -1.03%
Flutter Entertainment (CDI) (FLTR) 14,325.00p -0.87%
Kingfisher (KGF) 327.30p -0.73%
AstraZeneca (AZN) 8,814.00p -0.46%
Bunzl (BNZL) 2,504.00p -0.40%
BT Group (BT.A) 141.20p -0.35%
Entain (ENT) 2,061.00p -0.34%
Associated British Foods (ABF) 1,806.00p -0.33%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Baltic Classifieds Group (BCG) 213.00p 7.04%
Harbour Energy (HBR) 379.80p 6.21%
Darktrace (DARK) 957.00p 5.80%
Trustpilot Group (TRST) 381.00p 5.25%
Elementis (ELM) 135.50p 5.04%
Grainger (GRI) 310.40p 4.58%
Diversified Energy Company (DEC) 107.40p 4.47%
Capita (CPI) 47.70p 4.15%
Draper Esprit (GROW) 988.00p 3.99%
Bytes Technology Group (BYIT) 516.50p 3.88%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
QinetiQ Group (QQ.) 285.80p -13.18%
Domino's Pizza Group (DOM) 370.00p -4.15%
Close Brothers Group (CBG) 1,489.00p -3.12%
Wood Group (John) (WG.) 218.90p -2.02%
C&C Group (CDI) (CCR) 246.00p -1.99%
JTC (JTC) 780.00p -1.89%
Countryside Properties (CSP) 482.40p -1.67%
Fidelity Emerging Markets Limited Ptg NPV (FEML) 854.00p -1.62%
SSP Group (SSPG) 261.30p -1.54%
Ultra Electronics Holdings (ULE) 3,210.00p -1.53%