London close: Stocks drift lower in quiet start to week
London stocks closed below the waterline on Monday, as investors closed their wallets ahead of the release of a raft of key economic surveys later in the week, and their potential impact on bond markets.
The FTSE 100 ended the session down 0.28% at 7,000.08, and the FTSE 250 was off 0.14% at 22,490.86.
Sterling was in the green, meanwhile, last rising 1.06% against the dollar to $1.3979, and advancing 0.58% on the euro to €1.1618.
“A quieter start to the week has seen stock markets drift back on a lack of news, with only the goings-on in European football providing some interest - for those keen on the game anyway,” said IG chief market analyst Chris Beauchamp.
“Aside from Coca-Cola today has seen a lull in earnings season, although Netflix’s figures tomorrow promise a return to a more exciting period and a shift away from the bank-dominated opening days of reporting season.
“Investors will hope that earnings reports can provide fresh support in the other sessions of the week, given that the market is currently trading on high valuations and expectations and thus remains at risk of a sudden decline.”
Visits to UK shops jumped by 88% in the first week after non-essential stores were allowed to reopen, according to fresh data earlier in the session.
The biggest increase was at shopping centres where footfall rose 127% from a week earlier followed by high streets where visits were up 93%, Springboard said.
Footfall at retail parks, which have been busier than other categories during lockdowns, rose 35%.
The busiest day was Monday 12 April, when all stores were allowed to reopen, with a 152% increase.
Tuesday had the smallest increase - 70% - and visits rose 117% on Saturday.
Retail footfall was still 25% lower than the 2019 pre-pandemic level, although activity was just 2% lower in retail parks.
Housing data from Rightmove also showed that UK house prices jumped at a month-on-month pace of 2.1% in March to reach £327,797 - a new all-time high.
No major economic releases were scheduled for Monday on either side of the Atlantic.
Among the broker recommendations that were moving share prices, Berenberg reiterated its 'buy' recommendation and 10,000.0p target price on London Stock Exchange Group, which rose 0.39% by the close.
The same broker trimmed its target on Tesco shares from 286.0p to 280.0p, but also remained at 'buy', with the supermarket closing up 1.14%.
Melrose Industries lost 4.61% after it agreed to sell its Nortek Air Management business to Chicago-based Madison Industries for £2.62bn in cash.
It said it would use part of the proceeds to reduce debt and contribute around £100m to the GKN UK defined benefit pension schemes, which would mean that the funding deficit would be reduced to £200m.
A portion of the net proceeds was also set to be returned to shareholders.
LondonMetric managed gains of 0.54% after it said 98% of March quarterly and monthly rents have been collected with a further 0.8% expected soon.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Sainsbury (J) (SBRY) 254.70p 2.41%
Ocado Group (OCDO) 2,226.00p 2.06%
B&M European Value Retail S.A. (DI) (BME) 568.60p 1.79%
United Utilities Group (UU.) 973.40p 1.69%
Kingfisher (KGF) 362.00p 1.52%
Hargreaves Lansdown (HL.) 1,683.50p 1.51%
Associated British Foods (ABF) 2,460.00p 1.32%
Severn Trent (SVT) 2,460.00p 1.19%
Tesco (TSCO) 234.50p 1.14%
Just Eat Takeaway.Com N.V. (CDI) (JET) 7,973.00p 1.14%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Melrose Industries (MRO) 170.60p -4.61%
Flutter Entertainment (CDI) (FLTR) 15,160.00p -3.35%
Pershing Square Holdings Ltd NPV (PSH) 2,710.00p -2.87%
Evraz (EVR) 620.80p -2.48%
Scottish Mortgage Inv Trust (SMT) 1,216.00p -2.33%
Smith & Nephew (SN.) 1,412.50p -2.25%
Weir Group (WEIR) 1,945.00p -1.97%
Standard Life Aberdeen (SLA) 284.20p -1.86%
JD Sports Fashion (JD.) 913.20p -1.76%
Ashtead Group (AHT) 4,600.00p -1.60%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Indivior (INDV) 139.50p 4.10%
Marks & Spencer Group (MKS) 162.10p 3.58%
JTC (JTC) 643.00p 3.54%
SSP Group (SSPG) 312.60p 3.17%
Bytes Technology Group (BYIT) 485.40p 3.06%
NCC Group (NCC) 290.50p 3.01%
XP Power Ltd. (DI) (XPP) 5,130.00p 2.90%
Future (FUTR) 2,370.00p 2.78%
Telecom Plus (TEP) 1,326.00p 2.64%
Coats Group (COA) 58.00p 2.47%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Energean (ENOG) 813.00p -5.13%
AO World (AO.) 297.40p -5.04%
Hammerson (HMSO) 38.00p -4.04%
Aston Martin Lagonda Global Holdings (AML) 1,988.50p -3.61%
Watches of Switzerland Group (WOSG) 706.00p -3.42%
Baillie Gifford US Growth Trust (USA) 329.00p -3.09%
4Imprint Group (FOUR) 2,390.00p -3.04%
Just Group (JUST) 105.00p -2.87%
Edinburgh Worldwide Inv Trust (EWI) 352.00p -2.76%
Apax Global Alpha Limited (APAX) 201.50p -2.66%