London close: Stocks finish firmer as BP and banks lift FTSE
London stocks managed a positive finish on Tuesday, underpinned by well-received earnings from the likes of BP and Standard Chartered.
The FTSE 100 ended the session up 0.34% at 7,105.72, and the FTSE 250 was 0.35% firmer at 23,289.65.
Sterling was in the green as well, last rising 0.15% on the dollar to $1.3904, and strengthening 0.24% against the euro to trade at €1.1724.
“European markets have struggled for direction today, with the DAX underperforming largely due to weakness in automakers led by BMW, who warned on the outlook due to supply chain concerns and chip shortages,” said CMC Markets chief market analyst Michael Hewson.
“German chipmaker Infineon doubled down on this by saying that recent production outages in the US and Malaysia meant that chip shortages are at their worst levels in 30 years.
“The FTSE 100 has fared slightly better largely due to a decent performance from BP, and the banks after some decent earnings numbers, this time from Standard Chartered.”
Hewson noted that the FTSE 250 reached another record high, helped by decent numbers from Direct Line, as lower motor vehicle claims pushed half year profits before tax up by 10.5%, sending the shares to their best levels since April.
In equity markets, BP closed up 5.64% after the oil giant said it expected to buy back about $1bn of shares each quarter and increase its dividend over the next five years as it swung to a second-quarter profit.
Standard Chartered was also on the rise, advancing 0.98% after it reported an increase in first-half profits and said it was resuming dividends against an improving economic backdrop.
Precious metals miner Fresnillo shone 1.9% as it announced a jump in its interim dividend and reported earnings up 59% in the first half, supported by higher prices.
Insurer Hiscox advanced 6.56% after saying it swung to an interim profit as gross premiums written rose across its divisions.
Domino’s Pizza Group rallied 2.32% as it posted a 28% jump in first-half underlying pre-tax profit and expanded its share buyback.
Direct Line rose 5.48% after it reported higher interim earnings on the back of lower motor claims as the pandemic kept drivers off roads during lockdowns.
On the downside, Smiths Group slumped 10.02% after announcing late on Monday that it had agreed to sell its medical unit to TA Associates for $2.3bn.
Rotork was down 6.95% after it announced plans for chief executive Kevin Hostetler to leave the company as the industrial instruments maker posted a 2.4% profit increase for the first half.
TP Icap declined 1.81% after it said revenues dipped in the first half amid quieter markets, while bakery chain Greggs lost 2.85% despite saying that full-year profit was set to be "slightly ahead" of its previous expectation and swinging to a first-half profit.
Travis Perkins slipped 0.84% even as the builders' merchant lifted full-year guidance and said it would pay a special dividend as it returned to profit after a recovery in its repairs, maintenance and improvement markets.
FTSE 100 - Risers
BP (BP.) 306.10p 5.64%
Anglo American (AAL) 3,393.00p 2.82%
Sainsbury (J) (SBRY) 292.00p 2.38%
Fresnillo (FRES) 838.40p 1.90%
Royal Dutch Shell 'A' (RDSA) 1,479.20p 1.78%
NATWEST GROUP PLC ORD 100P (NWG) 207.40p 1.42%
Royal Dutch Shell 'B' (RDSB) 1,454.00p 1.41%
Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY) 46.85p 1.33%
Imperial Brands (IMB) 1,576.50p 1.25%
Admiral Group (ADM) 3,410.00p 1.15%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Smiths Group (SMIN) 1,414.50p -10.02%
Flutter Entertainment (CDI) (FLTR) 11,975.00p -3.77%
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) 4,661.00p -2.31%
Smith & Nephew (SN.) 1,411.50p -2.05%
Weir Group (WEIR) 1,699.50p -1.85%
British Land Company (BLND) 510.60p -1.73%
St James's Place (STJ) 1,594.00p -1.73%
Melrose Industries (MRO) 165.60p -1.66%
ITV (ITV) 112.50p -1.62%
Ocado Group (OCDO) 1,839.50p -1.53%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Hiscox Limited (DI) (HSX) 919.40p 6.56%
Babcock International Group (BAB) 278.10p 5.66%
Direct Line Insurance Group (DLG) 315.90p 5.48%
Spire Healthcare Group (SPI) 234.50p 4.95%
IP Group (IPO) 122.60p 4.25%
Ibstock (IBST) 221.00p 4.15%
Vesuvius (VSVS) 545.00p 4.10%
VinaCapital Vietnam Opportunity Fund Ltd. (VOF) 473.50p 3.92%
Indivior (INDV) 171.10p 3.70%
Trainline (TRN) 341.60p 3.45%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Rotork (ROR) 338.40p -6.95%
Dunelm Group (DNLM) 1,298.00p -3.15%
Greggs (GRG) 2,724.00p -2.85%
Carnival (CCL) 1,399.60p -2.79%
Cineworld Group (CINE) 64.80p -2.79%
easyJet (EZJ) 826.20p -2.39%
Fidelity China Special Situations (FCSS) 355.50p -2.07%
Capital & Counties Properties (CAPC) 172.00p -2.05%
TP Icap Group (TCAP) 196.38p -1.81%
Mitchells & Butlers (MAB) 280.00p -1.75%