London close: Stocks finish mixed as things turn bullish Stateside
Stocks in London closed on a mixed note on Wednesday, after what Neil Wilson at Markets.com termed an "unedifying" televised debate between White House hopefuls Donald Trump and Joe Biden overnight.
The FTSE 100 ended the session down 0.53% at 5,866.10, while the FTSE 250 rose 0.82% to settle at 17,315.30.
Sterling was stronger against its major trading pairs, last rising 0.27% on the dollar to $1.2898, and advancing 0.52% against the euro to €1.1010.
"We await to see whether the spectacle has had any impact on the up to one in ten voters yet to make up their minds,” said Neil Wilson.
“And as I keep saying, what matters will be turnout in key battleground states and for this Trump needs it to be as rancorous as possible to energise his base.
“There is talk Biden won’t want to do more debates - that would be a mistake, and make him look worse than he does after a relatively successful outing for the Democrat nominee, given the low expectations.”
David Madden of CMC Markets said the bullish mood in the US had lifted sentiment on this side of the Atlantic by the close on Wednesday.
“Steven Mnuchin, the US Treasury Secretary, said he will give one more go at trying to come to an agreement with the Democrats with respect to a coronavirus relief package, and that is assisting equities.
“Lately, the moves in the US have had an influence on European sentiment, and that is what we are seeing today.”
On home shores, the Office for National Statistics bumped up its estimate for second quarter UK GDP from -20.4% to -19.8%.
Linked to the above, the chief economist at the Bank of England warned in a speech against the "economics of Chicken Licken", saying that unduly pessimistic portrayals of the economy's prospects risked becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Mortgage lender Nationwide meanwhile reported a 0.9% month-on-month increase in UK home prices which took the annual rate of gains to 5.0% - the highest since September 2016.
Also overnight, manufacturing and services sector purchasing managers indices out of China for the month of September for the most part printed ahead of forecasts.
According to economists, the survey readings pointed to possible upside risks to estimates for third quarter GDP growth in the Asian giant.
A separate PMI for private sector manufacturing companies however dipped from 53.1 to 53.0, whereas the consensus had been for no change.
Additionally, after the close of trading in New York overnight, a leading medical journal published positive results for an early stage clinical trial into biotechnology outfit Moderna's Covid-19 vaccine.
In equity markets, online fashion retailer Boohoo Group was down 3.72%, even after posting sharp increases in sales and profits for the half and guiding higher for full-year sales growth.
William Hill was ahead 0.46% after it agreed to be taken over by Caesars Entertainment in a £2.9bn deal that would see the enlarged group cash in on the rapidly-expanding US sports betting market.
"The William Hill board believes this is the best option for William Hill at an attractive price for shareholders," said the company’s chairman Roger Devlin.
Royal Dutch Shell was down 1.7% after it said it was cutting between 7,000 and 9,000 jobs globally, as it responded to the slump in oil prices and looked to reposition itself as a green energy provider.
The cuts would be implemented by 2022, and include 1,500 people who were taking voluntary redundancy.
Food services group Compass was off 3.23% after it reported an improvement in fourth quarter revenues, as schools reopened after the coronavirus pandemic lockdown, but warned a winter outbreak could hamper the pace of recovery.
The company said full year revenues would be 19% lower year-on-year, after a 36% decline in the final three months of the fiscal year and compared to a 44% slump in the third quarter.
UK defence electronics and countermeasures specialist Chemring was 3.43% firmer after its US subsidiary CCM secured a $49.9m five-year so-called indefinite delivery and indefinite quantity contract from the US Navy, for MJU-32/38 infrared decoy flares.
A first batch of the flares worth $11.3m was to be delivered in financial years 2021 and 2022.
CCM was also awarded a $33.6m delivery order by the US Air Force for MJU-53/B countermeasures under the terms of a separate three-year $90m IDIQ contract.
FTSE 100 - Risers
International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 93.88p 4.42%
Taylor Wimpey (TW.) 108.70p 3.04%
Land Securities Group (LAND) 522.60p 1.97%
British Land Company (BLND) 336.30p 1.90%
3i Group (III) 999.60p 1.88%
JD Sports Fashion (JD.) 809.40p 1.81%
Legal & General Group (LGEN) 188.90p 1.73%
Smith & Nephew (SN.) 1,516.50p 1.57%
M&G (MNG) 159.50p 1.56%
Evraz (EVR) 344.60p 1.41%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Rolls-Royce Holdings (RR.) 130.00p -7.41%
Ocado Group (OCDO) 2,748.00p -5.22%
GVC Holdings (GVC) 974.00p -3.94%
Compass Group (CPG) 1,169.00p -3.23%
B&M European Value Retail S.A. (DI) (BME) 496.10p -3.04%
Prudential (PRU) 1,107.50p -2.38%
Burberry Group (BRBY) 1,554.00p -2.36%
United Utilities Group (UU.) 860.40p -2.33%
Rentokil Initial (RTO) 535.60p -2.23%
Avast (AVST) 527.00p -2.14%
FTSE 250 - Risers
888 Holdings (888) 255.00p 20.86%
Babcock International Group (BAB) 251.20p 7.79%
G4S (GFS) 200.30p 5.92%
Paragon Banking Group (PAG) 334.20p 5.71%
Gamesys Group (GYS) 1,192.00p 5.30%
Greggs (GRG) 1,175.00p 4.91%
Shaftesbury (SHB) 497.20p 4.81%
Workspace Group (WKP) 538.50p 4.66%
TUI AG Reg Shs (DI) (TUI) 292.90p 4.61%
RHI Magnesita N.V. (DI) (RHIM) 2,542.00p 4.01%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
TP ICAP (TCAP) 230.20p -16.41%
Airtel Africa (AAF) 58.50p -4.26%
PureTech Health (PRTC) 255.00p -4.14%
Clarkson (CKN) 2,260.00p -3.83%
Rank Group (RNK) 93.30p -2.71%
SSP Group (SSPG) 180.50p -2.54%
XP Power Ltd. (DI) (XPP) 4,430.00p -2.42%
Trainline (TRN) 360.20p -2.05%
Greencore Group (GNC) 98.10p -2.00%
LXI Reit (LXI) 108.00p -2.00%