London midday: Energy shares pace the gains
London stocks were still firmly in the black by midday on Monday, helped along by strength in the energy sector.
The FTSE 100 was up 1.1% at 7,244.61, but trading was fairly quiet and expected to remain so as US markets will be closed for the July 4 holiday.
Susannah Streeter, senior investment and markets analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: "A sliver of optimism has broken through on global markets at the start of the week, but overall caution is still the name of the game as investors nurse wounds from a bruising first half of the year.
"A late surge on markets in Asia saw the Nikkei in the Japan and Shanghai Composite head higher, while the Hang Seng in Hong Kong crept up toward positive territory. Markets in Europe have opened higher, with the FTSE 100 gaining ground in early trade. Energy giants were among the big rises with oil staying elevated around $112 a barrel for Brent crude, as supply concerns persist."
Oil and gas company Harbour Energy was the standout gainer on the top-flight index, closely followed by BP and Shell, as oil prices rose amid concerns about supply.
Spirax-Sarco Engineering advanced as the thermal energy management specialist said it has entered into exclusive negotiations to buy Vulcanic from French private equity group Qualium for €261.7m.
On the downside, Pets at Home slumped after RBC Capital Markets downgraded the shares to ‘underperform’ from ‘sector perform’ and slashed the price target to 280p from 330p. The bank said PETS has a strong position as a specialist player in the UK pet care market. "However, we believe valuation looks full and consensus forecasts look demanding."
Homeware retailer Dunelm was also knocked lower by a rating downgrade at RBC, which cut the stock to ‘sector perform’ from ‘outperform’. The bank said it expects margins to moderate in the near term, given more normalised promotional activity and input cost pressure.
Builders’ merchant Grafton fell after it announced that Gavin Slark would be stepping down as chief executive later in the year after 11 years in the role.
AO World tumbled following a report the online electrics retailer was facing a cash crunch after a leading credit insurer cut cover for suppliers following a deterioration in its finances. The Sunday Times cited market sources as saying that Atradius has slashed cover for suppliers to AO.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Harbour Energy (HBR) 348.10p 4.66%
BP (BP.) 398.30p 3.59%
BT Group (BT.A) 190.90p 2.99%
Shell (SHEL) 2,182.50p 2.90%
Auto Trader Group (AUTO) 556.80p 2.69%
Spirax-Sarco Engineering (SPX) 10,325.00p 2.69%
Hikma Pharmaceuticals (HIK) 1,661.50p 2.47%
Smith (DS) (SMDS) 280.20p 2.34%
Glencore (GLEN) 436.15p 2.30%
Standard Chartered (STAN) 626.60p 2.22%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
JD Sports Fashion (JD.) 114.45p -2.72%
Ocado Group (OCDO) 799.80p -1.74%
Unite Group (UTG) 1,040.00p -1.61%
Pershing Square Holdings Ltd NPV (PSH) 2,440.00p -1.01%
3i Group (III) 1,091.00p -1.00%
Intermediate Capital Group (ICP) 1,303.50p -0.99%
International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 107.92p -0.85%
Coca-Cola HBC AG (CDI) (CCH) 1,849.00p -0.83%
RS Group (RS1) 859.50p -0.75%
Dechra Pharmaceuticals (DPH) 3,474.00p -0.69%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Virgin Money UK (VMUK) 137.75p 4.08%
Centamin (DI) (CEY) 79.90p 3.44%
Energean (ENOG) 1,083.00p 3.34%
Convatec Group (CTEC) 232.40p 3.29%
Trainline (TRN) 300.10p 2.88%
Investec (INVP) 441.40p 2.75%
888 Holdings (DI) (888) 177.00p 2.67%
IMI (IMI) 1,196.00p 2.66%
Wood Group (John) (WG.) 154.10p 2.46%
Spectris (SXS) 2,763.00p 2.26%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Pets at Home Group (PETS) 274.00p -11.61%
Moonpig Group (MOON) 209.40p -8.56%
Grafton Group Ut (CDI) (GFTU) 729.90p -6.64%
Ashmore Group (ASHM) 210.00p -4.11%
Plus500 Ltd (DI) (PLUS) 1,537.00p -3.70%
Aston Martin Lagonda Global Holdings (AML) 413.70p -3.27%
Chrysalis Investments Limited NPV (CHRY) 93.20p -3.12%
TP Icap Group (TCAP) 109.00p -2.77%
Workspace Group (WKP) 540.50p -2.52%
Dr. Martens (DOCS) 228.60p -2.47%