London midday: Stocks extend gains on vaccine optimism, manufacturing data
London stocks had extended gains by midday on Tuesday, with sentiment underpinned by vaccine hopes and solid UK and China manufacturing data.
The FTSE 100 was up 2% at 6,394.12.
Spreadex analyst Connor Campbell said: "After tying up loose ends yesterday, the markets entered the final month of the year fresh-faced and ready to rally.
"December is set see the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines given emergency use authorisation in the UK, US and elsewhere, the rollout of which should be the first major step towards escaping the clutches of the pandemic.
"Knowledge of this - including confirmation that the Moderna preparation is 94% after the final results were posted yesterday - appears to be helping the markets lift higher this Tuesday, recovering from Monday’s November-ending wobble."
The mood was boosted by upbeat data out of China after the Caixin/Markit manufacturing purchasing managers’ index for November rose to 54.9 from 53.6 the month before, hitting its highest level in a decade.
There was good news on home turf also as industry data showed the manufacturing sector continued to strengthen in November, underpinned by Brexit stockpiling and demand recovering following earlier lockdowns.
The IHS Markit CIPS purchasing managers’ index for November came in at 55.6, a 35-month high and an improvement on October’s reading of 53.7. The sixth consecutive month of growth, November's reading also beat forecasts and the flash estimate of 55.2.
The hike was primarily attributed to the transition period drawing to a close, as raw materials were stockpiled and European Union clients brought forward orders.
In equity markets, stocks with particular exposure to the Covid-19 pandemic and related restrictions gained, with British Airways parent IAG, GKN owner Melrose and caterer Compass Group all higher. Pub chains Mitchells & Butlers and Wetherspoons, and retailer WH Smith were also in the black.
Banks gained, with Lloyds, NatWest, Barclays, HSBC and Virgin Money all up.
Housebuilders rallied after figures from mortgage lender Nationwide showed annual house price growth accelerated in November to its highest rate since January 2015. Persimmon, Taylor Wimpey, Barratt Developments and Berkeley all rose.
Elsewhere, Tate & Lyle was firmer after it announced the acquisition of Sweet Green Fields, a stevia sweetener solutions business, for an undisclosed sum.
Royal Mail was lifted by an upgrade to ‘hold’ from ‘sell’ at Liberum.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Melrose Industries (MRO) 164.70p 7.30%
International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 163.55p 6.06%
Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY) 37.43p 5.08%
NATWEST GROUP PLC ORD 100P (NWG) 162.35p 5.01%
Barclays (BARC) 140.36p 4.31%
HSBC Holdings (HSBA) 404.60p 4.21%
Polymetal International (POLY) 1,627.00p 4.16%
Rolls-Royce Holdings (RR.) 110.05p 4.12%
Standard Chartered (STAN) 470.70p 4.09%
BP (BP.) 257.70p 4.06%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Hikma Pharmaceuticals (HIK) 2,526.00p -3.14%
Aveva Group (AVV) 3,289.00p -3.04%
Spirax-Sarco Engineering (SPX) 10,965.00p -1.53%
Avast (AVST) 501.00p -1.38%
Severn Trent (SVT) 2,360.00p -1.21%
Ocado Group (OCDO) 2,181.00p -1.18%
London Stock Exchange Group (LSE) 8,050.00p -0.69%
Reckitt Benckiser Group (RB.) 6,542.00p -0.64%
Rentokil Initial (RTO) 495.40p -0.38%
Unilever (ULVR) 4,554.00p -0.37%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Virgin Money UK (VMUK) 136.25p 7.71%
Capita (CPI) 45.37p 6.88%
Hochschild Mining (HOC) 227.20p 6.87%
Petropavlovsk (POG) 29.25p 6.56%
Ferrexpo (FXPO) 224.80p 5.94%
IWG (IWG) 341.40p 5.76%
ITV (ITV) 98.50p 4.70%
easyJet (EZJ) 843.20p 4.69%
TUI AG Reg Shs (DI) (TUI) 524.00p 4.63%
Aston Martin Lagonda Global Holdings (AML) 75.80p 4.55%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Premier Foods (PFD) 85.60p -3.17%
Domino's Pizza Group (DOM) 313.00p -2.13%
888 Holdings (888) 266.00p -2.03%
Rotork (ROR) 292.80p -1.88%
TI Fluid Systems (TIFS) 217.30p -1.54%
Oxford Instruments (OXIG) 1,848.00p -0.65%
Aggreko (AGK) 557.50p -0.62%
Pets at Home Group (PETS) 417.00p -0.57%
Energean (ENOG) 713.60p -0.56%
HarbourVest Global Private Equity Limited A Shs (HVPE) 1,800.00p -0.55%