London midday: Stocks maintain gains ahead of Biden budget
London stocks were a touch firmer by midday on Friday as investors eyed the unveiling of US President Joe Biden’s spending plans, which are expected to be in the region of $6 trillion.
The FTSE 100 was up 0.2% at 7,033.13 in quiet trade, with a Bank Holiday weekend ahead and half term next week.
IG market analyst Joshua Mahony said: "European markets are on the rise in early trade today, with traders anticipating the announcement of a huge spending plan from Joe Biden today.
"Plans for a $6 trillion budget will bring many winners, although it makes sense to take any of today’s announcements with a pinch of salt. Despite Biden enjoying a slim majority across congress, the ability to get his original plan across the line is doubtful. Thus while markets will likely enjoy an optimistic end to the week, it could be just a matter of time before we see a heavy dose of reality over just how much of that $6 trillion will see the light of day."
In equity markets, housebuilder Vistry was boosted by an upgrade to ‘overweight’ from ‘equalweight’ at Barclays.
Housebuilders more generally were having a good day, with Barratt Developments, Taylor Wimpey and Persimmon among the top gainers on the FTSE 100.
On the downside, pubs chains Wetherspoons and Mitchells & Butlers, Upper Crust owner SSP and Wagamama owner Restaurant Group were all lower after Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Thursday that the lifting of all Covid restrictions on 21 June may be delayed due to the spread of the Indian variant.
AstraZeneca was also weaker despite saying that its Tagrisso cancer drug had been approved in the European Union after positive results from a phase 3 trial.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Barratt Developments (BDEV) 761.60p 3.03%
Taylor Wimpey (TW.) 171.45p 2.66%
London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) 7,534.00p 2.45%
Persimmon (PSN) 3,159.00p 2.40%
SSE (SSE) 1,559.00p 2.40%
Melrose Industries (MRO) 173.70p 2.33%
Burberry Group (BRBY) 2,145.00p 2.24%
Berkeley Group Holdings (The) (BKG) 4,684.00p 2.00%
Croda International (CRDA) 6,956.00p 1.96%
Standard Life Aberdeen (SLA) 277.10p 1.69%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Antofagasta (ANTO) 1,536.00p -2.72%
Polymetal International (POLY) 1,687.50p -2.26%
Sage Group (SGE) 654.00p -1.95%
BT Group (BT.A) 173.30p -1.81%
Fresnillo (FRES) 898.40p -1.60%
Ashtead Group (AHT) 5,168.00p -1.56%
Evraz (EVR) 643.60p -1.26%
Royal Mail (RMG) 588.40p -1.21%
Ocado Group (OCDO) 1,906.00p -1.01%
AstraZeneca (AZN) 8,022.00p -0.96%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Vistry Group (VTY) 1,319.00p 3.78%
4Imprint Group (FOUR) 2,890.00p 2.66%
Crest Nicholson Holdings (CRST) 452.80p 2.58%
Beazley (BEZ) 301.90p 2.55%
Direct Line Insurance Group (DLG) 300.60p 2.52%
Chrysalis Investments Limited NPV (CHRY) 205.00p 2.50%
Big Yellow Group (BYG) 1,308.00p 2.35%
Redrow (RDW) 681.20p 2.13%
Synthomer (SYNT) 529.00p 2.12%
Shaftesbury (SHB) 624.00p 2.04%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Volution Group (FAN) 432.50p -4.74%
Mitchells & Butlers (MAB) 303.80p -3.92%
C&C Group (CDI) (CCR) 240.80p -3.60%
FirstGroup (FGP) 83.20p -3.26%
SSP Group (SSPG) 289.20p -3.12%
Centamin (DI) (CEY) 110.70p -2.81%
Pets at Home Group (PETS) 451.40p -2.63%
Greencore Group (CDI) (GNC) 141.00p -2.56%
Restaurant Group (RTN) 123.20p -2.53%
Dr. Martens (DOCS) 472.60p -2.52%