London midday: Stocks maintain gains as inflation worries ease
London stocks were still in the black by midday on Friday as worries about inflation eased.
The FTSE 100 was up 0.7% at 7,011.95 as investors eyed the release of US retail sales figures for April at 1330 BST.
Neil Wilson, chief market analyst at Markets.com, said: "Stocks are higher, recovering some ground lost during a choppy week. Fed officials have been out in force to calm inflation nerves. Governor Christopher Waller said rates will not rise until policymakers see inflation above target for a long time or there is excessively high inflation, saying the Fed will need to see several more months of data.
"He also stressed that there is only a temporary ‘mismatch’ between surging demand for workers and people’s willingness/ability to get a job."
Richard Hunter, head of markets at Interactive Investor, said the retail sales figures "will give further colour to the increasing strength of the US recovery, as fiscal stimulus and a further easing of Covid-19 restrictions improves the mood of a vitally important component of the economy".
In equity markets, business software group Sage rallied as it said it expects annual organic revenue growth to be near the top of its guidance after investment in its cloud operation prompted a decline in first-half profit.
Sanne surged after it rejected an 830p a share bid from private equity firm Cinven.
Nicholas Hyett, equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: "The offer from Cinven represents a healthy 38% premium to the closing price last night, and might usually have been seen as pretty tempting.
"However, the shares were trading at that price on the market four years ago and the board clearly think the business is worth more. The market though is less sure. The shares are trading at 763p this morning, some way below the offer price and an indication that investors think there’s a strong chance Cinven will walk away from the deal without improving its offer."
On the downside, miners retreated as copper and iron ore prices fell back, with Rio Tinto, Antofagasta, BHP and Glencore among the worst performers on the FTSE 100.
FTSE 100 - Risers
M&G (MNG) 233.60p 6.18%
SSE (SSE) 1,520.50p 5.04%
Scottish Mortgage Inv Trust (SMT) 1,124.00p 4.32%
Ashtead Group (AHT) 5,002.00p 4.19%
Ocado Group (OCDO) 2,006.00p 3.40%
Sage Group (SGE) 645.60p 3.23%
3i Group (III) 1,236.50p 3.21%
Pershing Square Holdings Ltd NPV (PSH) 2,575.00p 2.59%
Intermediate Capital Group (ICP) 2,030.00p 2.37%
Whitbread (WTB) 3,126.00p 2.26%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Rio Tinto (RIO) 6,168.00p -6.19%
BHP Group (BHP) 2,220.00p -5.31%
Anglo American (AAL) 3,250.00p -4.44%
Antofagasta (ANTO) 1,785.50p -4.03%
BT Group (BT.A) 163.00p -3.58%
Glencore (GLEN) 322.95p -3.05%
Hargreaves Lansdown (HL.) 1,721.00p -2.88%
Burberry Group (BRBY) 2,061.00p -2.04%
Evraz (EVR) 667.80p -2.02%
British Land Company (BLND) 514.60p -1.64%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Sanne Group (SNN) 732.00p 19.61%
NCC Group (NCC) 294.50p 15.94%
Elementis (ELM) 150.40p 7.35%
Baillie Gifford US Growth Trust (USA) 286.50p 6.51%
Drax Group (DRX) 426.20p 6.50%
Brewin Dolphin Holdings (BRW) 345.50p 5.34%
Man Group (EMG) 169.35p 5.06%
Watches of Switzerland Group (WOSG) 695.00p 4.98%
Network International Holdings (NETW) 389.80p 4.81%
Bytes Technology Group (BYIT) 509.00p 4.56%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Wood Group (John) (WG.) 266.40p -6.59%
Hochschild Mining (HOC) 187.50p -6.44%
Ferrexpo (FXPO) 476.40p -4.91%
Cineworld Group (CINE) 85.18p -4.68%
Cairn Energy (CNE) 164.80p -3.91%
Tullow Oil (TLW) 52.78p -3.62%
Grainger (GRI) 285.20p -3.32%
Hammerson (HMSO) 35.08p -3.09%
Wetherspoon (J.D.) (JDW) 1,313.00p -2.96%
Redde Northgate (REDD) 378.50p -2.95%