London midday: Stocks maintain gains as miners rally; jobs data in focus
London stocks were still in the black by midday on Tuesday, having taken their opening cue from a late bounce on Wall Street, as investors mulled the latest UK jobs data.
The FTSE 100 was up 0.6% at 7,550.76.
Figures released earlier by the Office for National Statistics showed that average total pay including bonuses rose 5.1% between April and June, with regular pay excluding bonuses up 4.7%.
However, adjusted for inflation, total pay fell 2.5% and regular pay was down by a record 3%.
Meanwhile, job vacancies in the three months to the end of July fell for the first time in two years, dropping by 19,800 to 1.27m. Vacancies remain at historically high levels, but this marks the first quarterly fall since the three months to August 2020.
The unemployment rate held steady in the three months to June at 3.8%.
Darren Morgan, director of economic statistics at the ONS, said: "The number of people in work grew in the second quarter of 2022, whilst the headline rates of unemployment and of people neither working nor looking for a job were little changed.
"Meanwhile, the total number of hours worked each week appears to have stabilised very slightly below pre-pandemic levels.
"Redundancies are still at very low levels. However, although the number of job vacancies remains historically very high, it fell for the first time since the summer of 2020.
"The real value of pay continues to fall. Excluding bonuses, it is still dropping faster than at any time since comparable records began in 2001."
In equity markets, Australian mining giant BHP rallied as it posted a large rise in annual profits on the back of soaring coal prices and said it would return almost $9bn to shareholders. Miners more generally were on the rise, with Glencore, Anglo American, Rio and Antofagasta all up.
Cybersecurity firm Darktrace jumped to the top of the FTSE 250 after it said late on Monday that it was in early takeover talks with private equity firm Thoma Bravo.
Watches of Switzerland rose after it reiterated its full-year guidance and reported a jump in first-quarter revenue.
Pipe maker Genuit slumped after it posted a fall in interim profits but maintained full-year guidance as revenues rose during the period due to a strong UK housing market.
Outside the FTSE 350, Ted Baker surged after agreeing to be bought by Reebok owner Authentic Brands Group in a £211m deal.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Glencore (GLEN) 481.55p 3.67%
Centrica (CNA) 83.62p 3.29%
Anglo American (AAL) 2,987.00p 2.96%
Rio Tinto (RIO) 4,851.00p 2.44%
Antofagasta (ANTO) 1,155.00p 2.17%
Standard Chartered (STAN) 609.40p 1.97%
GSK (GSK) 1,433.40p 1.95%
Vodafone Group (VOD) 123.18p 1.68%
BT Group (BT.A) 160.25p 1.68%
BAE Systems (BA.) 794.40p 1.61%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Dechra Pharmaceuticals (DPH) 3,556.00p -2.04%
Rightmove (RMV) 646.40p -1.31%
Hargreaves Lansdown (HL.) 970.20p -1.30%
Croda International (CRDA) 7,300.00p -1.16%
Halma (HLMA) 2,272.00p -1.13%
Berkeley Group Holdings (The) (BKG) 4,078.00p -0.92%
Smith & Nephew (SN.) 1,055.00p -0.89%
Auto Trader Group (AUTO) 659.80p -0.75%
Scottish Mortgage Inv Trust (SMT) 910.00p -0.68%
Hikma Pharmaceuticals (HIK) 1,544.00p -0.68%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Darktrace (DARK) 507.80p 22.42%
XP Power Ltd. (DI) (XPP) 2,365.00p 6.29%
Bank of Georgia Group (BGEO) 1,928.00p 5.47%
Watches of Switzerland Group (WOSG) 918.00p 3.85%
TBC Bank Group (TBCG) 1,712.00p 2.51%
TP Icap Group (TCAP) 158.90p 2.32%
Pets at Home Group (PETS) 373.60p 2.13%
Baltic Classifieds Group (BCG) 152.40p 2.01%
Domino's Pizza Group (DOM) 276.00p 1.85%
QinetiQ Group (QQ.) 365.00p 1.67%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Genuit Group (GEN) 407.50p -3.09%
NCC Group (NCC) 220.50p -3.08%
Hammerson (HMSO) 25.90p -2.70%
Softcat (SCT) 1,389.00p -2.39%
Mitie Group (MTO) 77.20p -2.03%
Network International Holdings (NETW) 236.60p -1.99%
Tyman (TYMN) 247.50p -1.98%
Derwent London (DLN) 2,696.00p -1.89%
Savills (SVS) 1,041.00p -1.79%
LondonMetric Property (LMP) 243.60p -1.77%