London midday: Stocks maintain gains on vaccine hopes, China data
London stocks were still in the black by midday on Monday, with sentiment underpinned by vaccine optimism and solid Chinese data.
The FTSE100 was up 0.6% at 6,356.70.
Spreadex analyst Connor Campbell said: "The European markets awoke to another dose of vaccine positivity this Monday, temporarily inoculating them to the horrifying covid-19 numbers coming out of the US.
"Though it’s not much of an update on what was previously stated, the chief executive of BioNTech, Ugur Sahin, has claimed that transmission of covid-19 will be reduced by ‘maybe 50%’ following the vaccine rollout, itself leading to a ‘dramatic reduction of the pandemic spread’.
"Those comments were followed by news this Monday that 6,000 British volunteers are participating in the phase 3 trials of the vaccine being developed by Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Janssen.
"Investors are also waiting on progress reports from Moderna and AstraZeneca, the latter of whom is partnered with Oxford on the university’s promising preparation.
"Though the vaccine headlines were the market’s main shot in the arm, a better than forecast Q3 GDP reading out of Japan - at 5.0% against the 4.4% expected and -7.9% seen in Q2 - helped sweeten early trading, as did a largely positive data dump out of China (though retail sales did miss estimates)."
Figures released earlier showed Chinese industrial production beat expectations in October while retail sales accelerated as the world's second-biggest economy continued to recover from the slump caused by Covid-19.
Factory output increased 6.9% from a year earlier, the National Statistics Bureau said. The rise was in line with September's and outpaced the 6.5% increase forecast by analysts in a Reuters survey.
Growth was supported by a 7.6% increase in exports as overseas markets have opened up after initial Covid-19 lockdowns. With employment prospects improving domestic consumers are also starting to spend more.
Retail sales rose 4.3% from a year earlier in October. The increase was less than the 4.9% expected by analysts but was the fastest growth in 2020. Car sales rose 12.5% based on increased demand for electric vehicles. Domestic tourism increased over the Golden Week holiday.
The data followed the announcement that China and 14 other Asia-Pacific countries had formed the world's largest trading bloc after eight years of talks. The multilateral pact covers almost a third of the world economy and is seen as enhancing China's influence in the region.
Oh home shores, Brexit trade talks were entering another "crunch week" as Prime Minister Boris Johnson was forced to self-isolate after meeting with an MP who later tested positive for coronavirus.
Susannah Streeter, senior investment and markets analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: "It had been hoped that Thursday’s meeting of EU leaders could be when an agreement would be announced, but it’s looking increasingly likely that it will be just another deadline that will just loom and pass, and instead talks will go down to the wire."
In equity markets, British Airways owner IAG and engine maker Rolls-Royce were the top performers on the FTSE 100 amid optimism over a Covid-19 vaccine, followed by Premier Inn owner Whitbread and InterContinental Hotels.
Cineworld and cruise operator Carnival also gained.
Miners were boosted by the encouraging Chinese data, with Glencore, Antofagasta, Anglo American and BHP all higher.
Vodafone pushed up after well-received half-year results, while IT infrastructure and services provider Softcat rallied after it reported year-on-year growth in revenue, gross profit and operating profit.
On the downside, online supermarket Ocado, Rentokil and Dettol maker Reckitt Benckiser - all of which have benefited from the Covid-19 crisis - were on the back foot.
FTSE 100 - Risers
International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 154.10p 6.57%
Rolls-Royce Holdings (RR.) 99.36p 6.04%
Whitbread (WTB) 2,921.00p 5.03%
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) 4,673.00p 4.38%
Melrose Industries (MRO) 154.00p 3.63%
Standard Chartered (STAN) 431.40p 3.48%
British Land Company (BLND) 488.30p 2.89%
Vodafone Group (VOD) 122.92p 2.84%
Compass Group (CPG) 1,410.50p 2.69%
Coca-Cola HBC AG (CDI) (CCH) 2,263.00p 2.58%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Rentokil Initial (RTO) 530.60p -2.18%
Bunzl (BNZL) 2,400.00p -1.64%
Reckitt Benckiser Group (RB.) 6,866.00p -1.63%
London Stock Exchange Group (LSE) 8,266.00p -1.52%
Ocado Group (OCDO) 2,249.00p -1.49%
GVC Holdings (GVC) 985.60p -1.42%
Ferguson (FERG) 7,888.00p -1.30%
Halma (HLMA) 2,401.00p -1.27%
Rightmove (RMV) 634.00p -1.12%
AstraZeneca (AZN) 8,550.00p -0.96%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Cineworld Group (CINE) 48.88p 11.50%
Softcat (SCT) 1,205.00p 7.88%
Network International Holdings (NETW) 257.40p 7.52%
Carnival (CCL) 1,161.50p 7.45%
Virgin Money UK (VMUK) 141.25p 7.29%
Micro Focus International (MCRO) 262.40p 6.23%
Just Group (JUST) 51.05p 5.69%
Meggitt (MGGT) 397.40p 5.69%
Aston Martin Lagonda Global Holdings (AML) 68.50p 5.14%
Countryside Properties (CSP) 432.00p 4.75%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
PureTech Health (PRTC) 268.00p -4.96%
Oxford Instruments (OXIG) 1,960.00p -3.45%
AO World (AO.) 390.00p -2.99%
4Imprint Group (FOUR) 2,435.00p -2.40%
BMO Commercial Property Trust Limited (BCPT) 67.50p -2.17%
Games Workshop Group (GAW) 9,650.00p -1.98%
QinetiQ Group (QQ.) 304.60p -1.93%
Greggs (GRG) 1,649.00p -1.90%
TP ICAP (TCAP) 208.60p -1.88%
Calisen (CLSN) 175.00p -1.85%