London open: FTSE gains as Kwarteng to bring forward details of debt-cutting plans
London stocks rose in early trade on Tuesday following strong gains on Wall Street and as investors welcomed news that chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng plans to bring forward the publication of his debt-reduction proposals.
At 0825 BST, the FTSE 100 was up 0.7% at 6,958.85, while the pound was 0.4% firmer versus the dollar at 1.1369 - its highest level in two weeks.
On Monday, the chancellor yielded to pressure and announced he would abandon plans to cut the top rate of tax, but gave no indication he would bring forward the publication of the medium-term fiscal plan.
However, on Tuesday it was widely reported that the government had now once again bowed to pressure and will publish the plan later this month, having previously said they would be published at the end of November.
The OBR will also bring forward its forecasts, to be published at the same time. The BBC said Conservative MP Mel Stride, chair of the Treasury Committee, had "pressed the chancellor very hard".
A statement confirming the move is expected later on Tuesday.
In equity markets, insurer Legal & General jumped to the top of the FTSE 100 after saying its investment arm had no exposure to recent turmoil in the liability-driven investment (LDI) market caused by Kwarteng's recent mini-budget.
Phoenix Group, Prudential and Aviva also rose.
Elsewhere, high street bakery chain Greggs rallied after it said total sales were up 14.6% over the 13 weeks ended 1 October, putting it on track to meet full-year expectations.
In broker note action, Hargreaves Lansdown was boosted by an upgrade to ‘hold’ at Jefferies, while National Grid was higher after an upgrade to ‘neutral’ at Citi.
Pennon and Severn Trent both advanced after upgrades to ‘outperform’ at RBC Capital Markets.
On the downside, Drax slid after BBC's Panorama claimed in an investigation aired on Monday that the company was "cutting down trees in ancient forests important for fighting climate change".
FTSE 100 - Risers
Legal & General Group (LGEN) 232.30p 4.69%
Whitbread (WTB) 2,407.00p 3.84%
Hargreaves Lansdown (HL.) 890.60p 3.61%
Rolls-Royce Holdings (RR.) 72.24p 3.54%
International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 96.42p 2.95%
Phoenix Group Holdings (PHNX) 546.00p 2.86%
Airtel Africa (AAF) 136.80p 2.63%
Prudential (PRU) 905.20p 2.58%
Aviva (AV.) 406.70p 2.34%
Intermediate Capital Group (ICP) 1,023.00p 2.32%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
BAE Systems (BA.) 792.40p -0.83%
Centrica (CNA) 71.66p -0.56%
Aveva Group (AVV) 3,163.00p -0.50%
Reckitt Benckiser Group (RKT) 5,906.00p -0.34%
British American Tobacco (BATS) 3,235.50p -0.26%
Rightmove (RMV) 481.80p -0.25%
Imperial Brands (IMB) 1,857.00p -0.24%
SSE (SSE) 1,569.50p -0.22%
Diageo (DGE) 3,701.50p -0.16%
GSK (GSK) 1,318.40p -0.09%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Petershill Partners (PHLL) 197.40p 4.67%
Hochschild Mining (HOC) 63.05p 4.30%
Watches of Switzerland Group (WOSG) 750.00p 3.81%
Dunelm Group (DNLM) 775.00p 3.47%
Just Group (JUST) 60.00p 3.09%
LXI Reit (LXI) 128.00p 3.06%
Mitchells & Butlers (MAB) 115.50p 3.03%
Weir Group (WEIR) 1,490.50p 2.69%
SSP Group (SSPG) 193.40p 2.65%
Aston Martin Lagonda Global Holdings (AML) 112.75p 2.64%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Carnival (CCL) 511.60p -5.01%
Domino's Pizza Group (DOM) 221.00p -1.60%
Drax Group (DRX) 594.00p -1.41%
Diversified Energy Company (DEC) 128.50p -1.31%
Blackrock Throgmorton Trust (THRG) 521.00p -0.76%
888 Holdings (DI) (888) 95.85p -0.73%
HICL Infrastructure (HICL) 164.00p -0.61%
Network International Holdings (NETW) 298.00p -0.60%
Ferrexpo (FXPO) 121.90p -0.57%
Renishaw (RSW) 3,538.00p -0.45%