London open: Stocks edge higher as miners rally
London stocks edged higher in early trade on Thursday, underpinned by a solid showing in the mining sector and well-received updates from the likes of Entain and AO World.
At 0830 BST, the FTSE 100 was up 0.4% at 6,963.53.
Spreadex analyst Connor Campbell noted that the top-flight index has found its way back to the pre-pandemic levels struck at the tail end of last week.
"The FTSE 250 was even better, climbing half a percent to 22,450 - that’s around 20 points off last Thursday’s closing record, and 140 points short of yesterday’s intraday peak," he said.
In equity markets, miners were on the rise, with Antofagasta, Anglo American and Rio all higher as metals prices pushed up.
B&Q owner Kingfisher was the top gainer on the FTSE 100, however, after an upgrade to ‘neutral’ at Citi, which said ongoing DIY strength amid extended lockdowns provides good support to current expectations.
Ladbrokes owner Entain gained after it said momentum continued into 2021 as it experienced a strong first quarter of online trading.
Builders’ merchant Travis Perkins rallied after it posted like-for-like sales growth of 17% for the first quarter, excluding Wickes.
Online electricals retailer AO World advanced as it said full-year underlying earnings are set to be in line with market expectations despite Covid-related costs, as revenues surged 62%.
Lost cost airline Wizz Air was also in the black after saying it expects a full-year loss of up to €590m and only a "gradual" traffic recovery into late summer.
On the downside, Legal & General, Barratt Developments, Standard Life Aberdeen, Lloyds and Jupiter Fund Management were all weaker as they traded without entitlement to the dividend.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Kingfisher (KGF) 347.20p 2.15%
Antofagasta (ANTO) 1,839.00p 2.02%
Entain (ENT) 1,638.50p 1.96%
Whitbread (WTB) 3,609.00p 1.81%
Pershing Square Holdings Ltd NPV (PSH) 2,825.00p 1.80%
Anglo American (AAL) 3,200.00p 1.80%
International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 212.00p 1.56%
Rio Tinto (RIO) 5,928.00p 1.35%
Compass Group (CPG) 1,624.50p 1.34%
Smith (DS) (SMDS) 411.80p 1.33%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Legal & General Group (LGEN) 280.20p -3.61%
Standard Life Aberdeen (SLA) 286.00p -1.89%
Barratt Developments (BDEV) 774.20p -0.97%
Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY) 43.44p -0.89%
Evraz (EVR) 619.80p -0.80%
Just Eat Takeaway.Com N.V. (CDI) (JET) 7,861.00p -0.54%
Tesco (TSCO) 226.50p -0.40%
GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) 1,285.00p -0.36%
HSBC Holdings (HSBA) 427.60p -0.30%
Berkeley Group Holdings (The) (BKG) 4,508.00p -0.27%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Travis Perkins (TPK) 1,692.50p 2.98%
Wizz Air Holdings (WIZZ) 5,006.00p 2.90%
RHI Magnesita N.V. (DI) (RHIM) 4,560.00p 2.70%
Grainger (GRI) 286.00p 2.44%
Morgan Sindall Group (MGNS) 1,950.00p 2.42%
Big Yellow Group (BYG) 1,210.00p 2.37%
TI Fluid Systems (TIFS) 308.00p 2.33%
easyJet (EZJ) 999.60p 2.21%
PZ Cussons (PZC) 279.50p 2.01%
Man Group (EMG) 167.95p 1.97%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Jupiter Fund Management (JUP) 279.40p -3.05%
Moneysupermarket.com Group (MONY) 268.80p -2.11%
BMO Global Smaller Companies (BGSC) 160.40p -1.84%
Wood Group (John) (WG.) 270.90p -1.56%
PureTech Health (PRTC) 406.00p -1.46%
Petropavlovsk (POG) 24.66p -1.20%
BlackRock Smaller Companies Trust (BRSC) 1,862.00p -1.17%
Virgin Money UK (VMUK) 193.40p -1.15%
TBC Bank Group (TBCG) 1,106.00p -1.07%
OSB Group (OSB) 489.60p -0.93%