London open: Stocks gain as investors digest China trade figures
London stocks rose in early trade on Monday as investors mulled the latest trade data out of China.
At 0845 BST, the FTSE 100 was up 0.4% at 7,472.32.
Sentiment got a boost after China reported a record trade surplus for July thanks to strong export growth.
Exports grew 18% year-on-year in the month, coming in comfortably ahead of analysts’ expectations for a 14% jump. Imports rose 2.3% year-on-year in July, however, missing expectations of 4% growth.
Despite the positive tone, analysts struck a cautious note about the Chinese data.
"Exports held up well last month, thanks to a backlog of orders still being cleared. But it won’t be long before shipments drop back on cooling foreign demand," said Julian Evans-Pritchard, senior China economist at Capital Economics. "Meanwhile, imports continued to trend down, pointing to further domestic weakness."
On Friday, a stronger-than-expected US non-farm payrolls report weighed on markets as it reignited concerns about more aggressive tightening from the Federal Reserve.
In equity markets, investment platform Hargreaves Lansdown was the top riser on the FTSE 100 after price target increases at both Deutsche Bank and Barclays.
Recruiter PageGroup was weaker despite backing its full-year expectations and posting a rise in first-half pre-tax profit and revenue, as it hailed a strong performance across its geographies, disciplines and brands. In the six months to 30 June, pre-tax profit grew 80% to £114.5m, while revenues were up 27.5% at £977.3m.
Shipping services company Clarkson was also in the red even as it reported a jump in interim profit, driven by its broking division. Pre-tax profit rose to £42m from £27.3m.
Outside the FTSE 350, Joules surged after confirming it is in talks with Next about the potential acquisition of a £15m minority stake in the lifestyle brand.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Hargreaves Lansdown (HL.) 940.40p 6.16%
Ashtead Group (AHT) 4,614.00p 1.79%
Intermediate Capital Group (ICP) 1,507.50p 1.72%
Antofagasta (ANTO) 1,189.50p 1.62%
Anglo American (AAL) 2,943.00p 1.59%
Aveva Group (AVV) 2,366.00p 1.50%
Smurfit Kappa Group (CDI) (SKG) 3,072.00p 1.49%
Howden Joinery Group (HWDN) 669.00p 1.36%
Unite Group (UTG) 1,129.00p 1.35%
Burberry Group (BRBY) 1,799.50p 1.32%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
AstraZeneca (AZN) 10,770.00p -0.88%
RS Group (RS1) 1,055.00p -0.85%
WPP (WPP) 808.00p -0.81%
M&G (MNG) 216.00p -0.78%
Vodafone Group (VOD) 120.50p -0.77%
Avast (AVST) 683.40p -0.70%
Ocado Group (OCDO) 874.80p -0.66%
GSK (GSK) 1,657.40p -0.58%
B&M European Value Retail S.A. (DI) (BME) 415.50p -0.55%
Pershing Square Holdings Ltd NPV (PSH) 2,715.00p -0.55%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Just Group (JUST) 76.95p 2.33%
Baltic Classifieds Group (BCG) 161.40p 2.15%
Smithson Investment Trust (SSON) 1,431.00p 2.07%
Hochschild Mining (HOC) 81.60p 1.94%
Coats Group (COA) 69.90p 1.90%
Babcock International Group (BAB) 340.80p 1.85%
BlackRock World Mining Trust (BRWM) 607.00p 1.85%
Discoverie Group (DSCV) 760.00p 1.74%
Aston Martin Lagonda Global Holdings (AML) 495.00p 1.73%
CLS Holdings (CLI) 208.00p 1.71%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Pagegroup (PAGE) 419.80p -7.04%
Essentra (ESNT) 236.50p -2.87%
Clarkson (CKN) 3,490.00p -1.83%
Ferrexpo (FXPO) 146.10p -1.81%
Syncona Limited NPV (SYNC) 204.50p -1.68%
HGCapital Trust (HGT) 373.50p -1.58%
Biffa (BIFF) 396.00p -1.49%
HarbourVest Global Private Equity Limited A Shs (HVPE) 2,430.00p -1.42%
Auction Technology Group (ATG) 974.00p -1.42%
Hipgnosis Songs Fund Limited NPV (SONG) 112.20p -1.23%