London open: Stocks rise on solid Asian cues; HSBC surges
London stocks rose in early trade on Monday, taking their cue from solid gains in Asia after the release of encouraging Chinese data.
At 0850 BST, the FTSE 100 was up 1.5% at 5,929.35, while sterling was 0.4% firmer against the dollar at 1.2796 amid hopes a Brexit deal will be struck, with talks between the EU and the UK due to resume on Tuesday.
CMC Markets analyst David Madden said: "The latest discussions have been relatively positive according to David Frost, the UK’s chief negotiator. It is understood that Prime Minister Johnson wants to strike a deal, but not at any cost, so the discussions are likely to go down to the wire."
Figures released earlier showed that industrial profits in China rose 19.1% on the year in August. Although this was down from 19.6 growth in July, it marked the fourth month in a row of profit growth as factories continued to recover from the Covid-19 shutdown.
Despite the positive tone in equity markets, worries about the coronavirus crisis and further restrictions remained on investors’ minds, particularly after weekend reports the government is considering banning all socialising indoors and closing all pubs and restaurants in Northern England and London amid a rise in cases.
In corporate news, HSBC surged to the top of the FTSE 100 after its biggest shareholder, China’s Ping An Asset Management, lifted its stake in the bank. Other banks followed suit, with Standard Chartered, Barclays and Lloyds all higher.
Diageo rallied after saying it made a good start to the current financial year as the drinks company's US business beat expectations. The maker of Johnny Walker whisky and Guinness beer said its outlook had improved since the end of June. Sales improved compared to the second half of last year but sales and margins will be lower than in the first half of last year.
Great Portland Estates was a high riser after private equity firm KKR bought a 5.35% stake in the property company for around £74m.
William Hill was weaker after it and Caesars Entertainment confirmed they were in advanced talks on a £2.9bn cash offer for the UK bookmaker. The shares had already risen sharply on Friday on news of a deal.
FTSE 100 - Risers
HSBC Holdings (HSBA) 311.85p 10.06%
Diageo (DGE) 2,667.50p 5.79%
Standard Chartered (STAN) 355.90p 5.67%
Whitbread (WTB) 2,150.00p 4.27%
Aviva (AV.) 290.90p 3.93%
Barclays (BARC) 94.80p 3.55%
Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY) 25.58p 3.50%
NATWEST GROUP PLC ORD 100P (NWG) 103.05p 3.44%
Smith (DS) (SMDS) 287.20p 3.31%
Prudential (PRU) 1,143.50p 3.16%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Rolls-Royce Holdings (RR.) 148.00p -4.36%
GVC Holdings (GVC) 982.20p -1.62%
Rio Tinto (RIO) 4,666.00p -1.42%
Fresnillo (FRES) 1,171.50p -1.18%
Avast (AVST) 543.00p -0.82%
Hikma Pharmaceuticals (HIK) 2,549.00p -0.82%
Polymetal International (POLY) 1,664.50p -0.77%
Ocado Group (OCDO) 2,800.00p -0.67%
Kingfisher (KGF) 294.10p -0.61%
BHP Group (BHP) 1,693.80p -0.53%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Carnival (CCL) 995.00p 8.32%
Aston Martin Lagonda Global Holdings (AML) 53.05p 6.10%
Great Portland Estates (GPOR) 585.00p 5.90%
Investec (INVP) 132.95p 4.27%
TUI AG Reg Shs (DI) (TUI) 281.70p 4.10%
Redrow (RDW) 393.00p 3.69%
Paragon Banking Group (PAG) 314.40p 3.63%
Mitchells & Butlers (MAB) 139.80p 3.40%
Drax Group (DRX) 269.20p 3.38%
Provident Financial (PFG) 201.20p 3.34%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
William Hill (WMH) 271.60p -13.00%
Network International Holdings (NETW) 281.60p -2.90%
888 Holdings (888) 203.00p -2.17%
Hochschild Mining (HOC) 209.80p -1.78%
UDG Healthcare Public Limited Company (UDG) 755.00p -1.63%
Calisen (CLSN) 164.00p -1.50%
Indivior (INDV) 120.20p -1.48%
Kainos Group (KNOS) 1,006.00p -1.37%
Pets at Home Group (PETS) 390.60p -0.96%
Vectura Group (VEC) 111.00p -0.89%