London open: Stocks steady as sterling strengthens
London stocks were steady at the open Thursday, underperforming European peers amid a firmer pound, as investors digested the latest minutes from the US Federal Reserve.
At 0920 GMT, the FTSE 100 was flat at 7,465.12, while sterling was 0.3% higher versus the dollar at 1.2091. Markets were expected to be fairly quiet as Wall Street will be closed for Thanksgiving.
Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell, said the top-flight index was being dented by the fact the pound reached its highest levels against the dollar "since the start of Liz Truss’ ill-fated premiership".
"A stronger pound hits the relative value of the FTSE 100’s largely overseas earnings but the reason for the dollar’s slide is a positive one for sentiment," he said.
"Stocks made gains on Wall Street as the latest minutes from the US Federal Reserve provided the reassuring message investors wanted to hear - the pace of rate increases is set to slow from here.
"While there’s no suggestion the Fed will stop hiking interest rates anytime soon, the messaging at least allows markets to start to look forward to that point."
In equity markets, Vodafone, Imperial Brands, National Grid, British Land and Diversified Energy all fell as they traded without entitlement to the dividend.
B&Q and Screwfix owner Kingfisher was also in the red as it narrowed its full-year profit guidance despite an improvement in third-quarter sales.
Iconic bootmaker Dr Martens tumbled as it reported a fall in first-half profits as direct-to-consumer sales fell in the second quarter but maintained annual revenue guidance. The company, famed for its lace up boots now popular again with celebrities, said pre-tax profit fell 5% to £57.9m. Revenue rose 13% to £418.6m, while the dividend was lifted 28% to 1.56p a share.
FTSE 100 - Risers
SEGRO (SGRO) 849.60p 4.12%
Unite Group (UTG) 966.50p 2.60%
Persimmon (PSN) 1,344.50p 2.28%
Taylor Wimpey (TW.) 106.05p 1.97%
Intermediate Capital Group (ICP) 1,225.00p 1.91%
Dechra Pharmaceuticals (DPH) 2,768.00p 1.84%
Barratt Developments (BDEV) 411.10p 1.83%
JD Sports Fashion (JD.) 128.40p 1.70%
Melrose Industries (MRO) 134.70p 1.70%
United Utilities Group (UU.) 1,068.50p 1.57%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Vodafone Group (VOD) 91.44p -3.40%
Imperial Brands (IMB) 2,114.00p -3.25%
Kingfisher (KGF) 246.10p -2.96%
National Grid (NG.) 1,013.00p -1.84%
Harbour Energy (HBR) 307.50p -1.54%
British Land Company (BLND) 411.20p -0.92%
London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) 8,168.00p -0.78%
Burberry Group (BRBY) 2,088.00p -0.62%
BAE Systems (BA.) 793.40p -0.58%
Haleon (HLN) 285.05p -0.54%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Workspace Group (WKP) 478.20p 4.50%
Sirius Real Estate Ltd. (SRE) 87.20p 4.31%
Tritax Big Box Reit (BBOX) 154.50p 4.18%
Home Reit (HOME) 64.80p 4.18%
LondonMetric Property (LMP) 192.60p 3.77%
UK Commercial Property Reit Limited (UKCM) 62.50p 3.65%
Future (FUTR) 1,574.00p 3.55%
Hammerson (HMSO) 25.13p 3.37%
Big Yellow Group (BYG) 1,154.00p 3.31%
Synthomer (SYNT) 150.20p 3.23%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Dr. Martens (DOCS) 230.00p -19.69%
Discoverie Group (DSCV) 881.00p -3.61%
Diversified Energy Company (DEC) 122.20p -3.55%
PZ Cussons (PZC) 208.00p -2.12%
Energean (ENOG) 1,403.00p -1.82%
ICG Enterprise Trust (ICGT) 1,130.00p -1.74%
Herald Investment Trust (HRI) 1,812.00p -1.74%
Indivior (INDV) 1,688.00p -1.57%
3i Infrastructure (3IN) 323.00p -1.52%
LXI Reit (LXI) 123.60p -1.44%