FTSE 100 movers: L&G rallies on dividend; Smiths in the red
London’s FTSE 100 was up 2.5% at 5,550.68 in afternoon trade on Monday, joining in with the broader market rally as investors took heart from a slowdown in new coronavirus cases and deaths in countries such as Spain and Italy.
Legal & General was the top performer on the FTSE 100 after saying late on Friday that it still intends to pay a final dividend for 2019 despite a warning from the Bank of England.
Rolls-Royce rallied even as it pulled its dividend and implemented pay cuts from the boardroom to the shop floor as it moved to mitigate the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. The aircraft engine maker said it would cut salary costs across its global workforce by at least 10% in 2020. Salaries for senior managers and the executive team would be reduced by 20% comprising a cut and deferral with an extra bonus deferral for the chief executive and chief financial officer.
Housebuilders were among the biggest risers, with Barratt Developments, Persimmon and Taylor Wimpey all up, having suffered heavy losses of late on the back of the coronavirus pandemic.
On the downside, Smiths Group lost ground after saying trading was increasingly affected by the Covid-19 crisis as the engineering company reported a 6% increase in operating profit.
Sage Group was weaker after it scrapped its £250m share buyback as the accounting software company predicted the Covid-19 crisis would hit revenue growth in the second half of the financial year.
Antofagasta was knocked lower by a downgrade to ‘underperform’ from ‘sector perform’ at RBC Capital Markets.
"Markets continue to move rapidly and following our Imagine 2025 Covid-19 scenario analysis we once again see Antofagasta shares as having more downside than peers," RBC said. "The balance sheet remains robust, however we see circa 45% downside in the Covid-19 scenario which we fear could see Antofagasta return to its lows."
FTSE 100 - Risers
Legal & General Group (LGEN) 186.35p 16.69%
Rolls-Royce Holdings (RR.) 292.90p 16.41%
Barratt Developments (BDEV) 442.30p 15.09%
Persimmon (PSN) 1,841.50p 13.50%
Taylor Wimpey (TW.) 115.15p 13.45%
easyJet (EZJ) 538.60p 13.39%
Meggitt (MGGT) 245.00p 12.90%
Carnival (CCL) 689.60p 12.17%
Next (NXT) 3,786.00p 11.68%
Melrose Industries (MRO) 83.58p 11.06%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Smiths Group (SMIN) 1,030.00p -2.88%
London Stock Exchange Group (LSE) 7,020.00p -2.50%
Halma (HLMA) 1,845.00p -2.36%
Sage Group (SGE) 548.60p -1.72%
Rentokil Initial (RTO) 377.30p -1.57%
Antofagasta (ANTO) 748.80p -1.11%
Pearson (PSON) 472.80p -1.05%
Intertek Group (ITRK) 4,420.00p -0.85%
Spirax-Sarco Engineering (SPX) 7,800.00p -0.76%
Reckitt Benckiser Group (RB.) 6,208.00p -0.70%