FTSE 100 movers: Travel stocks rally; Pearson hit by downgrade
London’s FTSE 100 was up 0.7% at 6,112.18 in afternoon trade on Wednesday.
Melrose Industries, which owns engineer GKN, Meggitt and Rolls-Royce were all sharply higher.
Elsewhere, cruise operator Carnival and Premier Inn owner Whitbread were in the black amid optimism over the lifting of travel restrictions in countries such as Spain and Germany next month.
M&G rallied as it announced the acquisition of Royal London's digital wealth management platform for independent financial advisers and said it will pay dividends totalling £410m.
Asset manager St James’s Place was also higher as it reported a 1% uptick in net inflows for the month of April thanks to strong retention of client investments, and said funds under management rose to £108.8bn from £107.2bn the year before, benefiting from both positive net inflows and a positive investment return.
On the downside, education publisher Pearson was under the cosh after Berenberg downgraded its stance on the stock to ‘sell’ from ‘hold’, cutting its estimates to reflect the risk of severe disruption to college enrolments in 2020 and less favourable FX rates.
"A combination of students not wanting to pay for a non-campus experience, a fall in international students and, for some, economic distress making it too difficult to go to college, is likely to cause severe disruption to college numbers in the latter part of this year," it said.
Berenberg, which cut its price target to 400p from 450p said its estimates are now 22% lower than consensus for 2020 and 7-8% lower for 2021 and 2022.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Melrose Industries (MRO) 125.35p 18.31%
Carnival (CCL) 1,239.00p 11.52%
Meggitt (MGGT) 306.20p 10.94%
Rolls-Royce Holdings (RR.) 348.80p 10.80%
M&G (MNG) 138.60p 8.88%
St James's Place (STJ) 950.00p 8.32%
British Land Company (BLND) 411.40p 8.26%
Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS) 121.85p 8.26%
Whitbread (WTB) 2,650.00p 8.12%
Barclays (BARC) 119.16p 7.56%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Ocado Group (OCDO) 1,961.50p -6.91%
London Stock Exchange Group (LSE) 7,936.00p -4.06%
Barratt Developments (BDEV) 512.60p -3.83%
AstraZeneca (AZN) 8,366.00p -3.53%
Polymetal International (POLY) 1,597.00p -3.48%
Persimmon (PSN) 2,261.00p -2.84%
Rentokil Initial (RTO) 485.80p -2.33%
Pearson (PSON) 450.30p -2.26%
Hikma Pharmaceuticals (HIK) 2,406.00p -2.20%
Aveva Group (AVV) 3,885.00p -2.07%