Sector movers: Oil services and packaging makers lead rise
Oil-related and mining companies were again leading the charge in London on Friday, while supermarkets were one of the few sectors in the red.
Oil producers and service providers were providing a boost to the FTSE indices as crude prices picked up further, with a barrel of Brent up more than 3% to $57.75 and WTI to $48.63.
Wood Group led the Footsie, while peers Petrofac and Hunting were firmly in the green, and Premier Oil and Tullow Oil led the oil producers, which were all higher apart from Energean.
Paper and packaging makers were higher as Jefferies analysts said the slump in the sector shares since October could reverse should pricing fears prove too pessimistic, with the market currently pricing in "double-digit EBITDA declines for the UK containerboard/box makers driven by speculation of future containerboard price weakness and overcapacity".
Concerns about the wider global economy and lower demand for containerboard have also weighed on the sector, but Jefferies suggeste market assumptions seem to be too negative in the absence of a recession.
Analysts picked South Afria's Mondi as top pick on its attractive margins, balance sheet and more diversified business model. Smurfit Kappa was also a 'buy' as it would see biggest upside from sector re-rating, while DS Smith was kept at 'hold' as it "will likely be less cyclical given its greater bias towards consumer related end markets and its focus on Pan-European customers".
Miners were another strong sector, following the release of upbeat Chinese services data and news of more economic stimulus from the country's central bank.
Financial services were also on the up, led by Schroders, which was upgraded by Exane BNP Paribas to 'outperform' from 'neutral' as part of a review of the asset management sector. Exane analysts upgraded Schroders but lowered the target price to £29 from £31.
The big listed supermarkets were all moving lower on Friday, with the wider retail sector in focus ahead of post-Christmas trading updates from all companies due in the coming weeks.
Furthermore Sainsbury’s was under the cosh after a downgrade to ‘reduce’ from ‘hold’ by HSBC and as Jefferies cut its price target on the stock to 285p.
Also weighing on Tesco and Morrison were price targets cuts at both Jefferies and HSBC.
Top performing sectors so far today
Oil Equipment, Services & Distribution +5.14%
Forestry & Paper +4.83%
Industrial Metals & Mining +4.41%
Bottom performing sectors so far today
Technology Hardware & Equipment -0.69%
Leisure Goods -0.65%
Fixed Line Telecommunications -0.51%
Food & Drug Retailers 0.03%
FTSE 100 - Risers
Wood Group (John) (WG.) 544.60p 5.71%
Antofagasta (ANTO) 776.40p 5.20%
Schroders (SDR) 2,565.00p 5.17%
Glencore (GLEN) 282.40p 4.96%
Mondi (MNDI) 1,682.50p 4.86%
Melrose Industries (MRO) 162.80p 4.59%
British American Tobacco (BATS) 2,590.50p 4.25%
Ashtead Group (AHT) 1,680.00p 3.99%
Evraz (EVR) 459.40p 3.91%
Anglo American (AAL) 1,739.60p 3.88%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Sainsbury (J) (SBRY) 258.20p -1.83%
Fresnillo (FRES) 881.00p -0.83%
Morrison (Wm) Supermarkets (MRW) 214.80p -0.81%
Hiscox Limited (DI) (HSX) 1,533.00p -0.52%
BT Group (BT.A) 239.03p -0.44%
Tesco (TSCO) 198.79p -0.28%
Reckitt Benckiser Group (RB.) 5,957.50p -0.13%
NMC Health (NMC) 2,602.00p -0.08%
Diageo (DGE) 2,742.50p 0.09%
SEGRO (SGRO) 599.60p 0.10%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Indivior (INDV) 125.45p 11.61%
Premier Oil (PMO) 75.00p 8.38%
Tullow Oil (TLW) 194.55p 6.57%
Ferrexpo (FXPO) 199.45p 6.34%
CYBG (CYBG) 188.30p 5.85%
Contour Global (GLO) 181.40p 5.40%
Victrex plc (VCT) 2,284.00p 5.16%
Petrofac Ltd. (PFC) 505.40p 5.07%
Capita (CPI) 113.55p 4.70%
Metro Bank (MTRO) 1,810.00p 4.38%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Funding Circle Holdings (FCH) 312.00p -3.54%
IP Group (IPO) 107.00p -2.19%
Rank Group (RNK) 139.20p -2.11%
Hikma Pharmaceuticals (HIK) 1,652.00p -1.64%
Intu Properties (INTU) 109.05p -1.31%
PZ Cussons (PZC) 212.00p -1.12%
Smithson Investment Trust (SSON) 1,009.40p -1.04%
Spirent Communications (SPT) 114.60p -1.04%
Hill & Smith Holdings (HILS) 1,147.00p -1.04%
Civitas Social Housing (CSH) 103.00p -0.96%