LONDON MARKET CLOSE: FTSE 100 Pulls Back After Start-Of-Week Surge

(Alliance News) - Equities in London softened on Tuesday, with momentum stalling after impressive ...

Alliance News 16 February, 2021 | 5:00PM
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(Alliance News) - Equities in London softened on Tuesday, with momentum stalling after impressive gains in the previous session.

The FTSE 100 index closed down 7.25 points, or 0.1% at 6,748.86 on Tuesday. London's blue-chip index surged 2.5% on Monday.

The FTSE 250 ended down 2.53 points at 21,416.37, and the AIM All-Share closed up 0.73 of a point, or 0.1%, at 1,228.26.

The Cboe UK 100 ended down 0.2% at 670.63, the Cboe UK 250 closed up 0.2% at 18,888.32, and the Cboe Small Companies ended up 0.2% at 12,763.64.

"The reintroduction of US traders to the fold has somewhat dampened the remarkably bullish spirit seen yesterday, with stocks easing back despite stimulus and reopening hopes. Nevertheless, there is a growing feeling that we are on the cusp of a new phase of this market recovery," said Joshua Mahony, senior market analyst at IG.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said he is "hopeful" coronavirus restrictions can be cautiously eased in the coming weeks, with vaccines providing "grounds for confidence".

The prime minister said he wanted the current national lockdown to be the last – and for the unlocking to be "irreversible" – ahead of the publication of his road map next week. Johnson will analyse data this week on coronavirus case numbers, hospital admissions, deaths and the impact of the vaccine rollout as he prepares his plan to reduce restrictions.

It comes after the prime minister said there were "grounds for confidence" that vaccines were helping to curb the spread of coronavirus, not just in protecting those who received the jab.

NHS England Chief Executive Simon Stevens said the end of April target to vaccinate the estimated 17 million people in the next five priority groups has been set due to "likely vaccine supply", but added "if supply increases then we think we can go faster".

The pound was quoted at USD1.3911 at the London equities close Tuesday, firm compared to USD1.3909 at the close on Monday.

IG's Mahony said: "Interestingly, while we have seen domestic bus travel names suffer, airlines are on the rise in anticipation of a test-led resurgence in air travel. One key takeaway from Boris Johnson's appearance yesterday came for the theatre and music sector, with the PM noting that we could yet see a reopening of the arts owing to the use of rapid testing products."

Jet engine maker Rolls-Royce ended among the top performers in the FTSE 100, gaining 4.0%, while British Airways parent International Consolidated Airlines rose 1.5%.

Elsewhere in London, HSBC Holdings gained 4.2%. The lender, listed in both London and Hong Kong, rallied as the Hang Seng index jumped 1.9% as Hong Kong markets re-opened on Tuesday from a break for the Lunar New Year holiday.

Glencore shares ended up 2.0% after the miner beat earnings expectations for 2020.

For 2020, Glencore reported adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of USD11.56 billion, down 0.3% from USD11.60 billion the year before due to weaker coal prices. The result beat the company-compiled analyst consensus, however, for adjusted Ebitda of USD10.69 billion.

Adjusted earnings before interest and tax rose 6% year-on-year to USD4.42 billion from USD4.15 billion, again beating consensus expectations for USD4.13 billion.

Glencore's pretax loss widened sharply to USD5.12 billion from USD888 million the prior year, driven by impairment charges which more than doubled to USD5.72 billion from USD2.32 billion. The impairments included Glencore's oil operations in Chad and the Astron oil refinery due to lower price assumptions due to the economic effect of Covid-19.

Peer BHP rose 1.5%. The Anglo-Australian mining giant hiked its interim dividend, as profit and revenue rose on higher metal prices and strong output at several of the group's assets.

For the six months to the end of December, pretax profit rose 13% to USD8.83 billion from USD7.79 billion the same period the year before, on revenue that grew 15% year-on-year to USD25.64 billion from USD22.29 billion.

BHP raised its interim dividend by 55% to 101.0 US cents from 65.0 cents the year before, while net debt as at December 31 fell 7% to USD11.84 billion from USD12.68 billion.

In the FTSE 250, Dunelm shares slipped 6.8% after Deputy Chair Will Adderley sold a 7.4% stake in the company for GBP192 million, to achieve "greater portfolio diversification" on his part.

The home furnishing retailer based in Leicester, England, said 15 million shares were sold, worth 1,280p each. The shares represent 7.4% of Dunelm's issued share capital. Adderley's stake has been reduced to just under 38%, from just over 45%, a regulatory filing said.

"Will Adderley remains fully committed to Dunelm in his role as deputy chairman as well as a very substantial shareholder in the company and his working relationship with the company is unchanged. The seller has undertaken that, following completion of the placing, it will not dispose of further shares in the company for a period of at least 90 days, subject to customary exceptions," said Dunelm on Monday.

In European equities on Tuesday, the CAC 40 in Paris ended flat, while the DAX 30 in Frankfurt ended down 0.3%.

The eurozone economy contracted by 0.6% quarter-on-quarter in the final months of 2020, a smaller fall in economic activity than initially expected, according to data from Eurostat.

In the fourth quarter of 2020, the eurozone's gross domestic product slipped 0.6% according to the latest flash estimate. In the whole of the EU, GDP fell by 0.4%. This follows a strong GDP rebound of 12% from the single-currency bloc in the third quarter of 2020.

Earlier in February, a Eurostat estimate showed fourth-quarter eurozone GDP fell 0.7%, so the latest estimate represents a marginally better reading of the health of the euro area's economy.

The euro stood at USD1.2110 at the European equities close Tuesday, down against USD1.2129 at the same time on Monday.

Against the yen, the dollar rose to JPY105.78 compared to JPY105.36 late Monday.

Stocks in New York were subdued as they re-opened from Monday's holiday, with the Dow Jones up 0.2%, the S&P 500 index mildly higher and the Nasdaq Composite a touch lower.

Brent oil was quoted at USD62.98 a barrel at the London equities close Tuesday, easing from USD63.33 late Monday. Gold was quoted at USD1,803.32 an ounce at the London equities close Tuesday, down against USD1,819.49 at the close on Monday.

In the economic calendar for Wednesday, there is UK inflation at 0700 GMT and US producer prices and retail sales due at 1330 GMT. Minutes from the last US Federal Reserve meeting are out at 1900 GMT.

Markets in Shanghai will remain closed on Wednesday for the Lunar New Year holiday, and will re-open on Thursday.

The UK corporate calendar on Wednesday has full-year results from cigarette maker British American Tobacco and miner Rio Tinto.

By Lucy Heming;

Copyright 2021 Alliance News Limited. All Rights Reserved.

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Securities Mentioned in Article

Security Name Price Change (%) Morningstar
Dunelm Group PLC 1,036.00 GBX -0.77 -
HSBC Holdings PLC 676.80 GBX 0.53
Glencore PLC 454.55 GBX -1.22
Rolls-Royce Holdings PLC 457.80 GBX -2.14
International Consolidated Airlines Group SA 163.50 GBX -2.13 -

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