LONDON MARKET OPEN: Stocks rise; Just Eat sinks on Germany competition

(Alliance News) - Stock prices in London opened higher on Wednesday after incurring heavy losses ...

Alliance News 21 April, 2021 | 9:01AM
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(Alliance News) - Stock prices in London opened higher on Wednesday after incurring heavy losses on Tuesday, while Just Eat Takeaway.com shares fell following a plan by Uber Eats to tap into the German market.

The FTSE 100 index was up 26.52 points, or 0.4%, at 6,886.39. The flagship index closed down 140.21 points, or 2.0%, at 6,859.87 on Tuesday.

The mid-cap FTSE 250 was up 33.30 points, or 0.2%, at 22,141.85. The AIM All-Share index was up 0.1% at 1,238.59.

The Cboe UK 100 index was up 0.4% at 685.31. The Cboe 250 was up 0.1% at 19,821.59. The Cboe Small Companies was flat at 14,328.64.

In mainland Europe, the CAC 40 index in Paris and the DAX 30 in Frankfurt were up 0.4% and 0.2% respectively.

In the FTSE 100, BP and Royal Dutch Shell 'A' and 'B' shares were up 2.2%, 2.1% and 2.0% respectively after Deutsche Bank started coverage on the oil majors with Buy ratings.

Hikma Pharmaceuticals was up 2.1% after the drugmaker said it has that it has resumed the launch of its generic version of GlaxoSmithKline's Advair Diskus in the US. The drug is used to treat people with asthma and people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Glaxo shares were up 0.9%.

At the other end of the large-caps, Just Eat Takeaway.com was the worst performer, down 4.8%, amid competition concerns.

Uber Technologies is attempting to break what it called Just Eat Takeaway's "monopolistic" stranglehold on the German food delivery market, the Financial Times reported.

According to the FT, Uber Eats will launch in Germany for the first time over the next few weeks, starting in Berlin, in its biggest entry to a new country since 2018.

Bunzl was 2.8% lower. The distribution and services firm said its "diversified and resilient" business model delivered good overall growth during the first quarter of 2021, despite the boost from supplying PPE during the virus pandemic starting to fall away.

Revenue was up 5.4% at actual exchange rates and 10% at constant exchange rates. Underlying revenue growth at constant exchange rates increased by 1.4%, in line with expectations.

In addition, Bunzl said adjusted operating margin continued to be supported by demand for Covid-19 related products. The company delivered personal protective equipment to businesses to help combat the pandemic.

Looking ahead, Bunzl said guidance remains unchanged. At constant exchange rates, Bunzl continues to expect robust revenue growth in 2021 compared to the prior year, after excluding larger Covid-19 related orders, which contributed GBP550 million of revenue in 2020.

Antofagasta was 0.5% lower. The Chilean miner said copper production in the first quarter was in line with guidance at 183,000 tonnes, 5.7% lower than in the same quarter in 2020 and 5.0% lower than in the fourth quarter, mainly due to expected reduced grades at the Los Pelambres mine.

Gold production was 59,100 ounces in the first quarter, 9.2% lower than in the same period in 2020 and 8.0% higher than in the fourth quarter, mainly due to changes in grade at the Centinela mine.

Looking ahead, Antofagasta said full-year guidance is unchanged at 730 tonnes to 760,000 tonnes of copper at a net cash cost of USD1.25 per pound and capital expenditure of USD1.6 billion.

Peer BHP was up 0.7% after the global mining giant said it is bringing new supply in copper, petroleum and iron ore, while coal production guidance has been lowered after wet weather hit operations.

At the end of March, BHP said it had four major projects under development in petroleum, iron ore and potash, with a combined budget of USD8.5 billion over the life of the projects.

Both metallurgical coal and energy coal production guidance were lowered due to wet weather hitting numerous sites over the last few months.

Metallurgical coal production guidance was lowered to between 39 million tonnes and 41 million tonnes, which was previously set to between 40 million tonnes and 44 million tonnes.

Energy coal guidance was lowered to between 18 million tonnes and 20 million tonnes, from between 21 million tonnes and 23 million tonnes.

The Japanese Nikkei 225 index closed down 2.0% on Wednesday. In China, the Shanghai Composite was ended flat, while the Hang Seng index in Hong Kong was down 1.8%. The S&P/ASX 200 in Sydney closed 0.6% lower.

The pound was quoted at USD1.3930 early Wednesday, lower from USD1.3940 at the London equities close Tuesday.

On the economic front, UK inflation rose slightly in March according to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics, but the annual print just missed market estimates.

On an annual basis, UK consumer prices rose 0.7% in March, accelerating from a rise of 0.4% in February. However, the latest reading was just shy of market consensus, cited by FXStreet, for an 0.8% increase.

On a monthly basis, consumer prices grew 0.3% in March, rising slightly from inflation of 0.1% in February. The figure was in-line with the consensus estimate.

The euro was priced at USD1.2023, down from USD1.2035. Against the yen, the dollar was quoted at JPY108.01, flat from JPY108.03.

Brent oil was trading at USD66.20 a barrel Wednesday morning, up from USD65.71 late Tuesday. Gold was quoted at USD1,786.71 an ounce, higher from USD1,776.45.

By Arvind Bhunjun; arvindbhunjun@alliancenews.com

Copyright 2021 Alliance News Limited. All Rights Reserved.

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Securities Mentioned in Article

Security Name Price Change (%) Morningstar
Rating
Bunzl PLC 2,320.00
BP PLC 315.40
Antofagasta PLC 1,702.00 -
Royal Dutch Shell PLC B 1,368.40
Hikma Pharmaceuticals PLC 2,384.00 -
GlaxoSmithKline PLC 1,379.60
Royal Dutch Shell PLC Class A 1,426.40
BHP Group PLC 2,246.00
Just Eat Takeaway.com NV 6,159.00
Just Eat Takeaway.com NV 71.50

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