LONDON MARKET OPEN: FTSE 100 boosted by ICG and BAT; DAX trails behind

(Alliance News) - The FTSE 100 advanced at the start of trade on Tuesday, lifted by share price ...

Alliance News 8 June, 2021 | 8:45AM
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(Alliance News) - The FTSE 100 advanced at the start of trade on Tuesday, lifted by share price gains for Intermediate Capital Group and British American Tobacco.

Frankfurt's blue-chip DAX 30 lagged, meanwhile, after disappointing German industrial production figures.

The FTSE 100 index was up 17.56 points, or 0.3%, at 7,094.78 early Tuesday. The mid-cap FTSE 250 index was up 28.87 points, or 0.1%, at 22,936.93. The AIM All-Share index was just 0.25 of a point higher at 1,257.36.

The Cboe UK 100 index was up 0.2% at 706.93. The Cboe 250 was up 0.2% at 20,699.86 and the Cboe Small Companies up 0.1% at 15,214.30.

The FTSE 100 got a boost from Intermediate Capital Group early Tuesday, the stock gaining 6.9% after reporting "record profits" for both its Fund Management Co and Investment Co, as the financial firm posted a big improvement in annual results.

Intermediate Capital raised its total dividend for the financial year that ended March 31 by 10% to 56.0p per share. It noted this marked the 11th consecutive rise in the annual dividend.

Group pretax profit multiplied to GBP507.7 million from GBP110.0 million in financial 2020. The Fund Management Co's pretax profit rose by 10% to GBP202.3 million, while the Investment Co swung to a pretax profit of GBP305.4 million from a GBP72.3 million loss the year before.

British American Tobacco advanced 2.0% as the cigarette maker said it continues to expect this year will be a "pivotal" one for the business as it upgraded revenue guidance.

The tobacco firm now expects constant currency revenue growth of above 5% for 2021, ahead of prior guidance of 3% to 5%.

For combustibles, BAT said group value and volume share are both up 10 basis points in the year-to-date, with full-year cigarette volumes expected to be ahead of the industry, which itself is expected to be down 3%.

Meanwhile, BAT reported accelerating addition of non-combustible product consumers, up by 1.4 million to 14.9 million in the first quarter.

Both ICG and BAT were helping to offset losses for oil majors as Brent prices eased. Royal Dutch Shell 'A' and 'B' shares were down 1.4% and 1.2% respectively, while BP shed 0.6%.

Brent oil was trading at USD70.95 a barrel, down from USD71.43 late Monday.

"The price action has all the hallmarks of a very long speculative market getting nervous at the highs and is not indicative of an overall change in sentiment for energy," commented Jeffery Halley at Oanda.

Gold prices fared slightly better. The precious metal was quoted at USD1,894.20 an ounce early Tuesday, nudging up from USD1,893.07 on Monday.

In the FTSE 250, easyJet shares rose 2.8% after Goldman Sachs raised the budget airline to Buy from Neutral.

Dechra Pharmaceuticals rose 1.9% after boosting its outlook following strong year-to-date trading.

The veterinary products firm said it has continued to benefit from strong market fundamentals as well as lower costs due to Covid-19. This, combined with he completion of the UK pre-Brexit inventory unwind and further easing of lockdown restrictions, means the board is "increasingly confident" that this strong performance will continue for the remainder of the financial year ending June 30.

As a result, Dechra expects full-year revenue to be ahead of current consensus expectations.

In mainland Europe, the CAC 40 in Paris was up 0.2% while the DAX 30 in Frankfurt was flat early Tuesday.

The DAX was lagging after German industrial production fell 1.0% month-on-month in April, confounding expectations, according to FXStreet, for growth of 0.7% after March's 2.2% increase.

Year-on-year, however, industrial production shot up 26% in April after growth of 4.8% in March. In mid-March 2020, the coronavirus pandemic began to cause disruption in Europe and resulted in stringent spring lockdowns.

Compared with February 2020, the month before Covid restrictions were imposed in Germany, production in April 2021 was 5.6% lower, statistics body Destatis said.

Focus will remain on eurozone data on Tuesday. The economic events calendar has eurozone economic growth figures at 1000 BST, followed by US trade data at 1330 BST.

The euro edged down, with the US dollar stronger against major currency pairings early Tuesday. The single currency traded at USD1.2168 early Tuesday, down from USD1.2197 late Monday.

Sterling was quoted at USD1.4136, lower than USD1.4172 at the London equities close on Monday.

Against the yen, the dollar rose to JPY109.50, from JPY109.23 as Japan's economy contracted 1.0% in the three months to March after the government reimposed coronavirus restrictions in major cities as infections surged.

This is an improvement on 1.3% contraction showed by the first preliminary reading in May.

The quarter-on-quarter fall came after the world's third-largest economy grew for two quarters to December, but the expansion was stopped in its tracks by a winter increase in coronavirus cases. The government imposed new virus states of emergency in January in response, urging people to stay at home and calling for restaurants to close earlier.

In Asia on Tuesday, the Japanese Nikkei 225 index ended down 0.2%. In China, the Shanghai Composite closed down 0.5%, while the Hang Seng index in Hong Kong was down 0.1% in late trade.

By Lucy Heming; lucyheming@alliancenews.com

Copyright 2021 Alliance News Limited. All Rights Reserved.

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Securities Mentioned in Article

Security Name Price Change (%) Morningstar
Rating
BP PLC 359.20 GBX -0.40
Dechra Pharmaceuticals PLC 5,225.00 GBX 1.46 -
easyJet PLC 609.40 GBX 2.63
British American Tobacco PLC 2,594.00 GBX 0.43
Intermediate Capital Group PLC 2,208.00 GBX 2.17 -
Royal Dutch Shell PLC B 1,784.00 GBX -0.23
Royal Dutch Shell PLC Class A 1,773.80 GBX -0.11

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