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London open: Stocks edge higher as sterling falls after YouGov poll

By Michele Maatouk

Date: Wednesday 11 Dec 2019

London open: Stocks edge higher as sterling falls after YouGov poll

(Sharecast News) - London stocks edged higher in early trade on Wednesday, with sterling under pressure as the latest election poll revealed a narrowing of the Tory lead.
At 0830 GMT, the FTSE 100 was up 0.3% at 7,237.97, while the pound was down 0.3% against the dollar at 1.3120 and 0.2% lower versus the euro at 1.1834 as a YouGov poll suggested that the Conservative majority had fallen to 28 seats from 68 seats a couple of weeks ago, raising the possibility of a hung parliament.

Neil Wilson, chief market analyst at Markets.com, said: "Markets for the first time need to worry about a hung parliament and what that might mean in terms of more uncertainty over the economy and Brexit."

Meanwhile, trade relations between the US and China remained in focus as the US is due to slap tariffs on $150bn of Chinese imports on Sunday, although there have been reports this will be deferred.

"The fact the two sides are negotiating is a positive sign, as it's when both sides are locked in a stand-off without communication, then traders get nervous," said CMC Markets analyst David Madden.

Investors were also eyeing the latest policy announcement from the Federal Reserve, due after the European close.

In equity markets, miners were the standout gainers, with BHP, Rio Tinto, Anglo American and Antofagasta all higher.

Stagecoach rallied as its interim revenues came in ahead of expectations and after it announced that Ray O'Toole would succeed company founder Brian Souter as chairman from 1 January.

EasyJet flew higher after an upgrade to 'buy' at Goodbody while SSP was in the green after an upgrade to 'overweight' at Morgan Stanley.

On the downside, JD Sports slumped after its largest shareholder, Pentland, sold around 24 million shares in the company at 740p.

Market Movers

FTSE 100 (UKX) 7,237.97 0.34%
FTSE 250 (MCX) 20,769.52 -0.06%
techMARK (TASX) 4,019.56 0.21%

FTSE 100 - Risers

BHP Group (BHP) 1,737.40p 1.57%
Rio Tinto (RIO) 4,322.50p 1.55%
Anglo American (AAL) 2,105.00p 1.40%
Fresnillo (FRES) 561.80p 1.33%
HSBC Holdings (HSBA) 565.00p 1.09%
Antofagasta (ANTO) 910.40p 0.84%
Smith (DS) (SMDS) 371.10p 0.79%
Scottish Mortgage Inv Trust (SMT) 521.50p 0.77%
Carnival (CCL) 3,225.00p 0.75%
Ferguson (FERG) 6,784.00p 0.74%

FTSE 100 - Fallers

JD Sports Fashion (JD.) 751.20p -6.50%
Barratt Developments (BDEV) 656.40p -1.20%
BT Group (BT.A) 186.94p -0.93F%
Imperial Brands (IMB) 1,661.00p -0.88%
Taylor Wimpey (TW.) 174.65p -0.85%
Sainsbury (J) (SBRY) 218.60p -0.82%
NMC Health (NMC) 2,517.00p -0.75%
Hiscox Limited (DI) (HSX) 1,343.00p -0.74%
ITV (ITV) 141.90p -0.73%
Tesco (TSCO) 238.70p -0.67%

FTSE 250 - Risers

Stagecoach Group (SGC) 133.20p 6.05%
Card Factory (CARD) 154.10p 2.73%
FirstGroup (FGP) 117.80p 2.35%
Tullow Oil (TLW) 46.70p 2.32%
Sports Direct International (SPD) 355.00p 2.31%
Sirius Minerals (SXX) 3.61p 2.21%
Serco Group (SRP) 149.90p 1.97%
Paragon Banking Group (PAG) 508.50p 1.82%
SSP Group (SSPG) 648.00p 1.73%
Investec (INVP) 429.90p 1.46%

FTSE 250 - Fallers

Victrex plc (VCT) 2,314.00p -2.36%
Plus500 Ltd (DI) (PLUS) 825.00p -2.14%
Restaurant Group (RTN) 144.40p -2.10%
Hunting (HTG) 370.40p -1.75%
Marston's (MARS) 128.00p -1.61%
TalkTalk Telecom Group (TALK) 103.20p -1.43%
Ashmore Group (ASHM) 468.00p -1.39%
Jupiter Fund Management (JUP) 378.00p -1.31%
Provident Financial (PFG) 415.20p -1.28%
Great Portland Estates (GPOR) 850.00p -1.28%

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