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London midday: Stocks extend gains despite ongoing Covid-19 worries

By Michele Maatouk

Date: Friday 26 Jun 2020

London midday: Stocks extend gains despite ongoing Covid-19 worries

(Sharecast News) - London equity markets were firmly in the black by midday on Friday despite ongoing concerns about the Covid-19 pandemic.
The FTSE 100 was up 1.6% at 6,242.68.

Oanda said: "Equities are trying to continue their painstaking climb up a rocky wall of virus uncertainty, supported by global fiscal and monetary stimulus but somewhat limited on growing expectations regional lockdowns will limit the economic recovery trade over the next several weeks."

It appeared market participants were focusing on the positives from the results of the Federal Reserve's stress tests, which found that US banks were "well capitalised under even the harshest" of downside scenarios.

Spreadex analyst Connor Campbell said: "The Fed warned that loan losses in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic could hit a staggering $700 billion. Yet Jerome Powell and co. didn't then announce any particularly drastic measures to combat this, banning share buybacks - something that many bank had already abandoned - while keeping dividends intact at their current levels.

"It seems that investors have read this tepid response as a green light to keep buying, if at a relatively measured pace."

In equity markets, British Airways parent IAG was a high riser, while budget airline easyJet flew higher after it agreed a sale and leaseback deal for six Airbus A320neo aircraft for $255m (£206m) to Japan's SMBC Aviation.

888 Holdings was the top performer on the FTSE 250 as it said that full-year earnings will be "significantly ahead" of expectations after sales leapt during the first six months of 2020.

Tesco reversed earlier losses as it reported a 9.2% rise in UK and Ireland total first quarter sales, driven by a sharp increase in online shopping, but said it expects a £175m-£200m loss at its banking unit after increasing its potential bad debt provisions.

Aston Martin shares sank after the luxury car maker said it would sell new shares representing almost 20% of its existing share capital to get through the Covid-19 crisis and destocking by dealers.

Shopping centre owner Hammerson was under the cosh, while British Land also fell as peer Intu Properties said it is likely to call in administrators after failing to reach a standstill agreement with its lenders.

JD Sports was weaker, with traders pointing to read-across from disappointing quarterly results from Nike overnight.

In broker note action, InterContinental Hotels was boosted by an initiation of coverage at 'buy' by Peel Hunt, while Rentokil was up after an upgrade to 'overweight' at JPMorgan.

Shares of self-storage company Safestore were knocked lower by a downgrade to 'hold' at Berenberg, while housebuilder Crest Nicholson was on the back foot after a downgrade to 'hold' at Jefferies.

Market Movers

FTSE 100 (UKX) 6,242.68 1.55%
FTSE 250 (MCX) 17,297.22 1.08%
techMARK (TASX) 3,757.38 1.55%

FTSE 100 - Risers

Smiths Group (SMIN) 1,312.00p 4.88%
Compass Group (CPG) 1,117.00p 4.00%
Auto Trader Group (AUTO) 541.00p 3.84%
Burberry Group (BRBY) 1,570.00p 3.84%
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) 3,695.00p 3.76%
Intermediate Capital Group (ICP) 1,324.00p 3.44%
Smurfit Kappa Group (SKG) 2,652.00p 3.43%
Rightmove (RMV) 547.20p 3.25%
Spirax-Sarco Engineering (SPX) 10,075.00p 3.10%
Smith (DS) (SMDS) 329.80p 3.09%

FTSE 100 - Fallers

JD Sports Fashion (JD.) 622.20p -2.08%
British Land Company (BLND) 385.10p -1.03%
Berkeley Group Holdings (The) (BKG) 4,253.00p -0.30%
Flutter Entertainment (FLTR) 11,065.00p -0.05%
Land Securities Group (LAND) 567.00p 0.00%
Next (NXT) 4,825.00p 0.06%
Taylor Wimpey (TW.) 143.40p 0.24%
Pennon Group (PNN) 1,129.00p 0.27%
DCC (DCC) 6,816.00p 0.32%
Evraz (EVR) 298.50p 0.34%

FTSE 250 - Risers

888 Holdings (888) 171.60p 13.64%
Weir Group (WEIR) 1,106.50p 7.12%
Royal Mail (RMG) 168.00p 6.67%
Kainos Group (KNOS) 750.00p 5.19%
Rotork (ROR) 285.80p 4.84%
Micro Focus International (MCRO) 448.30p 4.79%
Hays (HAS) 123.50p 4.66%
Bodycote (BOY) 642.50p 4.56%
Go-Ahead Group (GOG) 899.50p 4.53%
Spectris (SXS) 2,607.00p 4.24%

FTSE 250 - Fallers

Aston Martin Lagonda Global Holdings (AML) 55.25p -11.46%
Hammerson (HMSO) 83.90p -10.74%
Just Group (JUST) 53.50p -4.38%
Telecom Plus (TEP) 1,390.00p -3.87%
Equiniti Group (EQN) 151.40p -2.82%
Capital & Counties Properties (CAPC) 149.50p -2.67%
LXI Reit (LXI) 115.00p -2.54%
Convatec Group (CTEC) 200.20p -2.44%
Trainline (TRN) 453.60p -2.41%
AO World (AO.) 140.60p -2.36%


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