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London midday: FTSE firmly in the black as travel shares recover

By Michele Maatouk

Date: Wednesday 01 Dec 2021

London midday: FTSE firmly in the black as travel shares recover

(Sharecast News) - London stocks were still firmly in the black by midday on Wednesday as travel and hospitality shares rebounded from recent Omicron-fuelled losses.
The FTSE 100 was up 1.3% at 7,148.58.

Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell, said: "An ugly combination of a Covid-related knock to growth, reduction in central bank support and sustained inflation is not a recipe for strong stock markets.

"However, some traders appear to have decided the weakness has gone far enough for now as they emerged to bid up stocks and oil.

"Some of the best performing stocks and sectors are those which got smashed on what was dubbed 'Red Friday' last week.

"We are in a period of several weeks where the market will be increasingly desperate to find out just how much more infectious Omicron might be and whether it will escape existing vaccines.

"A definitive answer will have to wait until mid-December at the earliest it seems, but in the interim stock markets could react violently to hints in either direction."

Investors were also mulling over the latest data from Nationwide, which showed that house price growth edged back into double digits in November.

Annual house price growth ticked up to 10% from 9.9% in October, with the average price of a house now at £252,687, almost 15% higher than in March last year when the pandemic struck.

Robert Gardner, Nationwide's chief economist, said: "There have been some signs of cooling in housing market activity in recent months. For example, the number of housing transactions were down almost 30% year-on-year in October. But this was almost inevitable, given the expiry of the Stamp Duty holiday at the end of September, which gave buyers a strong incentive to bring forward their purchase to avoid additional tax.

"Indeed, activity has been extremely buoyant in 2021. The number of housing transactions so far this year has already exceeded the number recorded in 2020 with two months still to go and is actually tracking close to the number seen at the same stage in 2007, before the global financial crisis struck."

A separate survey showed that manufacturing input prices hit a 30-year high in November amid supply chain issues.

The IHS Markit/CIPS manufacturing purchasing managers index rose to three-month high of 58.1 from 57.8 in October, but was below the flash estimate of 58.2. A reading above 50.0 signals expansion, while a reading below indicates contraction.

The survey also found that "severely stretched" supply chains disrupted production schedules and drove up input prices to the greatest extent in the 30-year survey history.

In equity markets, British Airways and Iberia parent IAG was the standout gainer on the FTSE 100, closely followed by Premier Inn owner Whitbread. Cineworld, Wizz Air, easyJet and Restaurant Group also racked up healthy gains.

Oil giants BP and Shell gushed higher as oil prices recovered.

Drax advanced after the biomass energy provider said it expects annual core earnings to be at the top end of current forecasts driven by increased power generation.

Vehicle rental company Redde Northgate surged to the top of the FTSE 250 as it reported a jump in interim profit and revenue, hailing a strong performance across the group.

Online supermarket Ocado - which rallied recently on concerns about the impact of the new Covid variant - was the worst performer on the FTSE 100.

Market Movers

FTSE 100 (UKX) 7,148.58 1.26%
FTSE 250 (MCX) 22,819.80 1.33%
techMARK (TASX) 4,388.82 1.09%

FTSE 100 - Risers

International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 133.32p 4.60%
Whitbread (WTB) 2,921.00p 4.21%
BT Group (BT.A) 164.60p 3.78%
BP (BP.) 336.35p 3.35%
ITV (ITV) 113.60p 3.32%
Mondi (MNDI) 1,773.50p 3.14%
Darktrace (DARK) 474.40p 3.13%
Glencore (GLEN) 368.00p 3.05%
London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) 6,700.00p 3.05%
Aviva (AV.) 396.50p 2.99%

FTSE 100 - Fallers

Ocado Group (OCDO) 1,742.00p -2.98%
Severn Trent (SVT) 2,822.00p -2.22%
Croda International (CRDA) 9,892.00p -2.20%
United Utilities Group (UU.) 1,067.50p -1.57%
Pearson (PSON) 585.40p -1.31%
National Grid (NG.) 995.10p -1.14%
Polymetal International (POLY) 1,360.50p -0.84%
Hargreaves Lansdown (HL.) 1,328.50p -0.64%
Unilever (ULVR) 3,837.00p -0.57%
Spirax-Sarco Engineering (SPX) 15,550.00p -0.51%

FTSE 250 - Risers

Redde Northgate (REDD) 438.00p 10.89%
Liontrust Asset Management (LIO) 2,245.00p 9.78%
Drax Group (DRX) 602.00p 9.45%
Cineworld Group (CINE) 51.30p 9.15%
Wizz Air Holdings (WIZZ) 4,255.00p 7.83%
easyJet (EZJ) 527.20p 6.18%
Micro Focus International (MCRO) 366.10p 6.05%
Trustpilot Group (TRST) 302.60p 5.73%
AO World (AO.) 99.60p 5.17%
Restaurant Group (RTN) 83.30p 4.52%

FTSE 250 - Fallers

Pennon Group (PNN) 1,168.00p -4.65%
Indivior (INDV) 226.00p -1.65%
Cranswick (CWK) 3,506.00p -1.46%
Syncona Limited NPV (SYNC) 211.00p -1.40%
Centamin (DI) (CEY) 95.76p -1.34%
JTC (JTC) 844.00p -1.17%
Dechra Pharmaceuticals (DPH) 4,990.00p -1.09%
Genus (GNS) 4,802.00p -0.70%
Shaftesbury (SHB) 611.00p -0.65%
Softcat (SCT) 1,837.00p -0.60%


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