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London open: Reckitt, mining stocks push FTSE 100 to new heights

By Benjamin Chiou

Date: Wednesday 24 Apr 2024

London open: Reckitt, mining stocks push FTSE 100 to new heights

(Sharecast News) - UK stocks reached another record on Wednesday morning as strong gains from Reckitt Benckiser and the mining sector provided a lift early on.
By 0830 BST, the FTSE 100 was up 0.5% at 8,083, after setting its second record closing high in as many days on Tuesday at 8,044.81.

Markets managed to shrug off hawkish comments from Bank of England chief economist Huw Pill the previous session after he said that rate cuts were still "some way off". In a speech at the London campus of the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, Pill warned there are greater risks associated with easing too early should inflation persist rather than easing too late if it abates.

Nevertheless, sentiment was being lifted by strong gains on Wall Street on Tuesday and a big after-hours surge in the share price of Tesla - the first of the Magnificent Seven tech stocks to report their earnings - despite numbers missing analysts' estimates. The stock was up 13% after the closing bell.

On Wednesday's agenda, markets will have a hold of economic data from across the eurozone to contend with, including the German IFO index, business and consumer confidence in Italy, the ZEW sentiment survey in Switzerland, along with speeches from some European Central Bank members. Over in the US, we'll have MBA mortgage applications and durable goods orders data.

Reckitt, miners provide a lift

First-quarter results from consumer goods group Reckitt Benckiser were well received with the stock up 4% early on, after the company said improving price/mix was able to offset a drop in volumes in the first half as like-for-like revenues rose 1.5%.

Mining stocks were also on the up, bouncing back after their recent underperformance on the back a jump in iron ore prices to a seven-week high after producer Fortescue reported that 2024 shipments would miss market expectations due to supply disruptions. Rio Tinto, Glencore and Anglo American were all performing well in London.

Bucking the trend was blue chip silver miner Fresnillo after reporting a drop in both gold and silver output over the first three months of the year.

Leading the fallers however was Lloyds Bank after unveiling a 28% fall in first-quarter profits due to lower net interest income and higher operating expenses, as competition for mortgages and savings squeezed margins.

International distribution and services group Bunzl was on the rise after holding on to guidance despite a drop in first-quarter revenues, driven by lower volumes in its US foodservice redistribution business, American retail customers clearing inventory and deflation.

On the FTSE 250, shares in PZ Cussons jumped on plans to sell the St Tropez tanning brand while the company said it is reviewing its operations in Africa, as it backed its profit outlook for 2024.

Market Movers

FTSE 100 (UKX) 8,082.77 0.47%
FTSE 250 (MCX) 19,796.39 -0.02%
techMARK (TASX) 4,518.27 0.39%

FTSE 100 - Risers

Reckitt Benckiser Group (RKT) 4,423.00p 4.07%
Rio Tinto (RIO) 5,487.00p 3.20%
Scottish Mortgage Inv Trust (SMT) 841.40p 1.72%
BAE Systems (BA.) 1,362.00p 1.64%
Glencore (GLEN) 475.80p 1.56%
Antofagasta (ANTO) 2,187.00p 1.48%
Anglo American (AAL) 2,142.00p 1.47%
BP (BP.) 530.10p 1.34%
Bunzl (BNZL) 3,088.00p 1.11%
Pershing Square Holdings Ltd NPV (PSH) 4,048.00p 1.00%

FTSE 100 - Fallers

Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY) 49.85p -2.90%
Burberry Group (BRBY) 1,134.50p -2.58%
Fresnillo (FRES) 568.00p -1.82%
Ocado Group (OCDO) 371.60p -1.64%
BT Group (BT.A) 105.75p -1.17%
NATWEST GROUP (NWG) 283.10p -0.94%
Taylor Wimpey (TW.) 132.80p -0.78%
Vodafone Group (VOD) 69.16p -0.66%
Associated British Foods (ABF) 2,713.00p -0.66%
Smurfit Kappa Group (CDI) (SKG) 3,444.00p -0.63%

FTSE 250 - Risers

PZ Cussons (PZC) 100.80p 6.55%
Volution Group (FAN) 430.00p 4.75%
Ferrexpo (FXPO) 53.80p 3.07%
Darktrace (DARK) 505.00p 3.06%
Helios Towers (HTWS) 97.70p 3.06%
Abrdn (ABDN) 142.65p 2.74%
Quilter (QLT) 104.90p 2.34%
Discoverie Group (DSCV) 727.00p 2.25%
Close Brothers Group (CBG) 473.80p 2.07%
Fidelity China Special Situations (FCSS) 210.50p 1.94%

FTSE 250 - Fallers

Mobico Group (MCG) 53.35p -4.39%
Breedon Group (BREE) 363.50p -4.34%
4Imprint Group (FOUR) 6,190.00p -3.88%
Mitie Group (MTO) 116.60p -2.83%
Baltic Classifieds Group (BCG) 223.00p -2.83%
Fidelity Emerging Markets Limited Ptg NPV (FEML) 643.70p -2.76%
North Atlantic Smaller Companies Inv Trust (NAS) 3,690.00p -2.64%
RHI Magnesita N.V. (DI) (RHIM) 3,375.00p -2.60%
Marshalls (MSLH) 260.00p -2.07%
SDCL Energy Efficiency Income Trust (SEIT) 58.00p -1.69%


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