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02 Feb 2021 | 16:13

London close: Stocks finish higher on vaccine confidence

(Sharecast News) - London equity markets closed in positive territory on Tuesday, with travel and leisure shares on the rise amid vaccines hopes. The FTSE 100 ended the session up 0.78% at 6,516.65, and the FTSE 250 was 1.46% firmer at 20,690.21.

Sterling was in a mixed state against its major trading pairs, however, last sitting 0.14% weaker on the dollar at $1.3644, while advancing 0.22% against the euro to change hands at €1.1354.

"Global markets are showing signs of returning to confidence after a period of heightened fear over the potential for a market collapse," said IG senior market analyst Joshua Mahony.

"The recent Reddit-led targeting of stocks and commodities appears to be fading with GameStop, AMC, and silver all on the slide.

"The volatility index has also provided reason for optimism, with today's sharp decline in the so-called 'fear gauge' marking a distinct move away from the highly elevated levels seen since last Tuesdays near three-month high."

Travel and leisure stocks gained, with InterContinental Hotels rising 5.84%, Premier Inn owner Whitbread adding 5.82%, cruise operator Carnival gaining 5.81%, and Wizz Air 3.84% higher.

As far as Whitbread and IHG were concerned, CMC Markets analyst Michael Hewson put the solid performance down to growing vaccine optimism.

"The UK's vaccination program will bring about an earlier easing of restrictions, which these particular brands will be able to take advantage of in the form of stay-at-home holidays," he said.

Virgin Money UK advanced 7.66% after saying it had set aside another £726m in bad loan provisions in the first quarter to deal with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The lender said it had granted mortgage payment holidays on £12.1bn of loans as at 31 December, equivalent to around 21% of balances, compared with £11.9bn at its fiscal full-year.

On the downside, BP slid 4.53% after fourth-quarter profits at the oil company fell to a worse-than-expected $115m, as the coronavirus pandemic battered energy demand.

The company reported a full-year loss of $5.7bn after writing down the value of oil and gas assets by $6.5bn in response to lower long-term energy prices forecasts.

Precious metals miners were also on the back foot, with Fresnillo down 4.83% and Hochschild down 9.13%, having surged on Monday in tandem with silver prices.

Market Movers

FTSE 100 (UKX) 6,516.65 0.78% FTSE 250 (MCX) 20,690.21 1.46% techMARK (TASX) 4,112.86 0.83%

FTSE 100 - Risers

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) 4,876.00p 5.84% Whitbread (WTB) 3,016.00p 5.82% International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 149.95p 5.08% Informa (INF) 526.60p 4.53% Barclays (BARC) 140.18p 3.96% Melrose Industries (MRO) 177.60p 3.74% Diageo (DGE) 3,044.00p 3.45% London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) 9,400.00p 3.30% Pershing Square Holdings Ltd NPV (PSH) 2,480.00p 3.12% Standard Life Aberdeen (SLA) 313.50p 3.09%

FTSE 100 - Fallers

Fresnillo (FRES) 1,028.00p -4.83% BP (BP.) 255.00p -4.53% Just Eat Takeaway.Com N.V. (CDI) (JET) 8,134.00p -3.33% Pearson (PSON) 745.40p -2.84% Anglo American (AAL) 2,429.00p -2.51% Kingfisher (KGF) 281.70p -2.12% Ocado Group (OCDO) 2,776.00p -1.84% Sainsbury (J) (SBRY) 238.50p -1.57% Glencore (GLEN) 246.10p -1.52% Next (NXT) 7,808.00p -1.31%

FTSE 250 - Risers

Rank Group (RNK) 135.40p 8.32% Aston Martin Lagonda Global Holdings (AML) 2,273.00p 8.08% Virgin Money UK (VMUK) 142.00p 7.66% SSP Group (SSPG) 306.00p 7.07% Provident Financial (PFG) 274.40p 6.19% Carnival (CCL) 1,239.00p 5.81% Trainline (TRN) 436.40p 5.36% Essentra (ESNT) 296.40p 5.17% Countryside Properties (CSP) 467.80p 5.12% Helios Towers (HTWS) 171.60p 4.76%

FTSE 250 - Fallers

Hochschild Mining (HOC) 227.80p -10.31% PureTech Health (PRTC) 368.00p -5.64% Petrofac Ltd. (PFC) 116.60p -4.58% Just Eat Takeaway.Com N.V. (CDI) (JET) 8,134.00p -3.33% Cineworld Group (CINE) 75.22p -2.92% GCP Student Living (DIGS) 143.00p -2.46% ITV (ITV) 107.50p -1.83% Centamin (DI) (CEY) 114.85p -1.75% Petropavlovsk (POG) 28.80p -1.54% Shaftesbury (SHB) 535.00p -1.47%
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