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16 Feb 2021 | 16:16

London close: Low volatility sees stocks finish weaker

(Sharecast News) - London stocks closed below the waterline on Tuesday, as the rally from the previous session ran out of steam. The FTSE 100 ended the session down 0.11% at 6,748.86, and the FTSE 250 was 0.01% weaker at 21,416.37.

Sterling was trading stronger, however, last managing gains of 0.01% on the dollar to $1.3904, and advancing 0.22% against the euro to €1.1487.

The capital's benchmark had rocketed higher on Monday, on the back of optimism over the vaccine rollout and recovery hopes, after it was confirmed on Sunday that 15 million adults across the UK had received their first dose of the Covid-19 jab.

"Market volatility was low today as there was little to excite traders," said CMC Markets analyst David Madden.

"Yesterday, the mood was upbeat as it was confirmed the UK achieved its target of vaccinating 15 million people by 15 February."

Madden said that update sparked positive sentiment in the markets, in particular in the UK, as a robust vaccine rollout should pave the way for Westminster to consider loosening restrictions.

"The more vaccines are administered, the closer it brings the country to dismantling the lockdown."

In equity markets, homeware retailer Dunelm slumped 6.82% after deputy chairman Will Adderley sold 15 million shares in the company, a stake of about 7.4%, at a 9% discount to the closing share price on Monday.

Some of the travel and leisure stocks that had gained on Monday were in the red, with catering group Compass down 1.77%, pub chain Mitchells & Butlers off 4.65%, and Upper Crust owner SSP 6.02% lower.

Cruise operator Carnival reversed earlier losses, however, managing to close up 0.29%.

Joining it on the upside, miner Glencore gained 2.45% after its full-year adjusted earnings beat expectations and it reinstated its dividend.

Australia's BHP also advanced by 1.46%, as it declared a record interim dividend after reporting a rise in profits driven by Chinese demand for iron ore.

Other miners followed suit, with Rio Tinto up 1.2%, Anglo American ahead 0.91%, and Antofagasta 2.8% higher.

Serco surged 4.76% after the outsourcer agreed to buy Whitney, Bradley & Brown (WBB), a provider of advisory, engineering and technical services to the US military, for $295m.

Market Movers

FTSE 100 (UKX) 6,748.86 -0.11% FTSE 250 (MCX) 21,416.37 -0.01% techMARK (TASX) 4,154.60 -0.54%

FTSE 100 - Risers

HSBC Holdings (HSBA) 427.75p 4.21% Rolls-Royce Holdings (RR.) 99.94p 4.02% Antofagasta (ANTO) 1,636.00p 2.80% Glencore (GLEN) 288.00p 2.02% Prudential (PRU) 1,396.00p 1.56% International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 162.00p 1.54% Standard Chartered (STAN) 489.00p 1.52% BHP Group (BHP) 2,260.50p 1.46% Admiral Group (ADM) 3,100.00p 1.41% B&M European Value Retail S.A. (DI) (BME) 590.00p 1.34%

FTSE 100 - Fallers

Smith (DS) (SMDS) 396.00p -3.37% SSE (SSE) 1,418.50p -3.04% Pennon Group (PNN) 918.00p -2.46% United Utilities Group (UU.) 932.20p -2.33% Severn Trent (SVT) 2,327.00p -2.06% WPP (WPP) 837.20p -2.04% Informa (INF) 517.40p -2.01% National Grid (NG.) 848.60p -1.94% Avast (AVST) 507.50p -1.93% Fresnillo (FRES) 1,004.50p -1.90%

FTSE 250 - Risers

Rank Group (RNK) 142.40p 8.21% Serco Group (SRP) 125.40p 4.76% TUI AG Reg Shs (DI) (TUI) 361.60p 4.51% Safestore Holdings (SAFE) 810.00p 3.78% IP Group (IPO) 115.00p 3.60% Aston Martin Lagonda Global Holdings (AML) 2,197.00p 3.19% Essentra (ESNT) 313.60p 3.16% Liontrust Asset Management (LIO) 1,315.00p 3.14% Royal Mail (RMG) 479.00p 2.44% Rotork (ROR) 355.40p 2.30%

FTSE 250 - Fallers

Dunelm Group (DNLM) 1,312.00p -6.82% SSP Group (SSPG) 299.80p -6.02% Mitchells & Butlers (MAB) 338.00p -4.65% National Express Group (NEX) 305.20p -3.84% Oxford Instruments (OXIG) 1,938.00p -3.10% Investec (INVP) 214.80p -2.63% Pets at Home Group (PETS) 416.00p -2.58% Vistry Group (VTY) 882.50p -2.38% WH Smith (SMWH) 1,689.00p -2.30% PZ Cussons (PZC) 257.50p -2.28%
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