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05 Mar 2021 | 16:52

London close: Stocks slip despite brightening prospects for US economy

(Sharecast News) - London stocks finished lower at the end of the week following the release of a better-than-expected US non-farm payrolls report for February. Ironically, with vaccinations in the US accelerating to above 2.0m per day, analysts at Pantheon Macroeconomics believed that economic reopening could see job growth in the States even accelerate past 1.0m beginning as soon as March.

That however also appeared to imply that, even if only in the near-term, inflation was set to pick up and US government bond yields as well, with the effects of the latter on share prices all too likely to be felt on this side of the Pond as well.

Against that backdrop, the FTSE 100 dipped by 0.31% or 20.36 points to 6,630.52, although strength in the banking and energy sectors helped limit losses.

Cable was down 0.58% at 1.3815, further helping to stem the red ink.

Stoking gains in the oil patch, front-dated Brent was climbing by 3.7% to $69.18 a barrel on the ICE.

Stocks on the second-tier index however were unwanted, with the FTSE 250 giving back 1.57% or 334.92 points to 20,961.31.

Commenting on the recent rise in US Treasury yields, Mickey Levy at Berenberg Capital Markets told clients: "The realities are real bond yields remain below zero, inflation is becoming a concern, the economy is on the verge of reopening and significant strengthening, and there is an unprecedented amount of fiscal and monetary stimulus in the pipeline, and the Biden Administration is adding much much more."

Banks were the top performers on the FTSE 350, with Standard Chartered, HSBC, Barclays and Natwest all higher, alongside a three basis point rise in the yield on the benchmark 10-year Gilt to 0.76%.

Spirent Communications surged after the technology company said it had bought US peer octoScope for $55m in cash.

ConvaTec gained as it posted a rise in full-year revenue but a dip in earnings after the pandemic created "both challenges and opportunities" for the medical products and technology company in 2020.

Aggreko was in the black after agreeing to be bought by private equity firms TDR Capital and I Square Capital Advisors in a deal valuing the FTSE 250 company at £2.3bn.

On the downside, London Stock Exchange shares plummeted after the firm said that it was set to increased spending on its integration with Refinitiv in 2021, forecasting capital expenditures of £850m with £150m of associated operating costs.

Market Movers

FTSE 100 (UKX) 6,630.52 -0.31% FTSE 250 (MCX) 20,961.31 -1.57% techMARK (TASX) 4,023.78 -1.08%

FTSE 100 - Risers

BT Group (BT.A) 141.45p 4.93% Standard Chartered (STAN) 499.30p 4.61% Sainsbury (J) (SBRY) 229.70p 3.05% Pennon Group (PNN) 955.60p 2.97% Barclays (BARC) 171.58p 2.95% HSBC Holdings (HSBA) 437.60p 2.60% Tesco (TSCO) 224.00p 2.14% United Utilities Group (UU.) 899.60p 2.02% BP (BP.) 318.80p 1.82% Morrison (Wm) Supermarkets (MRW) 175.95p 1.76%

FTSE 100 - Fallers

London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) 8,124.00p -14.38% Scottish Mortgage Inv Trust (SMT) 1,017.00p -6.53% International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 203.90p -5.69% Melrose Industries (MRO) 174.10p -5.12% Rolls-Royce Holdings (RR.) 108.55p -5.07% Pershing Square Holdings Ltd NPV (PSH) 2,430.00p -4.34% JD Sports Fashion (JD.) 780.80p -3.70% InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) 4,841.00p -3.68% Whitbread (WTB) 3,413.00p -3.51% Admiral Group (ADM) 2,959.00p -3.40%

FTSE 250 - Risers

Spirent Communications (SPT) 243.50p 6.56% Petrofac Ltd. (PFC) 136.80p 4.23% Wood Group (John) (WG.) 321.50p 3.61% PZ Cussons (PZC) 268.00p 3.47% Convatec Group (CTEC) 194.50p 3.02% Hammerson (HMSO) 33.13p 3.02% FDM Group (Holdings) (FDM) 1,054.00p 2.93% Vesuvius (VSVS) 522.00p 2.55% TBC Bank Group (TBCG) 1,132.00p 2.54% Morgan Sindall Group (MGNS) 1,800.00p 2.51%

FTSE 250 - Fallers

Baillie Gifford US Growth Trust (USA) 269.00p -13.78% Carnival (CCL) 1,531.00p -11.58% Edinburgh Worldwide Inv Trust (EWI) 303.00p -11.18% Allianz Technology Trust (ATT) 2,520.00p -9.35% Cineworld Group (CINE) 104.75p -6.89% Future (FUTR) 1,754.00p -6.20% Network International Holdings (NETW) 358.20p -6.18% Micro Focus International (MCRO) 489.40p -5.85% The Renewables Infrastructure Group Limited (TRIG) 123.20p -5.52% Wizz Air Holdings (WIZZ) 4,996.00p -5.47%
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