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09 Mar 2021 | 16:20

London close: Stocks finish firmer on economic recovery hopes

(Sharecast News) - London stocks managed a positive finish to the session on Tuesday, after the OECD upgraded its growth forecasts for the UK and global economy. The FTSE 100 gave up some of its earlier gains but still closed up 0.17% at 6,730.34, and the FTSE 250 added 0.81% to 21,382.47.

Sterling was in the green as well, last strengthening 0.46% against the dollar to trade at $1.3888, and gaining 0.1% on the euro to €1.1682.

"European stock markets are extending yesterday's stellar rally but the gains registered today are far more modest," said CMC Markets analyst David Madden.

"The dip in government bond yields has acted as the green light for the equity bulls and lately, spikes in yields have sent tremors through stock markets."

Madden added that the positive mood was being fuelled by hopes the US government would implement its $1.9trn relief package soon as well.

"Hopes connected to the economic recovery story have lifted sentiment too.

"The FTSE 100 hasn't rallied as much as its eurozone equivalents - declines in mining and banking stocks are holding back the British index."

Earlier, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) said that it now expected the UK economy to grow 5.1% this year and 4.7% in 2022, up from previous forecasts for 4.2% and 4.1% growth, respectively.

It also upped its global growth forecasts, citing the ongoing success of the vaccine rollout and the US' mammoth stimulus package.

"Activity in many sectors has picked up and adapted to pandemic restrictions over recent months," it said.

"Vaccine deployment, although uneven, is finally gaining momentum and government fiscal stimulus, particularly in the US, is likely to provide a major boost to economic activity."

The OECD said it now believed the global economy would grow by 5.6% in 2021 and by 4% in 2022.

That was an increase on its previous forecasts made in December, for growth of 4.2% this year and 3.7% next year.

In equity markets, M&G closed up 4.73% after the investment manager's full-year operating profit came in ahead of consensus expectations.

Avast gained 5.86% after saying it had agreed to sell its Family Safety Mobile Business to Smith Micro for $66m.

ITV reversed earlier losses to finish up 3.99% after it posted a decline in full-year profit and revenue due to the Covid-19 pandemic, as adjusted group earnings before interest, tax and amortisation beat analysts' expectations.

Domino's Pizza Group rallied 8.63% after it unveiled a £45m share buyback and a rise in annual profit as it announced plans to open another 200 stores.

The master franchise holder also said it was selling its Swedish unit for €2m (£1.8m) in cash as it looked to focus solely on its UK and Ireland operations.

Ultra Electronics pushed 6.03% higher after the defence contractor reported a jump in full-year profit and revenue as it won a number of new contracts.

On the downside, miners slumped, with BHP down 2.44%, Rio Tinto off 3.66%, Glencore losing 2.48%, Anglo American sliding 4.41%, and Antofagasta off 1.25% as metals prices fell.

Asset manager Standard Life Aberdeen slid 7.18% as it declared a dividend but reported lower annual profits and revenues.

Education publisher Pearson was knocked 0.32% lower by a downgrade to 'hold' at Societe Generale, while exploration and development company Cairn Energy fell 2.97% after saying it swung to a full-year operating loss in 2020.

Market Movers

FTSE 100 (UKX) 6,730.34 0.17% FTSE 250 (MCX) 21,382.47 0.81% techMARK (TASX) 4,107.04 1.35%

FTSE 100 - Risers

Avast (AVST) 444.60p 5.86% Scottish Mortgage Inv Trust (SMT) 1,117.00p 5.78% M&G (MNG) 214.80p 4.73% Kingfisher (KGF) 286.10p 4.30% Entain (ENT) 1,473.00p 3.95% Ashtead Group (AHT) 4,188.00p 3.77% Fresnillo (FRES) 933.80p 3.73% Rightmove (RMV) 580.00p 3.65% JD Sports Fashion (JD.) 824.60p 3.33% London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) 7,850.00p 3.21%

FTSE 100 - Fallers

Standard Life Aberdeen (SLA) 296.10p -7.18% Anglo American (AAL) 2,885.50p -4.41% Rio Tinto (RIO) 5,819.00p -3.66% Evraz (EVR) 583.60p -2.70% Glencore (GLEN) 284.90p -2.48% BHP Group (BHP) 2,200.00p -2.44% Rolls-Royce Holdings (RR.) 113.85p -2.27% Standard Chartered (STAN) 498.40p -2.08% HSBC Holdings (HSBA) 447.35p -1.79% Whitbread (WTB) 3,497.00p -1.74%

FTSE 250 - Risers

Baillie Gifford US Growth Trust (USA) 309.00p 8.77% Domino's Pizza Group (DOM) 337.20p 8.63% AO World (AO.) 310.00p 8.20% Edinburgh Worldwide Inv Trust (EWI) 328.00p 6.96% Games Workshop Group (GAW) 9,735.00p 6.57% Energean (ENOG) 941.70p 6.42% Ultra Electronics Holdings (ULE) 2,110.00p 6.03% Softcat (SCT) 1,513.00p 6.03% Network International Holdings (NETW) 433.80p 5.96% Future (FUTR) 1,790.00p 5.67%

FTSE 250 - Fallers

Diversified Gas & Oil (DGOC) 120.00p -5.56% TP Icap Group (TCAP) 248.55p -5.31% IWG (IWG) 364.80p -4.35% Crest Nicholson Holdings (CRST) 375.00p -4.34% Morgan Sindall Group (MGNS) 1,778.00p -3.68% Ferrexpo (FXPO) 338.60p -3.64% Clarkson (CKN) 2,480.00p -3.31% Capita (CPI) 47.23p -3.06% Cairn Energy (CNE) 192.80p -2.97% Assura (AGR) 71.60p -2.72%
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