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10 Mar 2021 | 16:17

London close: Stocks mixed amid inflation concerns

(Sharecast News) - London stocks closed in a mixed state on Wednesday amid worries about inflation, with miners under the cosh. The FTSE 100 ended the session down 0.07% at 6,725.60, while the FTSE 250 rose 0.11% to 21,406.67.

Sterling had its head just above water, last gaining 0.01% on the dollar to trade at $1.3893, and strengthening 0.03% against the euro to €1.1676.

"The FTSE 100 continues to show signs of fatigue after its recent gains, with mining stocks still acting as a drag on the index following recent weakness in commodity prices," said IG chief market analyst Chris Beauchamp.

"The currency angle is playing a part once again too, sterling remaining strong against the dollar while the euro struggles to recover after recent losses, explaining why continental indices have enjoyed a better time of it in recent sessions."

Investors were earlier digesting data out of China which showed that the producer price inflation rate rose to 1.7% in February from 0.3% the month before, hitting its highest reading since November 2018.

"While yesterday's Nasdaq rally was a positive development it came against a backdrop of a drop in US 10-year yields," said CMC Markets analyst Michael Hewson .

"If it can continue to move higher in the face of higher rates then the rally might be more convincing, however the higher inflation narrative isn't likely to subside any time soon, which means any sustained Nasdaq rally could well be vulnerable to setbacks.

"This morning's sharp rise in Chinese PPI for February to 1.7% could well be another leading indicator for a rise in inflationary pressures in the coming weeks."

In equity markets, miners were under the cosh, with BHP down 3%, Rio Tinto off 2.92%, Anglo American losing 0.99%, and Glencore 0.54% weaker.

Legal & General dipped 0.14% after it reported flat annual operating profits as it set aside an extra £110m in Covid-19 insurance claims due to the emergence of new virus strains.

Shares of broadcaster ITV were 3.8% weaker a day after its full-year results, with Markets.com analyst Neil Wilson speculating that it could be to do with the departure of outspoken Good Morning Britain host Piers Morgan.

"Are they down because of this event or just amid his departure?

"Investors may be a little worried about the loss of ratings for GMB - it wasn't exactly doing that well before he joined and its primetime slot will have repercussions for ads," he said.

"Love or loathe, Morgan boosted ratings."

Wilson said it could also be that investors were worried about an investigation over comments made by Morgan on air.

"Shares were hit yesterday after it revealed the way in which lockdowns have hit ad revenues, but indicated things are picking up and studios can drive new growth.

"DB today calls it a buy - you cannot be owning ITV and worry about one host, can you?"

On the upside, Just Eat Takeaway gained 6.11% after saying it would keep up its investment drive as the food delivery company reported surging sales and a wider annual loss.

Spirax-Sarco Engineering rallied 3.45% after it posted a better-than-expected full-year profit, while revenues were in line after a stronger-than-anticipated fourth quarter.

Wealth manager Quilter was also on the rise, adding 9.28%, after better-than-expected full-year results.

Market Movers

FTSE 100 (UKX) 6,725.60 -0.07% FTSE 250 (MCX) 21,406.67 0.11% techMARK (TASX) 4,097.18 -0.24%

FTSE 100 - Risers

Just Eat Takeaway.Com N.V. (CDI) (JET) 7,262.00p 6.11% M&G (MNG) 222.90p 3.77% Spirax-Sarco Engineering (SPX) 11,400.00p 3.45% Kingfisher (KGF) 294.60p 2.97% SEGRO (SGRO) 917.20p 2.00% Sainsbury (J) (SBRY) 235.50p 1.99% Pearson (PSON) 819.60p 1.66% Berkeley Group Holdings (The) (BKG) 4,585.00p 1.64% Diageo (DGE) 3,007.50p 1.60% Taylor Wimpey (TW.) 181.90p 1.59%

FTSE 100 - Fallers

British Land Company (BLND) 496.50p -3.63% Antofagasta (ANTO) 1,688.00p -3.04% BHP Group (BHP) 2,134.00p -3.00% Melrose Industries (MRO) 180.45p -2.93% Rio Tinto (RIO) 5,649.00p -2.92% Auto Trader Group (AUTO) 553.80p -2.73% London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) 7,668.00p -2.62% Sage Group (SGE) 588.20p -2.45% Land Securities Group (LAND) 676.80p -2.22% Standard Life Aberdeen (SLA) 289.90p -2.09%

FTSE 250 - Risers

Quilter (QLT) 160.15p 9.28% Just Eat Takeaway.Com N.V. (CDI) (JET) 7,262.00p 6.11% Allianz Technology Trust (ATT) 2,770.00p 5.93% Edinburgh Worldwide Inv Trust (EWI) 349.00p 5.60% Baillie Gifford US Growth Trust (USA) 323.00p 4.19% Royal Mail (RMG) 490.60p 3.63% CMC Markets (CMCX) 381.00p 3.10% Ninety One (N91) 229.60p 3.07% IG Group Holdings (IGG) 811.00p 2.92% HGCapital Trust (HGT) 345.50p 2.67%

FTSE 250 - Fallers

Cairn Energy (CNE) 179.90p -6.69% Ultra Electronics Holdings (ULE) 1,992.00p -5.59% Babcock International Group (BAB) 242.30p -4.80% ITV (ITV) 121.55p -3.80% Euromoney Institutional Investor (ERM) 981.00p -3.63% Just Group (JUST) 95.00p -3.55% Aston Martin Lagonda Global Holdings (AML) 1,920.00p -3.52% Virgin Money UK (VMUK) 192.55p -3.48% Wood Group (John) (WG.) 320.10p -3.45% Morgan Advanced Materials (MGAM) 307.50p -3.00%
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