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15 Mar 2021 | 08:07

London open: Stocks rise on vaccine optimism, US stimulus

(Sharecast News) - London stocks rose in early trade on Monday, with sentiment underpinned by vaccine optimism and the US stimulus package. At 0830 GMT, the FTSE 100 was up 0.6% at 6,799.09.

Richard Hunter, head of markets at Interactive Investor, said: "Investors continue to anticipate speedy economic recoveries as the powerful forces of accelerating vaccine rollouts and significant financial assistance combine.

"The passage of the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan is set to release another boost to a US economy which was already showing some signs of a turnaround. Indeed, the current fear is that the package could actually overheat the economy, and the meeting of the Federal reserve later in the week will need to allay that concern."

In particular, he said the inflation concerns which have been most evident in the bond markets of late will be a central theme of discussion.

"In turn, in providing its own economic projections, the Fed will reveal whether the pathway towards eventually raising interest rates has been affected. The prospects for a strong rebound has also seen the continuation of the rotation theme, with more traditional and cyclical stocks the subject of renewed investor interest, and to some extent at the expense of the previously all-firing growth stocks, and big tech in particular."

In corporate news, gambling company Flutter Entertainment was the top performer on the FTSE 100 after saying it was considering spinning off its FanDuel business to cash in on the growing US sports betting market. Responding to media speculation, the owner of Paddy Power and Betfair, said it "regularly evaluates its organisational and capital structure to assess how best to position itself to deliver upon the group's strategy".

Sales, marketing, and support services group DCC was in the black after it agreed to buy Wörner, a supplier of medical and laboratory products to the primary care sector in Germany and Switzerland, for €80m.

On the downside, Provident Financial shares tumbled more than 20% after the doorstep lender said the UK's financial regulator has started a probe into its consumer credit unit. The company also said an internal review into the business "has made it clear" it needed to address the issue of rising customer complaints.

Marketing and events group Ascential lost ground after it reported a £166.5m annual loss and paid no dividend as revenue plunged and the company posted £99m extra exceptional costs.

Market Movers

FTSE 100 (UKX) 6,799.09 0.56% FTSE 250 (MCX) 21,592.65 0.40% techMARK (TASX) 4,188.89 1.08%

FTSE 100 - Risers

Flutter Entertainment (CDI) (FLTR) 16,765.00p 6.14% BT Group (BT.A) 141.00p 2.73% Entain (ENT) 1,506.00p 2.69% InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) 5,244.00p 1.63% DCC (CDI) (DCC) 6,068.00p 1.57% Compass Group (CPG) 1,615.00p 1.44% Bunzl (BNZL) 2,271.00p 1.38% Fresnillo (FRES) 943.60p 1.38% Next (NXT) 7,790.00p 1.33% Croda International (CRDA) 6,262.00p 1.29%

FTSE 100 - Fallers

Evraz (EVR) 563.40p -1.68% BP (BP.) 322.00p -0.45% SEGRO (SGRO) 914.00p -0.39% Land Securities Group (LAND) 685.10p -0.33% Royal Dutch Shell 'A' (RDSA) 1,578.60p -0.32% Taylor Wimpey (TW.) 181.25p -0.28% London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) 7,584.00p -0.26% Rio Tinto (RIO) 5,731.00p -0.24% Standard Life Aberdeen (SLA) 291.70p -0.21% M&G (MNG) 225.20p -0.18%

FTSE 250 - Risers

Drax Group (DRX) 397.00p 5.87% Tullow Oil (TLW) 63.62p 4.60% Bodycote (BOY) 821.50p 3.07% National Express Group (NEX) 319.80p 2.63% Hammerson (HMSO) 35.70p 2.26% Mitchells & Butlers (MAB) 333.00p 1.99% Virgin Money UK (VMUK) 196.35p 1.92% Edinburgh Worldwide Inv Trust (EWI) 354.00p 1.87% Cairn Energy (CNE) 181.30p 1.85% Playtech (PTEC) 457.50p 1.83%

FTSE 250 - Fallers

Provident Financial (PFG) 206.00p -21.25% HGCapital Trust (HGT) 310.50p -9.87% AJ Bell (AJB) 409.00p -2.39% Ascential (ASCL) 363.80p -1.94% NCC Group (NCC) 284.00p -1.56% Genesis Emerging Markets Fund Ltd Ptg NPV (GSS) 893.00p -1.11% Henderson Smaller Companies Inv Trust (HSL) 1,124.00p -1.06% AO World (AO.) 302.00p -0.98% F&C Investment Trust (FCIT) 786.00p -0.88% Fidelity China Special Situations (FCSS) 418.00p -0.71%
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