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16 Mar 2021 | 08:29

London open: Stocks rise on solid US cues, amid weaker pound

(Sharecast News) - London stocks rose in early trade on Tuesday, taking their cue from a solid session on Wall Street, while a weaker pound also helped. At 0850 GMT, the FTSE 100 was up 0.6% at 6,791.13.

Spreadex analyst Connor Campbell said: "With the Dow Jones closing above 32,900, Europe felt confident this Tuesday in reclaiming some of the ground given up following Monday's spate of Oxford vaccine suspensions.

"As sterling weakened against dollar and euro alike - cable felt half a percent, while the pound shed 0.4% against its single currency rival - the FTSE was free to push back towards 6,800.

"At present the Dow Jones futures are keeping their cards close to their chest, with the index forecast to open flat this afternoon. The Dow could look increasingly jittery as Wednesday's Federal Reserve meeting approaches - though if bond yields continue to pull back, the index could go into tomorrow night above 33,000."

In equity markets, Greggs rallied after the bakery chain - famous for its sausage rolls - swung to an annual loss in 2020 for the first time in its history as its sales were hit by closures related to the Covid-19 pandemic, but said trading so far this year was better than expected. It posted a pre-tax loss of £13.7m, having said in January that the loss could be as much as £15m.

Retirement products specialist Just Group advanced as it posted an 11% jump in full-year earnings, while C&C fizzed higher as the premium drinks company sounded an optimistic note on its outlook.

On the downside, NatWest lost ground after the Financial Conduct Authority started criminal proceedings against the bank for money laundering. The FCA said NatWest allegedly accepted "increasingly large cash deposits" totalling £365m into the accounts of a UK incorporated customer between November 2011 and October 2016, including £264m in cash.

4Imprint tumbled as it reported a 93% slump in full-year profit, while Wizz Air tanked after US private equity firm and its largest shareholder, Indigo Partners, sold just over 7.69m shares in the budget airline in a placing.

Sabre Insurance and Wood Group were also weaker after full-year results.

Market Movers

FTSE 100 (UKX) 6,791.13 0.61% FTSE 250 (MCX) 21,641.65 0.55% techMARK (TASX) 4,215.76 0.67%

FTSE 100 - Risers

Melrose Industries (MRO) 184.70p 3.65% Scottish Mortgage Inv Trust (SMT) 1,187.00p 2.50% AstraZeneca (AZN) 7,140.00p 2.32% Pershing Square Holdings Ltd NPV (PSH) 2,680.00p 2.29% Barclays (BARC) 184.30p 2.23% Associated British Foods (ABF) 2,507.00p 2.08% Schroders (SDR) 3,447.00p 1.95% Smiths Group (SMIN) 1,550.50p 1.74% Persimmon (PSN) 3,002.00p 1.73% Smurfit Kappa Group (CDI) (SKG) 3,372.00p 1.63%

FTSE 100 - Fallers

Flutter Entertainment (CDI) (FLTR) 16,690.00p -1.10% NATWEST GROUP PLC ORD 100P (NWG) 186.40p -1.09% Burberry Group (BRBY) 2,090.00p -1.04% Antofagasta (ANTO) 1,726.50p -0.58% Anglo American (AAL) 2,981.50p -0.52% BP (BP.) 315.15p -0.32% Just Eat Takeaway.Com N.V. (CDI) (JET) 7,320.00p -0.27% Royal Dutch Shell 'B' (RDSB) 1,483.00p -0.23% SSE (SSE) 1,387.50p -0.22% Standard Chartered (STAN) 491.70p -0.18%

FTSE 250 - Risers

Greggs (GRG) 2,304.00p 4.25% Plus500 Ltd (DI) (PLUS) 1,368.00p 3.36% TI Fluid Systems (TIFS) 302.10p 3.18% Capital & Counties Properties (CAPC) 178.70p 3.06% IMI (IMI) 1,334.00p 2.93% Allianz Technology Trust (ATT) 2,880.00p 2.86% Hammerson (HMSO) 37.77p 2.64% C&C Group (CDI) (CCR) 302.00p 2.55% Chemring Group (CHG) 275.00p 2.42% Fidelity China Special Situations (FCSS) 431.00p 2.25%

FTSE 250 - Fallers

4Imprint Group (FOUR) 2,460.00p -8.55% Petrofac Ltd. (PFC) 100.05p -8.55% Sabre Insurance Group (SBRE) 235.00p -6.00% Wizz Air Holdings (WIZZ) 5,175.00p -5.99% Tullow Oil (TLW) 57.26p -5.32% Wood Group (John) (WG.) 308.40p -2.77% PureTech Health (PRTC) 406.00p -2.29% Playtech (PTEC) 423.50p -1.19% Energean (ENOG) 893.80p -1.08% BlackRock Smaller Companies Trust (BRSC) 1,744.00p -1.02%
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