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25 Mar 2021 | 08:04

London open: Stocks nudge lower ahead of EU vaccine summit

(Sharecast News) - London stocks nudged lower in early trade on Thursday, with investors cautious ahead of an EU vaccine summit. At 0830 GMT, the FTSE 100 was down 0.2% at 6,701.82, with EU leaders set to hold virtual talks to decide whether to ban vaccine exports.

Spreadex analyst Connor Campbell said: "Not only will it see EU leaders discuss whether to ban vaccine exports, it could further set the tone of the UK's post-Brexit relationship with the bloc.

"Since the summit is set to continue into Friday, and may produce no firm answer given the reservations officials reportedly have over decision-making done via virtual meetings, the markets could be left wanting.

"However, any hint as to which direction the EU will swing could have an outsized impact on the UK markets especially."

In equity markets, ex-dividend stocks were a drag, with NatWest, British American Tobacco, Schroders, Ferguson, Pearson, Ferrexpo, Vistry, CLS and Close Brothers all in the frame.

Cineworld tumbled after saying it swung to a huge full-year loss as the movie house chain felt the full impact of closures during the pandemic and warned any tightening of restrictions would force it to raise extra cash.

On the upside, Intertek was the top performer on the FTSE 100 after JPMorgan said it was its preferred name in the testing, inspection and certification space, followed by Bureau Veritas.

Catering group Compass gained after it said profitability improved in the second quarter while volumes stayed subdued because of the Covid-19 crisis.

Online trading platform operator CMC Markets surged after lifting its full-year guidance following a "strong" fourth-quarter performance.

Market Movers

FTSE 100 (UKX) 6,701.82 -0.16% FTSE 250 (MCX) 21,365.11 -0.17% techMARK (TASX) 4,174.09 -0.15%

FTSE 100 - Risers

Intertek Group (ITRK) 5,664.00p 2.42% Compass Group (CPG) 1,505.50p 2.41% Pershing Square Holdings Ltd NPV (PSH) 2,640.00p 1.93% Rentokil Initial (RTO) 498.00p 1.36% International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 197.40p 1.33% London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) 7,164.00p 1.19% Halma (HLMA) 2,385.00p 1.10% Vodafone Group (VOD) 135.22p 0.97% Experian (EXPN) 2,476.00p 0.94% Relx plc (REL) 1,816.00p 0.92%

FTSE 100 - Fallers

NATWEST GROUP PLC ORD 100P (NWG) 191.60p -2.22% British American Tobacco (BATS) 2,791.00p -2.07% Glencore (GLEN) 272.40p -2.07% Schroders (SDR) 3,473.00p -2.03% Pearson (PSON) 771.60p -1.83% Rolls-Royce Holdings (RR.) 106.10p -1.76% Ferguson (FERG) 8,518.00p -1.43% Burberry Group (BRBY) 1,967.00p -1.33% Just Eat Takeaway.Com N.V. (CDI) (JET) 6,588.00p -1.08% Prudential (PRU) 1,537.00p -1.06%

FTSE 250 - Risers

CMC Markets (CMCX) 470.00p 5.86% Babcock International Group (BAB) 244.20p 4.14% Coats Group (COA) 62.00p 2.99% Caledonia Investments (CLDN) 2,720.00p 2.84% TI Fluid Systems (TIFS) 262.20p 2.42% Clarkson (CKN) 2,650.00p 2.32% Rotork (ROR) 370.00p 2.15% LXI Reit (LXI) 125.00p 2.12% PZ Cussons (PZC) 267.50p 1.71% GCP Student Living (DIGS) 159.00p 1.66%

FTSE 250 - Fallers

Cineworld Group (CINE) 93.56p -8.99% Ferrexpo (FXPO) 360.00p -6.40% FDM Group (Holdings) (FDM) 971.00p -4.99% Carnival (CCL) 1,562.00p -3.37% Provident Financial (PFG) 211.00p -2.31% Morgan Advanced Materials (MGAM) 300.00p -2.12% Edinburgh Worldwide Inv Trust (EWI) 337.00p -2.03% Tullow Oil (TLW) 50.92p -1.96% Close Brothers Group (CBG) 1,550.00p -1.90% CLS Holdings (CLI) 234.00p -1.89%
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