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08 Apr 2021 | 08:18

London open: Stocks rise after Fed minutes; JMAT rallies on update

(Sharecast News) - London stocks rose in early trade on Thursday after the US Federal Reserve signalled it will keep monetary policy loose. At 0835 BST, the FTSE 100 was up 0.6% at 6,926.01.

Spreadex analyst Connor Campbell said: "A dovish set of meeting minutes from the Federal Reserve has further reassured investors that Jay Powell and the gang won't be turning off the stimulus taps any time soon."

He noted that the "calming words" from the Fed had allowed the FTSE to open in the green for the third day running.

"Putting the UK index at 6,920, the FTSE is now at its best price since the end of February 2020. That's right, pre-pandemic levels!", said Campbell.

"Much of this is down to selective hearing on behalf of the FTSE, indulging in things like the IMF's revised global growth forecasts, and a general sense of optimism surrounding the UK's post-covid comeback, while ignoring warnings about a vaccine rollout slowdown and the blood clot concerns surrounding the use of the Oxford jab on under-30s."

In equity markets, Johnson Matthey was sitting pretty at the top of the FTSE 100 index after the specialty chemicals business said its annual performance would be around the top end of market expectations as it announced a strategic review of its health business.

Homewares group Dunelm also gained as it reported a 16.8% fall in third-quarter sales, reflecting the impact of the latest national Covid lockdown, but said it is set to finish the year "modestly ahead" of expectations.

Anglo American was higher as it announced the demerger of its thermal coal operations in South Africa.

OSB was also trading up after it announced a dividend worth 25% of earnings as the bank reported a 9% drop in underlying annual profit as bad debts rose and margins shrank.

On the downside, Aviva, Smurfit Kappa, Mondi, DS Smith, Direct Line, Grafton, Moneysupermarket, Ultra Electronics and Quilter were all weaker as their stock went ex-dividend.

Market Movers

FTSE 100 (UKX) 6,926.01 0.59% FTSE 250 (MCX) 22,184.36 0.11% techMARK (TASX) 4,330.21 0.52%

FTSE 100 - Risers

Johnson Matthey (JMAT) 3,236.00p 4.42% Anglo American (AAL) 3,079.00p 3.05% Intertek Group (ITRK) 6,002.00p 2.67% Evraz (EVR) 605.00p 2.61% Spirax-Sarco Engineering (SPX) 11,945.00p 2.40% Sage Group (SGE) 643.40p 2.26% Informa (INF) 598.60p 2.05% Experian (EXPN) 2,583.00p 1.85% Aveva Group (AVV) 3,688.00p 1.60% JD Sports Fashion (JD.) 876.80p 1.50%

FTSE 100 - Fallers

Aviva (AV.) 404.80p -3.71% Smurfit Kappa Group (CDI) (SKG) 3,516.00p -1.98% Mondi (MNDI) 1,900.00p -1.40% Smith (DS) (SMDS) 418.60p -1.37% International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 215.00p -1.31% British Land Company (BLND) 512.40p -1.12% Pershing Square Holdings Ltd NPV (PSH) 2,695.00p -0.92% Unilever (ULVR) 4,102.00p -0.76% Barratt Developments (BDEV) 784.60p -0.66% Land Securities Group (LAND) 714.00p -0.53%

FTSE 250 - Risers

Airtel Africa (AAF) 86.35p 4.16% Hochschild Mining (HOC) 212.60p 3.00% Dunelm Group (DNLM) 1,385.00p 2.74% Hammerson (HMSO) 38.98p 2.71% OSB Group (OSB) 466.20p 2.15% Oxford Biomedica (OXB) 1,008.00p 2.02% Tullow Oil (TLW) 48.90p 1.98% AO World (AO.) 329.40p 1.92% BlackRock Smaller Companies Trust (BRSC) 1,870.00p 1.74% Caledonia Investments (CLDN) 2,720.00p 1.68%

FTSE 250 - Fallers

Direct Line Insurance Group (DLG) 307.70p -4.53% Shaftesbury (SHB) 636.00p -2.97% Mitie Group (MTO) 62.00p -2.97% Sanne Group (SNN) 649.00p -2.84% Group (MONY) 272.20p -2.79% Carnival (CCL) 1,749.00p -2.78% Grafton Group Ut (CDI) (GFTU) 1,034.00p -2.45% Quilter (QLT) 163.80p -2.38% TR Property Inv Trust (TRY) 398.50p -2.21% Man Group (EMG) 165.05p -1.99%
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