Lloyds rumoured to move European base

Media reports recently emerged that high street bank Lloyds (LLOY) is close to choosing Berlin as a European base.

The report claimed the group wants to move to secure market access to the EU after Britain leaves.

The news boosted the stock by 0.7% to 66.3p, while HSBC (HSBA) and Natwest owner Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) made advances of over 1%.

Stronger commodity prices provided a welcome boost to blue-chip miners, with Antofagasta (ANTO), BHP Billiton (BLT) and Fresnillo (FRES) among the top risers.

This failed to move the FTSE 100 as it remained stagnant at 7,290, while the FTSE 250 reached a new record high of 18,876.

West Texas Intermediate and Brent crude oil were slipped up to 0.8% higher to $53.29 and $56 per barrel, respectively.

Gold glittered at $1,227 per ounce and copper was stable at $6,128 per tonne.

On Wall Street, the S&P 500 and Dow Jones rallied by up to 0.7% on Monday as US President Donald Trump met with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 took a 1.1% hit after shares in laptop maker Toshiba slumped by over 7% on multi-million dollar losses in the US.

The Hang Seng index in Hong Kong and Shanghai’s SSE Composite also failed to rally.

INFLATION UP AHEAD

In the UK, the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) rose by 1.8% in the year to January, compared to an increase of 1.6% in the 12 months to December 2016. It was the highest rate since June 2014, according to the Office for National Statistics.

The average price of a property in England was £236,424, which was 1.6% higher than the prior month, according to government statistics.

FTSE 100 RISERS AND FALLERS

Aircraft engine maker Rolls-Royce (RR.) suffered turbulence after announcing a huge £4.6bn loss for 2016. The company issued a string of profit warnings in recent years.

Rolls-Royce took a £4.4bn hit from the weak pound following the Brexit vote and was fined £671m to settle bribery charges. One of the few bright spots was that the 49% decline in underlying profits to £813m was better than feared.

Tour operator TUI (TUI) jumped 4.9% to £12.14 after reiterating guidance of at least 10% growth in full year underlying earnings.

It agreed the sale of Travelopia, its portfolio of specialist travel brands, to KKR for £325m and will hold talks over the sale of TUI Fly to Etihad.

Acacia Mining (ACA) reported earnings more than doubled to $415m in 2016 as a result of higher revenues and lower operating costs.

The gold miner achieved record annual production of 829,705 ounces, which exceeded the initial guidance range for the year of 750,000-780,000 ounces.

SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Car retailer Pendragon (PDG) reversed 2.5% as management guided towards ‘marginal growth’ in the new car market in 2017. This overshadowed robust full year figures showing a 7.6% hike in profit before tax to £75.4m.

Online marketer for gaming firms Veltyco (VLTY) rose 21% as it expects trading to be significantly ahead of expectations. It announced revenue will be in excess of €5.7m in 2016, compared to €2.6m in 2015.

Investors cheered patent translations specialist RWS (RWS) following its $82.5m acquisition of LUZ, a San Francisco-based life sciences translation business.

Chairman Andrew Brode said first quarter profits were ‘comfortably ahead’ of management’s expectations, with underlying growth since the last financial year-end supported by favourable currency moves.

Aerospace company Strat Aero (AERO) raised £850,000 to invest to specific growth initiatives within its two core divisions.

AIM-listed Sunrise Resources (SRES) disappointed investors with news that EP Minerals terminated its lease of the firm’s County Line Diatomite claims in Nevada, US. The stock fell by 8%.

Story provided by StockMarketWire.com