London equities steamed ahead in the cold light of yesterday’s victory by Donald Trump in the US presidential election, in the process shrugging off ex-dividend ballast amid higher crude oil and gold prices.
Soon after the open, FTSE 100 was up 71.85 points, or 1.04%, to 6983.69, while FTSE 250 added 166.88, or 0.95%, to 17,757.9. At 8.41am, WTI crude was up 0.46% to $45.48/bbl and Brent was up 0.88% to $46.77/bbl. Gold was up 1.08% to $1287.2/oz.
Overall, about 76 blue chips made gains, with about 44 of these ahead by 1% or more. Big-ticket miners were to the fore, led by a 10.64% vault higher in Antofagasta shares to 709.75p. Glencore (GLEN) was up 5.18% to 284.25p, and Anglo American (AAL) added 4.44% to 1246p.
Also rising were lenders, with Barclays (BARC) firming 6.07% to 204.6p and Royal Bank of Scotland rising 5.1% to 202.1p. Insurers were on the pace, too. Prudential (PRU) accelerated 6.26% to 1514.75p, and Standard Life (SL.) sortied up 4.61% to 370p.
More in all these sectors followed, as did multiple house builders, commercial property, retailers and US-rates sensitive utilities. However, National Grid (NG.) fell 0.95% to 995.95p, as its H1 statutory pretax profit has fallen 64% to £485m, from £1.35bn.
To the downside, the story was one of gold-focused metals burrowers and supermarkets. Randgold Resources (RRS) lost 3.55% to 6862.5p and Fresnillo (FRES) flopped 2.71% to 1723p. Sainsbury (SBRY) eased 1.49% to 235.15p and Tesco (TSCO) was discounted 0.96% to 197.73p.
In the news, ITV (ITV) appreciated 1.3% to 168.15p as it reported good revenue growth in the nine months to end-September. 3i Group (III), up 0.4% to 658.25p, reported an excellent H1 performance with strong progression in NAV per share to 551p.
Starcom (STAR), up 27.27% to 3.5p, said global cargo transportation provider Amerijet Airlines has approved the Company’s Kylos Air GPS Tracking Device for Air Cargo (“Kylos Air”) use aboard its aircraft.
Mobile Streams (MOS), down 25.45% to 10.25p, has swung to a FY pretax loss of £0.74m, from a profit of £0.83m. It said revenues fell to £12.8m, from £29.1m. This was due to ongoing challenges in the company’s core market of Argentina.
Devro (DVO), down 19.19% to 182.63p, has maintained its forecast for underlying operating profits this year but warned it expects results for 2017 to be lower than previous guidance.
Proactis (PHD), up 8.5% to 134p, has conditionally agreed to acquire the entire issued share capital of Millstream Associates Ltd for a consideration of £15.5m on a cash free/debt free and normalised working capital basis.
Vedanta Resources (VED), up 6.69% to 833.25p, has booked H1 revenue of $4.9bn and EBITDA of $1.2bn, down respectively 15% and 4% on the year mostly due to lower commodity prices and lower volumes at Zinc India in line with mine plans.
Auto Trader (AUTO), up 4.16% to 401.7p, said its revenues rose 11% to £153.9m in H1, with underlying operating profit up 23% to £102.3m. Halfords (HFD), down 3.61% to 331.3p, reports strong sales growth and strategic progress in the 26 weeks to the end of September. Group sales of £567.3m were up 6.3%.
Mercia Technologies (MERC), up 3.74% to 48.5p, has swung to an H1 pretax profit of £1.13m, from a loss of £0.75m. It enjoyed a £2.8m uptick in the fair value of investments, from a gain of £0.2m a year ago.
Next Fifteen Communications (NFC), up 2.86% to 324p, announces the acquisition of an 85% stake in HPI Research Ltd, a market research agency based in London, through its data and insights subsidiary, Morar Consulting Ltd ( Morar ).
Meggitt Plc (MGGT), up 2.68% to 460.85p, said that Meggitt Training Systems has announced two contract awards from the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) worth about $20m in total.
Johnston Press (JPR), up 2.7% to 14.25p, remains focused on cutting costs to mitigate revenue fall and the impact of sterling weakness on paper prices. Assuming no further worsening in trading conditions, directors expected performance to continue in-line with forecasts.
Other stocks in the news included Bovis Homes (BVS), UBM (UBM), Young & Co’s Brewery (YNGA), Groupe Eurotunnel (GET), Akers Biosciences (AKR), Derwent London (DLN) and Condor Gold (CNR).
Story provided by StockMarketWire.com