FTSE zips ahead on comm. property ahead of CPI

London equities continued their run-up in early deals with commercial property, utilities, supermarkets and resources stocks figuring prominently ahead of UK CPI, RPI and HPI inflation data being issued.

Land Securities (LAND) led with a 4.52% rise to 1029.5p, with British Land (BLND) adding 3.74% to 609.5p. United Utilities (UU.) gained 3.57% to 885p, piloting the US rates-sensitive sector. It was chased by Severn Trent (SVT), up 3.53% to 2169p. More in both sectors chased.

Gold-sensitive miners Fresnillo (FRES), up 3.42% to 1453p, and Randgold (RRS), up 3.4% to 6012.5p. Supermarkets queued up behind Tesco (TSCO), rising 3.11% to 212.25p, while Morrisons (MRW) firmed 2.85% to 218.65p. Also gaining were leisure, consumer goods, retail and pharmas.

Shell (RDSA) added 2.14% to 1969.25p and BP (BP.) firmed 1.49% to 439.93p. Overall, 84 blue chips accelerated higher, with 16 lower. Roughly 50 of these gained by 1% or more. Most sectors were represented.

Soon after the open, FTSE 100 was up 43.58 points, or 0.65%, to 6796.76, and FTSE 250 was up 169.85, or 0.97%, to 17,642.2. At 8.38pm, WTI crude was up 2.31% to $44.32/bbl and Brent was up 1.82% to $45.24/bbl. Gold was up 0.47% to $1227.5/oz.

To the downside the story was essentially miners, followed by big banks. Antofagasta (ANTO) lost 4.92% to 671.25p, while Glencore (GLEN) faded 4.24% to 270.8p and Rio Tinto (RIO) flopped 3.77% to 3027p. Among lenders, RBS, Barclays and Standard Chartered ebbed more than 1% each.

Vodafone (VOD), up 1.39% to 207.45p, has posted an H1 pretax loss of €5.4bn, from a profit of €149,000, with revenue of €27.1bn, from €28.2bn. The result included an impairment loss of €6.4bn, from nil.

EasyJet (EZJ), up 1.36% to 1046p, said its FY pretax profits fell to £495m, down 27.9% from a year ago. It carried a record 73.1m passengers, up 6.6% on the year. Smiths Group (SMIN), up 0.43% to 1390p, said its overall performance in Q1 was in-line with management views, and that expectations for the full year remain unchanged.

BIGGER MOVERS

Sula Iron & Gold (SULA), up 10.64% to 0.26p, said visible gold has been recovered from weathered iron oxide / quartz samples collected from a road exposure cross-cutting the Eastern Target (TZ2) Induced Polarisation (IP) anomaly. It also issued 78.1m new shares at 0.16p each further to the exercise of certain warrants. Gross proceeds totalled £125,000, which provided additional working capital for the company.

PipeHawk (PIP), down 11.11% to 4p, has widened its H1 pretax loss to £1.02m, from a year-earlier loss of £753,000. Revenue was £4.8m, from £4.6m.

President Energy (PPC), down 10.78% to 6.25p, intends to raise about $20.0m at a price of 6p a share. About $10m would be used to fund the group’s initial 10-well workover programme of shut in wells in Argentina, and about $10m would go to strengthen the group’s balance sheet, provide critical mass and enable the pursuit of additional internal and inorganic growth opportunities.

Edenville Energy (EDL), up 10.09% to 0.6p, said results from seam MK2 on the Mkomolo and Namwele deposits confirm coal as suitable for the provision of feed for its integrated coal-to-power project in western Tanzania.

LONDON HIGHLIGHTS

Hayward Tyler (HAYT), down 7.56% to 79.5p, has booked an H1 pretax loss of £6.7m, from a year-earlier profit of £1.6m. Revenue was £23.1m, from £21.8m.

Intertek (ITRK), up 6.98% to 3250p, has entered into an agreement with the shareholders of Laboratorios ABC Quimica Investigacion y Analisis (ABC Analitic) to form an environmental services joint venture in Mexico.

Polypipe (PLP), up 5.19% to 273.5p, said that as a result of continued strong organic growth, and a pleasing performance from the Nuaire business acquired in August 2015, it is on track to achieve management expectations for the full year.

WANdisco (WAND), up 3.45% to 135p, has secured an important contract win for its Amazon S3 Cloud solution, available in Amazon’s AWS Marketplace, with global online gaming company Playtika.

Costain (COST), up 2.68% to 355p, has been awarded the South Enabling Works Contract for High Speed Two (HS2) Ltd.

Crest Nicholson (CRST), up 2.61% to 471.6p, has continued to grow housing volumes in 2016, with open-market unit completions at 2,292 up 7% and overall housing delivery up by 5%.

Wood Group (WG.), up 2.34% to 787.5p, has been awarded a $40m contract by ExxonMobil Chemical to provide main automation contractor services, including detailed design and site construction of the process control systems, for a grassroots polyethylene plant to be built in Beaumont, Texas.

TalkTalk (TALK), down 1.94% to 197.2p, has swung to an H1 statutory pretax profit of £30m, from a loss of £8m. Interim dividend was 5.29p a share, unchanged. Revenue came in at £902m, from £912m.

Other stocks in the news included Enterprise Inns (ETI), Totally (TLY), Card Factory (CARD), FirstGroup (FGP), Graphene NanoChem (GRPH), Cineworld (CINE), RythmOne (RTHM), Liontrust Asset Management (LIO), Midatech Pharma (MTPH), Nyota Minerals (NYO), BTG (BTG) and Lavendon (LVD).

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