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London close: FTSE 100 shrugs off sterling strength, falling metals' prices to gain

By Andrew Schonberg

Date: Friday 05 May 2017

London close: FTSE 100 shrugs off sterling strength, falling metals' prices to gain

(ShareCast News) - UK blue-chips shrugged off sterling strength and falling industrial metals' prices to enjoy a moderately higher close on Friday, helped by impressive gains in Pearson, International Consolidated Airlines and Marks & Spencer.
"London is ending the week on a strong note, with the FTSE 100 pushing higher in the wake of a stronger non-farm payrolls (NFP) report," said IG chief market analyst Chris Beauchamp.

This was also true of Europe, said Beauchamp, but not for the US. Wall St was mixed after 16:00 BST, but Germany's Dax and France's Cac 40 were solidly ahead.

The latter index's rise was as expectations continued to grow that centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron would win France's presidential election, pipping the far right's Marine Le Pen.

In London, the FTSE 100 closed up 0.68% to 7,297.43 and the FTSE 250 finished 0.10% higher to 19,699.61.

Sterling was up on the dollar, and crude prices were rising off their recent nadir, but still frightfully low overall. Metals' prices were subdued.

Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK, said it had been another positive week for European equities markets, despite the declines in commodity prices.

"The FTSE 100 has underperformed but it has still managed to post a positive week for the second week in a row, in spite of a stronger pound," he said.

"The DAX and Cac 40 have also gone from strength to strength, with new record highs for the DAX and the Cac 40 pushing up to levels last seen at the end of 2007."

However, Lukman Otunuga, research analyst at FXTM, was not alone in sounding a note of caution.

"With (overall) depressed oil prices, lingering geopolitical tensions, Brexit developments, and Trump uncertainties still weighing on sentiment, a pending stock market correction may be on the table," said Otunuga.

Looking at the FTSE 100, resources and utilities appeared to be doing well, while banks and insurers were under pressure.

Pearson surged after posting a 6% surge in first-quarter underlying sales as it reiterated its full-year guidance and announced further cost-cutting measures and a strategic review of its K12 courseware publishing business.

Irish packaging group Smurfit Kappa was in the black after saying it was well positioned for the rest of the year and posting a rise in first-quarter revenue. InterContinental Hotels was on the back foot after it said first-quarter revenue grew but announced that chief executive Richard Solomons was stepping down.

Smith & Nephew advanced after saying its full-year outlook for underlying revenue growth remained unchanged and reporting flat revenue for the first quarter. Marks and Spencer rallied after it appointed Archie Norman as chairman to take over from Robert Swannell at the start of September.

International Consolidated Airlines firmed after reporting first-quarter profits well ahead of expectations as a drop in costs offset lower passenger revenues. EasyJet flew higher after reporting a 12% increase in passenger numbers for April and an improvement in the load factor.

Market Movers

FTSE 100 (UKX) 7,297.43 0.68%
FTSE 250 (MCX) 19,699.61 0.10%
techMARK (TASX) 3,544.26 0.42%

FTSE 100 - Risers

Pearson (PSON) 739.50p 12.39%
International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 603.50p 5.51%
Rolls-Royce Holdings (RR.) 853.50p 5.05%
Marks & Spencer Group (MKS) 375.20p 4.95%
Randgold Resources Ltd. (RRS) 6,870.00p 4.33%
Glencore (GLEN) 289.05p 4.27%
easyJet (EZJ) 1,260.00p 4.22%
Fresnillo (FRES) 1,419.00p 3.96%
Anglo American (AAL) 1,029.50p 2.95%
Smith & Nephew (SN.) 1,306.00p 2.83%

FTSE 100 - Fallers

ITV (ITV) 201.80p -2.61%
Barclays (BARC) 206.35p -2.60%
Admiral Group (ADM) 2,087.00p -1.83%
Provident Financial (PFG) 3,194.00p -1.78%
Merlin Entertainments (MERL) 505.00p -1.56%
Direct Line Insurance Group (DLG) 356.40p -1.44%
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) 4,120.00p -1.41%
Hargreaves Lansdown (HL.) 1,385.00p -1.07%
AstraZeneca (AZN) 4,605.50p -0.94%
WPP (WPP) 1,677.00p -0.83%

FTSE 250 - Risers

Vedanta Resources (VED) 627.50p 5.73%
Acacia Mining (ACA) 398.90p 5.50%
JRP Group (JRP) 129.30p 4.27%
Hochschild Mining (HOC) 245.00p 4.26%
Virgin Money Holdings (UK) (VM.) 311.30p 3.84%
Polymetal International (POLY) 992.00p 2.96%
Petrofac Ltd. (PFC) 802.50p 2.23%
Ultra Electronics Holdings (ULE) 2,134.00p 2.20%
Ladbrokes Coral Group (LCL) 125.60p 2.20%
Aggreko (AGK) 858.00p 2.08%

FTSE 250 - Fallers

Inmarsat (ISAT) 761.00p -7.70%
Morgan Advanced Materials (MGAM) 311.20p -4.81%
Lancashire Holdings Limited (LRE) 668.00p -4.43%
Euromoney Institutional Investor (ERM) 1,045.00p -4.39%
Domino's Pizza Group (DOM) 321.20p -3.11%
Cairn Energy (CNE) 189.40p -2.22%
Restaurant Group (RTN) 328.10p -2.21%
UBM (UBM) 699.50p -2.17%
G4S (GFS) 318.70p -1.97%
Nostrum Oil & Gas (NOG) 449.30p -1.86%

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