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London open: Stocks steady as investors eye jobs data; housebuilders rally

By Michele Maatouk

Date: Tuesday 17 Jul 2018

London open: Stocks steady as investors eye jobs data; housebuilders rally

(Sharecast News) - London stocks were steady at the open on Tuesday as investors eyed a slew of key jobs data, but housebuilders racked up healthy gains following a well-received update from Galliford Try.
At 0830 BST, the FTSE 100 was flat at 7,602.76, while the pound was down 0.1% against the euro at 1.1290 and 0.1% higher versus the dollar at 1.3246 ahead of the release of average earnings, the claimant count and the ILO unemployment rate at 0930 BST.

Before that at 0900 BST, Bank of England governor Mark Carney is due to make a speech at the Farnborough International Airshow.

London Capital Group analyst Jasper Lawler said: "Brexit woes continue to keep the pound range bound, with too many uncertainties still unresolved regarding Brexit; deal or no deal and even over whether Theresa May will be able to cling onto power through the week. However, the UK economic calendar provides at least some distraction from Brexit concerns, this week, although it may not all be good news.

"The immediate concern for the BoE will be wage growth, particularly given that inflation also continued to decline. These figures are hardly likely to encourage the BoE to vote to tighten monetary policy when it meets in two weeks' time. With rate hike expectations siting at around 70%, this probability could find it is under pressure and pull sterling towards $1.31, should wages surprise to the downside.

In corporate news, FTSE 250 housebuilder Galliford Try rallied on the back of a solid trading update, taking FTSE 100 peers Persimmon, Barratt, Taylor Wimpey and Berkeley Group up with it.

Royal Mail was on the front foot after saying it was monitoring the impact of new data regulations on customers as letter volumes declined faster but that trading was in line with its expectations.

Dairy Crest gained after the Cathedral City owner maintained its outlook for the year and said trading in the first quarter has been in line with its expectations.

TalkTalk rallied as it posted a 4.1% jump in first-quarter revenue and said it added 80,000 net broadband customers, taking the total to 4.22m. The company also maintained its full-year guidance for 15% growth in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation.

SSP Group rose after saying it had had a "good" third quarter, with total group revenue up 7.3% at constant currency.

Going the other way, Rio Tinto ticked a touch lower despite saying it enjoyed strong second-quarter production across most of its commodities and business units.

Spire Healthcare slipped as it announced the appointment of Jitesh Sodha - formerly CFO at De La Rue - as its new chief financial officer.

In broker note action, Stagecoach was upgraded to 'neutral' at Citi, while Morgan Advanced was raised to 'overweight' at JPMorgan. ASOS was lifted to 'buy' by Goldman Sachs but Paddy Power was hit by a downgrade to 'sell' at Investec.

Market Movers

FTSE 100 (UKX) 7,602.76 0.03%
FTSE 250 (MCX) 20,814.93 0.07%
techMARK (TASX) 3,560.93 -0.11%

FTSE 100 - Risers

Melrose Industries (MRO) 223.60p 1.31%
Persimmon (PSN) 2,503.00p 1.17%
Barratt Developments (BDEV) 524.40p 1.04%
Taylor Wimpey (TW.) 176.60p 1.00%
Kingfisher (KGF) 308.40p 0.98%
Berkeley Group Holdings (The) (BKG) 3,629.00p 0.97%
Royal Mail (RMG) 485.20p 0.92%
3i Group (III) 917.20p 0.90%
United Utilities Group (UU.) 723.00p 0.84%
easyJet (EZJ) 1,652.00p 0.82%

FTSE 100 - Fallers

Paddy Power Betfair (PPB) 8,350.00p -1.76%
WPP (WPP) 1,202.00p -1.15%
Fresnillo (FRES) 1,085.00p -1.05%
British American Tobacco (BATS) 3,840.50p -0.83%
Imperial Brands (IMB) 2,833.00p -0.72%
BT Group (BT.A) 220.00p -0.68%
Ocado Group (OCDO) 1,048.00p -0.62%
CRH (CRH) 2,702.00p -0.59%
Scottish Mortgage Inv Trust (SMT) 545.11p -0.53%
Smith & Nephew (SN.) 1,326.00p -0.45%

FTSE 250 - Risers

Galliford Try (GFRD) 868.50p 4.20%
TalkTalk Telecom Group (TALK) 114.40p 4.09%
Stagecoach Group (SGC) 157.91p 3.28%
Morgan Advanced Materials (MGAM) 349.00p 2.71%
Charter Court Financial Services Group (CCFS) 351.90p 2.30%
SSP Group (SSPG) 672.10p 2.13%
Daejan Holdings (DJAN) 5,940.40p 2.07%
Redrow (RDW) 536.63p 1.73%
Softcat (SCT) 807.00p 1.51%
Capita (CPI) 169.05p 1.29%

FTSE 250 - Fallers

Alfa Financial Software Holdings (ALFA) 167.00p -1.76%
McCarthy & Stone (MCS) 97.95p -1.56%
Wood Group (John) (WG.) 605.20p -1.50%
VinaCapital Vietnam Opportunity Fund Ltd. (VOF) 314.36p -1.45%
Hunting (HTG) 744.50p -1.26%
Polar Capital Technology Trust (PCT) 1,305.96p -0.91%
Pershing Square Holdings Ltd NPV (PSH) 1,146.00p -0.87%
Cranswick (CWK) 3,320.00p -0.84%
Tullow Oil (TLW) 215.65p -0.81%
Premier Oil (PMO) 125.50p -0.79%


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