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London close: Stocks jump on 'dovish' ECB, hopes for US-China talks

By Alexander Bueso

Date: Tuesday 18 Jun 2019

London close: Stocks jump on 'dovish' ECB, hopes for US-China talks

(Sharecast News) - London stocks extended their recent gains on Tuesday, tracking broader gains in Europe after European Central Bank President Mario Draghi signalled that monetary policy could be eased if inflation does not pick up and after the presidents of China and the US said that they would meet at the G-20 leaders' summit in Fukuoka, Japan.
The FTSE 100 was up 1.17% at 7,443.04, with miners the standout gainers as copper prices advanced. Antofagasta, BHP Group and Rio Tinto were all trading higher.

Speaking at the ECB Forum in Sintra, Portugal, Draghi said that additional stimulus will be required unless inflation returns to the Bank's 2% target.

IG market analyst Chris Beauchamp said: "Super Mario is back! Despite only having a few months left to his tenure, the head of the ECB has handed his successor a firmly dovish bias, as he leaves the door open to more QE and renewed negative rates at the ECB in order to try once again to kick-start the eurozone economy.

"Central banks, it seems, like to move in groups. The shift from the antipodean central banks came first, and the ECB moving in the direction of more easing may be followed up tomorrow by a more dovish Fed too."

The Federal Reserve is due to make its latest policy announcement on Wednesday, while the Bank of England's rate announcement is due the day after.

On home shores, sterling was still in the doldrums, trading at its worst level in nearly six months, edging up by just 0.04% against the US dollar at 1.25394 amid growing worries about a no-deal Brexit. The pound fared better against the euro, adding 0.2% to 1.1201 as the single currency lost ground after Draghi's remarks.

In the background meanwhile, the second round of voting in the Tory leadership contest was getting under way.

Neil Wilson, senior market analyst at, said: "Boris Johnson is the clear favourite to become the next PM - in fact it rather looks like he's going to walk it. Currency markets display fear that he has said he is prepared to take Britain out on October 31 without a deal if needs be.

"The calculus is simple - failure to take Britain out of the EU this year risks a General Election and wipeout at the polls at the hands of the Brexit Party, potentially handing Jeremy Corbyn the keys to Number 10. The EU says it won't renegotiate (it may have to), MPs won't accept the existing deal, and Parliament has limited scope to stop this train."

In individual company news, equipment rental firm Ashtead rallied to the top of the FTSE 100 as it posted a 20% jump in full-year pre-tax profit, thanks in part to a strong performance in North America.

AstraZeneca was in the green after the company's cancer drug Lynparza was approved by the European Commission as a first-line maintenance treatment for a type of ovarian cancer.

Telecom Plus rallied as the utility supplier reported a 4.9% increase in full-year profit to £43m.

In broker note action, InterContinental Hotels was knocked lower by a downgrade to 'underweight' at Barclays, while Homeserve was cut to 'equalweight'. Also at Barclays, Derwent London was downgraded to 'underweight'.

Evraz was cut to 'sell' at Citi and Experian was downgraded to 'neutral' at Credit Suisse.

Market Movers

FTSE 100 (UKX) 7,443.04 1.17%
FTSE 250 (MCX) 19,311.79 0.80%
techMARK (TASX) 3,640.82 1.14%

FTSE 100 - Risers

Ashtead Group (AHT) 2,081.00p 6.09%
Antofagasta (ANTO) 900.80p 4.74%
Smith (DS) (SMDS) 345.20p 3.91%
Tesco (TSCO) 235.50p 3.74%
Glencore (GLEN) 278.00p 2.96%
Standard Chartered (STAN) 709.60p 2.96%
Schroders (SDR) 3,036.00p 2.95%
Pearson (PSON) 830.00p 2.70%
Anglo American (AAL) 2,166.50p 2.68%
NMC Health (NMC) 2,381.00p 2.67%

FTSE 100 - Fallers

Imperial Brands (IMB) 1,903.00p -2.48%
Whitbread (WTB) 4,599.00p -1.52%
TUI AG Reg Shs (DI) (TUI) 731.00p -1.38%
Evraz (EVR) 699.80p -1.35%
Carnival (CCL) 4,035.00p -0.67%
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) 5,249.00p -0.61%
Legal & General Group (LGEN) 267.10p -0.56%
Phoenix Group Holdings (PHNX) 684.00p -0.35%
Admiral Group (ADM) 2,090.00p -0.33%
Diageo (DGE) 3,391.00p -0.28%

FTSE 250 - Risers

Kier Group (KIE) 119.90p 11.02%
Just Group (JUST) 56.45p 6.51%
Premier Oil (PMO) 73.50p 5.63%
Capital & Counties Properties (CAPC) 219.00p 4.53%
Cairn Energy (CNE) 152.70p 4.37%
Fidelity China Special Situations (FCSS) 218.50p 4.30%
Hunting (HTG) 515.00p 3.81%
Kaz Minerals (KAZ) 580.20p 3.53%
TI Fluid Systems (TIFS) 184.00p 3.37%
PZ Cussons (PZC) 218.00p 3.32%

FTSE 250 - Fallers

Sirius Minerals (SXX) 13.68p -6.62%
Contour Global (GLO) 189.00p -4.57%
Primary Health Properties (PHP) 133.80p -3.74%
Safestore Holdings (SAFE) 636.00p -2.68%
Metro Bank (MTRO) 559.00p -2.65%
Pershing Square Holdings Ltd NPV (PSH) 1,362.00p -2.19%
Woodford Patient Capital Trust (WPCT) 54.50p -2.18%
RHI Magnesita N.V. (DI) (RHIM) 4,500.00p -2.09%
Syncona Limited NPV (SYNC) 235.00p -2.08%
Hastings Group Holdings (HSTG) 177.50p -2.04%


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