London midday: Stocks in the red as investors eye Trump conference

By Michele Maatouk

Date: Friday 29 May 2020

London midday: Stocks in the red as investors eye Trump conference

(Sharecast News) - London stocks were still firmly on the back foot by midday on Friday amid growing tensions between the US and China.
The FTSE 100 was down 1% at 6,160.00 as jitters set in after US President Donald Trump announced that he would be holding a press conference on Friday "on China" but gave no further details.

Spreadex analyst Connor Campbell said: "With China's parliament rubber-stamping the new national security laws set to be imposed on Hong Kong, sending armed police to swarm the streets of the administrative region in an attempt to combat pro-democracy protests, Donald Trump has promised to hold a press conference this Friday.

"It will potentially outline the actions the President is set to take against China, the said same vague actions he threatened if China passed the security laws earlier in the week.

"This has been seen by investors as a step towards escalation, especially since the impending press conference was preceded on Wednesday by the House passing a bill condemning China's detention and torture of Uighur Muslims."

In equity markets, travel stocks were under the cosh, with Carnival, easyJet and British Airways parent IAG all lower.

Rolls-Royce suffered heavy losses after Standard & Poor's downgraded its long and short-term credit ratings to BB and B, respectively, with a negative outlook.

On the upside, AstraZeneca rallied as the pharmaceuticals giant said a clinical trial of its Tagrisso drug to treat non-small cell lung cancer reduced the risk of disease recurrence or death by approximately 80%.

B&M European Value Retail racked up healthy gains after it reported a rise in sales in the first eight weeks of the new fiscal year as locked-down Britons took advantage of the sunny weather to do home repairs and gardening during the coronavirus crisis.

In broker note action, Provident Financial surged on the back of an upgrade to 'buy' at Jefferies, while Rio Tinto was boosted by an upgrade to 'buy' at Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Direct Line was higher after an upgrade to 'overweight' at Barclays.

Market Movers

FTSE 100 (UKX) 6,160.00 -0.95%
FTSE 250 (MCX) 17,159.79 -1.03%
techMARK (TASX) 3,746.52 -0.55%

FTSE 100 - Risers

Hikma Pharmaceuticals (HIK) 2,658.00p 3.22%
Ocado Group (OCDO) 2,162.00p 2.85%
British Land Company (BLND) 407.90p 2.69%
Auto Trader Group (AUTO) 558.60p 2.23%
AstraZeneca (AZN) 8,890.00p 2.21%
Just Eat Takeaway.Com N.V. (CDI) (JET) 8,886.00p 2.07%
Rightmove (RMV) 590.60p 1.69%
Halma (HLMA) 2,365.00p 1.68%
Morrison (Wm) Supermarkets (MRW) 189.05p 1.64%
United Utilities Group (UU.) 914.40p 1.60%

FTSE 100 - Fallers

Rolls-Royce Holdings (RR.) 289.50p -9.25%
Carnival (CCL) 1,085.00p -8.36%
easyJet (EZJ) 691.20p -6.59%
Taylor Wimpey (TW.) 145.85p -5.75%
Melrose Industries (MRO) 119.05p -5.40%
Barratt Developments (BDEV) 503.60p -5.34%
International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 233.40p -5.28%
Compass Group (CPG) 1,213.00p -5.20%
Centrica (CNA) 37.08p -5.04%
Aviva (AV.) 251.10p -4.12%

FTSE 250 - Risers

Provident Financial (PFG) 202.20p 7.61%
B&M European Value Retail S.A. (DI) (BME) 389.50p 5.44%
Ferrexpo (FXPO) 178.50p 4.08%
Hastings Group Holdings (HSTG) 186.50p 3.90%
GCP Student Living (DIGS) 134.40p 3.86%
Future (FUTR) 1,336.00p 2.77%
Shaftesbury (SHB) 618.50p 2.57%
Kingfisher (KGF) 198.55p 2.27%
PayPoint (PAY) 744.00p 2.20%
Derwent London (DLN) 3,002.00p 2.18%

FTSE 250 - Fallers

TUI AG Reg Shs (DI) (TUI) 461.70p -11.31%
Helios Towers (HTWS) 150.20p -9.63%
Aston Martin Lagonda Global Holdings (AML) 53.75p -8.12%
Virgin Money UK (VMUK) 92.74p -7.45%
Hyve Group (HYVE) 101.92p -7.16%
Wood Group (John) (WG.) 200.90p -6.86%
Investec (INVP) 152.95p -6.77%
Micro Focus International (MCRO) 418.90p -6.75%
Aggreko (AGK) 472.20p -6.50%
Stagecoach Group (SGC) 68.10p -6.39%


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