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London close: Stocks finish firmer after latest jobs data

By Josh White

Date: Tuesday 15 Sep 2020

London close: Stocks finish firmer after latest jobs data

(Sharecast News) - London stocks finished in positive territory, on Tuesday as investors digested the latest UK jobs data, with miners pacing the advance after the release of encouraging Chinese data.
The FTSE 100 ended the session up 1.32% at 6,105.54, and the FTSE 250 was 0.78% firmer at 17,815.38.

"Gains for UK stocks come off the back of yet another uninspiring day for the pound, with Ocado leading the push higher," said IG senior market analyst Joshua Mahony.

"Meanwhile, Rishi Sunak has signalled the potential for further supportive measures despite the fast-approaching end to the furlough scheme."

Figures released earlier by the Office for National Statistics showed the number of redundancies in July rose by the most since 2009 as the Covid-19 pandemic took its toll.

The data showed 156,000 people were made redundant in the May to July quarter, up 58,000 from the same period a year ago and 48,000 higher than between February and April.

The ONS said these were the largest annual and quarterly increases since 2009.

"While redundancies are at their highest level since September to November 2012, the level remains well below that seen during the 2008 downturn," it said.

Meanwhile, the unemployment rate increased to 4.1% in July from 3.9% the month before.

The data showed that the number of employees on payrolls declined by 695,000 in August compared to March and by 36,000 compared to July.

"Some effects of the pandemic on the labour market were beginning to unwind in July as parts of the economy reopened," said ONS director of economic statistics Darren Morgan.

"Fewer workers were away on furlough and average hours rose."

He said the number of job vacancies continued to recover into August as well.

"Nonetheless, with the number of employees on the payroll down again in August and both unemployment and redundancies sharply up in July, it is clear that coronavirus is still having a big impact on the world of work."

In equity markets, Glencore was up 2.42%, Rio Tinto added 2.7%, BHP was ahead 2.85% and Anglo American was 2.19% higher, after Chinese industrial production and retail sales figures for August surprised to the upside.

Online grocer and technology firm Ocado rallied 9.27% after it recorded a sharp rise in third-quarter revenue, driven by continued higher average spends as it forecast annual core earnings of £40m.

Insurers RSA and Hiscox gained 4.68% and 17.04%, respectively, even as the High Court found in favour of claimants on the majority of key issues over insurers failing to pay out business interruption claims due to the Covid-19 crisis.

Next was also in the black by 1.87%, after it acquired a majority stake in the UK and Irish arm of L Brands' Victoria's Secret unit for an undisclosed sum as part of a joint-venture agreement.

Polypipe rose 4.17% as it reported a decline in first-half profit and revenue due to the pandemic but struck a more upbeat note on recent trading.

FirstGroup pushed 3.37% firmer after saying it now expects to deliver a small adjusted operating profit for the seasonally-weaker first half of the financial year, ahead of its expectations earlier this summer.

William Hill surged 8.77% after the bookmaker said a multi-year deal between its US partner Caesars Entertainment and broadcaster ESPN will feature its sports betting apps and sports book odds.

Peers Flutter and GVC also rose, by 5.07% and 3.5%, respectively.

On the downside, Watches of Switzerland slumped 5.69% after US private equity firm Apollo Global Management sold 33 million shares in the company.

Trainline was 1.18% weaker as JPMorgan Cazenove slashed its price target to 387p from 517p and cut its estimates ahead of the company's first-half trading update this week.

Market Movers

FTSE 100 (UKX) 6,105.54 1.32%
FTSE 250 (MCX) 17,815.38 0.78%
techMARK (TASX) 3,892.62 1.12%

FTSE 100 - Risers

Ocado Group (OCDO) 2,608.00p 10.74%
Smurfit Kappa Group (SKG) 3,068.00p 5.07%
Flutter Entertainment (FLTR) 12,390.00p 5.00%
RSA Insurance Group (RSA) 492.00p 4.68%
M&G (MNG) 157.75p 4.33%
GVC Holdings (GVC) 916.00p 3.50%
CRH (CRH) 3,031.00p 3.24%
Smith (DS) (SMDS) 286.20p 2.95%
Scottish Mortgage Inv Trust (SMT) 970.50p 2.92%
Ashtead Group (AHT) 2,948.00p 2.84%

FTSE 100 - Fallers

Kingfisher (KGF) 273.50p -3.83%
Rolls-Royce Holdings (RR.) 203.30p -3.33%
Avast (AVST) 529.00p -2.22%
Whitbread (WTB) 2,259.00p -1.44%
Informa (INF) 397.90p -1.41%
Standard Chartered (STAN) 376.90p -1.39%
Pearson (PSON) 513.80p -1.15%
NATWEST GROUP PLC ORD 100P (NWG) 101.60p -1.12%
Barclays (BARC) 102.64p -0.95%
Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY) 26.16p -0.80%

FTSE 250 - Risers

Hiscox Limited (DI) (HSX) 887.40p 17.04%
William Hill (WMH) 220.00p 10.55%
Chemring Group (CHG) 269.00p 7.17%
Inchcape (INCH) 493.00p 7.13%
Avon Rubber (AVON) 4,220.00p 6.30%
IP Group (IPO) 79.30p 5.45%
UK Commercial Property Reit Limited (UKCM) 70.20p 5.41%
Pets at Home Group (PETS) 300.00p 4.53%
Mediclinic International (MDC) 283.00p 4.35%
Marks & Spencer Group (MKS) 109.25p 4.35%

FTSE 250 - Fallers

Marshalls (MSLH) 612.50p -8.99%
Carnival (CCL) 1,034.50p -6.13%
Watches of Switzerland Group (WOSG) 315.00p -5.69%
SSP Group (SSPG) 217.80p -4.89%
Fisher (James) & Sons (FSJ) 1,206.00p -3.83%
Investec (INVP) 136.15p -3.78%
TUI AG Reg Shs (DI) (TUI) 337.50p -3.65%
Greencore Group (GNC) 111.50p -3.13%
Essentra (ESNT) 280.00p -3.11%
Sirius Real Estate Ltd. (SRE) 73.80p -3.02%

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