London open: Stocks fall amid US stimulus doubts, Covid concerns

By Michele Maatouk

Date: Thursday 22 Oct 2020

London open: Stocks fall amid US stimulus doubts, Covid concerns

(Sharecast News) - London stocks fell in early trade on Thursday amid ongoing concerns about the coronavirus pandemic and as hopes of further US stimulus before the election faded.
At 0840 BST, the FTSE 100 was down 0.8% at 5,729.43.

CMC Markets analyst Michael Hewson said: "As far as a US stimulus package is concerned the penny appears to be finally dropping that there is unlikely to be a plan that will be able to get past the Republicans in the US Senate, even if Nancy Pelosi and Steve Mnuchin were able to put something down on paper, in their various short phone calls over the past few days."

On home shores, Chancellor Rishi Sunak was set to announce a fourth package of coronavirus support for businesses later in the day.

"Tier 2 regions receive much less generous support than those in tier 3, with a number warning that without help they may well not reopen," said Hewson. "The Chancellor certainly needs to pull a rabbit out of his hat given how badly the government has handled the financial side of the ledger in the past two weeks, quibbling over sums in the region of £5m, at a time when public sector borrowing since March has seen over £200bn added to the national debt, with nary a murmur from the bond market."

In equity markets, British Airways owner IAG was under the cosh after it posted a €1.3bn third quarter loss and downgraded its capacity guidance as Covid-19 restrictions continued to hammer the travel market. EasyJet also flew lower.

Capital & Counties was in the red after it lifted its investment in Shaftesbury to over 25%. Shaftesbury was also trading down.

Price comparison website Moneysupermarket.com was weaker after it reported a 16% decline in third-quarter revenue as the pandemic affected several of its channels.

Petropavlovsk was under pressure as it revealed that its chief executive was being investigated in Russia.

On the upside, Rentokil Initial rallied after it said third-quarter revenue rose thanks to a "exceptional" growth in the hygiene business, which continued to benefit from high demand for disinfection services, and a return to growth in pest control.

Hargreaves Lansdown was up after an upgrade to 'buy' at Peel Hunt.

Consumer goods giant Unilever ticked higher after it reported a better-than-expected 4.4% rise in third quarter sales as people continued to buy more hygiene and food products.

Renishaw was in the black after it posted a rise in first-quarter profit despite a decline in revenue, thanks to reduced operating costs and the job retention grant.

Travis Perkins pushed higher after the building materials group reported an improved trading trend during the third quarter as Britons turned to DIY amid markets recovering from the coronavirus lockdown.

Market Movers

FTSE 100 (UKX) 5,729.43 -0.81%
FTSE 250 (MCX) 17,699.26 -0.50%
techMARK (TASX) 3,713.29 -0.92%

FTSE 100 - Risers

Rentokil Initial (RTO) 529.60p 2.44%
Hargreaves Lansdown (HL.) 1,370.50p 1.63%
GVC Holdings (GVC) 984.80p 1.42%
HSBC Holdings (HSBA) 304.35p 0.64%
Vodafone Group (VOD) 107.02p 0.43%
Unilever (ULVR) 4,722.00p 0.40%
Standard Chartered (STAN) 377.60p 0.21%
Avast (AVST) 494.00p 0.00%
Scottish Mortgage Inv Trust (SMT) 1,035.00p 0.00%
Aveva Group (AVV) 4,499.00p -0.02%

FTSE 100 - Fallers

International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 95.30p -5.13%
BAE Systems (BA.) 448.80p -3.46%
Smiths Group (SMIN) 1,316.00p -3.38%
Rolls-Royce Holdings (RR.) 218.80p -2.58%
BP (BP.) 196.00p -1.98%
Burberry Group (BRBY) 1,472.00p -1.93%
M&G (MNG) 162.00p -1.88%
Land Securities Group (LAND) 530.70p -1.85%
Whitbread (WTB) 2,224.00p -1.81%
Melrose Industries (MRO) 125.00p -1.81%

FTSE 250 - Risers

AO World (AO.) 346.00p 3.13%
Safestore Holdings (SAFE) 837.00p 2.64%
Renishaw (RSW) 5,860.00p 2.63%
Travis Perkins (TPK) 1,250.00p 2.50%
Airtel Africa (AAF) 66.30p 2.47%
Future (FUTR) 1,998.00p 2.46%
SSP Group (SSPG) 185.80p 2.43%
Sanne Group (SNN) 631.00p 1.77%
Network International Holdings (NETW) 251.80p 1.61%
Perpetual Income & Growth Inv Trust (PLI) 219.50p 1.15%

FTSE 250 - Fallers

Shaftesbury (SHB) 437.20p -12.21%
Capital & Counties Properties (CAPC) 107.70p -5.44%
Moneysupermarket.com Group (MONY) 255.00p -4.49%
easyJet (EZJ) 483.30p -4.15%
Petropavlovsk (POG) 27.95p -3.29%
Virgin Money UK (VMUK) 86.76p -2.91%
TUI AG Reg Shs (DI) (TUI) 280.50p -2.91%
Micro Focus International (MCRO) 241.60p -2.82%
Avon Rubber (AVON) 3,875.00p -2.52%
Ferrexpo (FXPO) 171.50p -2.39%


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