FTSE 100 climbs to three-week high

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Business - La­toya harding

STOCKS in Lon­don shrugged off news that the UK economy tum­bled into its deep­est re­ces­sion on record yes­ter­day, with the FTSE 100 end­ing at a three-week high.

Lon­don’s bench­mark index pushed 2pc higher to 6,280.12 as every sec­tor ral­lied, led by util­i­ties, healthcare and en­ergy com­pa­nies.

A fall in the pound against the euro and the dol­lar also helped the Lon­don stock mar­ket to out­shine its con­ti­nen­tal neigh­bours as in­vestors bought into UK-based multi­na­tional com­pa­nies earn­ing much of their in­come in dol­lars.

Losses for the pound were, how­ever, lim­ited by data show­ing growth of 8.7pc in June as the economy slowly emerged from lock­down.

Laura Suter, an an­a­lyst at AJ Bell, called the June fig­ures “en­cour­ag­ing”. She added: “The fig­ure for June is key, as we all knew that lock­down mea­sures would have a big im­pact on the economy but what we still don’t know is how quickly the UK will re­bound.”

HSBC rose 11.1p to 357.1p amid a strong per­for­mance for Hong Konglinked stocks, prompted by a re­port in China’s Global Times that said flights from the city to the main­land many re­sume. Stan­dard Char­tered also climbed due to the re­port, clos­ing up 10.4p at 438.5p.

Else­where, Just Eat Take­away, the food de­liv­ery group, jumped 320p to £89.98 after re­port­ing a 44pc surge in first-half rev­enues and 32pc in­crease in or­ders as peo­ple stuck at home opted to get take­out.

Royal Bank of Canada’s Sherri Malek said the group is likely to un­dergo a “step-up in in­vest­ments” to shore up its strong po­si­tion in the com­pet­i­tive food de­liv­ery mar­ket.

Mean­while, Avast shares dropped back from Tues­day’s record high, fall­ing 18p to 582p after the an­tivirus soft­ware maker’s first-half re­sults showed a trend of ris­ing in­stal­la­tions had faded over re­cent weeks.

The FTSE 100 group posted an in­crease in profit be­fore tax from a nar­row rise in rev­enues after a per­for­mance that chief ex­ec­u­tive On­drej Vl­cek said demon­strated the group’s “busi­ness re­silience”.

UBS’s Michael Bri­est said the re­sults were strong, but that the tail­winds be­hind Avast dur­ing lock­down have “now passed”.

On the FTSE 250, travel and tour op­er­a­tor Tui shed 15.3p to 367.3p de­spite an­nounc­ing that it had agreed a €1.2bn (£1.1bn) ex­ten­sion of its loan from Ger­many. The group said the ex­pan­sion strength­ens its po­si­tion and would of­fer it enough liq­uid­ity to last “through win­ter 2020-21 and there­after”.

West End prop­erty spe­cial­ist

Cap­i­tal & Coun­ties also took a tum­ble after it re­ported a slump in rental in­come due to lock­downs and de­ferred its div­i­dend de­ci­sion un­til the end of the year. Shares closed 13p lower at 128p.

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