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London midday: Stocks gain amid earnings optimism

Fri 15 October 2021 12:00 | A A A

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Market latest

FTSE 100 | FTSE 250 | Paris CAC 40 | Dow Jones | NASDAQ

7122.32 | Negative 6.89 (0.10%)

Prices delayed by at least 15 minutes

(Sharecast News) - London stocks were still in the black by midday on Friday as earnings optimism helped to offset concerns about inflation.

The FTSE 100 was up 0.3% at 7,228.54, trading at its best level since the start of the pandemic as investors welcomed solid earnings from US banks such as Citigroup, Bank of America and Morgan Stanley a day earlier.

Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell, said: "For now, strong results from banks, a decline in new jobless claims and lower than expected producer price inflation all from the US have served to put investors in a more positive mood.

"Next week looks more testing for markets as China is scheduled to produce data on economic growth which may disappoint."

In equity markets, British Airways and Iberia parent IAG and budget airline easyJet flew higher after the government said fully vaccinated passengers and children arriving in England from non-red list countries can take a lateral flow test from 24 October, instead of the more expensive PCR tests.

"That could lead to a rush of last-minute bookings for half-term travel, thereby benefiting airline earnings. The sector needs all the help it can get as it is one of the last industries still waiting to play catch-up with earnings following the pandemic," Mould said.

Mediclinic rallied as the private healthcare provider reported a rise in first-half revenue, driven by a jump in patient activity across its three divisions.

BP and Shell both gushed higher as Brent crude hit another three-year high. BP was given the added boost of an upgrade to 'buy' at Berenberg.

Antofagasta was up after an upgrade to 'sector perform' at RBC Capital Markets.

Harbour Energy racked up healthy gains after an upgrade to 'buy' at Berenberg, while Qinetiq was trading higher after heavy losses on Thursday and as Investec upped the shares to 'buy'.

On the downside, Rio Tinto lost ground as the mining giant cut annual iron ore shipment forecasts, citing labour shortages in Western Australia.

Educational publisher Pearson fell as it reported a rise in revenues as growth in assessment and qualifications offset lower US higher education enrolments due to Covid-19 infections.

Market Movers

FTSE 100 (UKX) 7,228.54 0.29%

FTSE 250 (MCX) 22,955.06 0.41%

techMARK (TASX) 4,567.53 0.10%

FTSE 100 - Risers

Evraz (EVR) 615.60p 3.46%

International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 182.36p 2.94%

Ocado Group (OCDO) 1,776.00p 2.54%

HSBC Holdings (HSBA) 433.70p 1.81%

Royal Dutch Shell 'B' (RDSB) 1,792.60p 1.79%

Entain (ENT) 2,093.00p 1.65%

Glencore (GLEN) 391.15p 1.65%

Anglo American (AAL) 2,927.00p 1.65%

Barclays (BARC) 197.48p 1.58%

Royal Mail (RMG) 423.20p 1.58%

FTSE 100 - Fallers

Pearson (PSON) 636.80p -12.65%

Unilever (ULVR) 3,814.50p -1.69%

Severn Trent (SVT) 2,631.00p -1.64%

Informa (INF) 553.60p -1.56%

Burberry Group (BRBY) 1,881.00p -1.44%

United Utilities Group (UU.) 985.20p -1.38%

Polymetal International (POLY) 1,330.50p -1.37%

BT Group (BT.A) 139.15p -1.24%

Hikma Pharmaceuticals (HIK) 2,349.00p -1.09%

DCC (CDI) (DCC) 6,014.00p -1.02%

FTSE 250 - Risers

Mediclinic International (MDC) 339.40p 9.98%

QinetiQ Group (QQ.) 297.60p 4.13%

Jupiter Fund Management (JUP) 247.60p 3.34%

Drax Group (DRX) 514.00p 3.30%

Virgin Money UK (VMUK) 203.10p 3.10%

Ibstock (IBST) 191.40p 2.63%

Energean (ENOG) 901.00p 2.50%

easyJet (EZJ) 646.20p 2.47%

Spire Healthcare Group (SPI) 231.00p 2.44%

Morgan Advanced Materials (MGAM) 345.00p 2.37%

FTSE 250 - Fallers

Dunelm Group (DNLM) 1,253.00p -3.47%

Darktrace (DARK) 926.00p -3.24%

Centrica (CNA) 58.58p -1.88%

AO World (AO.) 146.80p -1.74%

Pets at Home Group (PETS) 474.60p -1.62%

Centamin (DI) (CEY) 100.75p -1.42%

Homeserve (HSV) 824.50p -1.20%

Hochschild Mining (HOC) 143.50p -1.17%

RHI Magnesita N.V. (DI) (RHIM) 3,016.00p -1.11%

Helios Towers (HTWS) 159.80p -1.11%

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