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London open: Stocks dip as investors mull general election, Nvidia results

Thu 23 May 2024 08:08 | A A A

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Market latest

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

8155.72 | Negative 49.17 (0.60%)
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Prices delayed by at least 15 minutes

(Sharecast News) - London stocks dipped in early trade on Thursday as investors got their first chance to react to news of a general election on 4 July and blowout earnings from US chip giant Nvidia.

At 0900 BST, the FTSE 100 was down 0.1% at 8,361.96.

Sophie Lund-Yates, lead equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: "Following a couple of days of moving in reverse, the FTSE 100 just about held its ground at the open, shedding fewer than ten points.

"Some positivity will be coming from confirmation that a general election is on the way in a matter of weeks. While political upheaval does have the potential to upset markets, the uncertainty around next steps in recent days will have been holding sentiment back.

"The UK market is also reacting to a slightly more hawkish tone from the Federal Reserve, after the latest minutes showed recent data hadn't increased their confidence in progress towards inflation targets.

"Better news was to be found from Nvidia, whose shares popped 6% after beating expectations. The group's expected to ring the bell on a new all-time high, exceeding $1000 per share, when the US market opens. The chip specialist reported a 262% increase in revenue, as AI chip demand reached record levels."

In equity markets, Hargreaves Lansdown surged after confirming it had rejected a 985p per share takeover offer from a consortium comprising CVC, Nordic Capital and Platinum Ivy, which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Abu Dhabi Investment Authority.

It said: "The board confirms that it unanimously rejected the proposal on the basis it substantially undervalues Hargreaves Lansdown and its future prospects."

AJ Bell went along for the ride, with an additional boost from encouraging results which saw the investment platform hike its dividend as it hailed a "very strong" interim performance, posting a jump in profits and revenue as platform customers reached a milestone.

FTSE 100 peer St James's Place also rallied.

Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust gained as it reported a positive return over the past year following two years of negative returns in both NAV and share price terms. The shares were also likely boosted by well-received results overnight from shareholding Nvidia.

Budget airline Wizz Air flew higher after saying it swung to a profit of 365.9m in the year to the end of March from a loss of 531.1m the year earlier amid "sustained" demand.

On the downside, National Grid slumped after results and as it announced a 7bn equity raise through a rights issue. Severn Trent and United Utilities also lost ground.

Pets at Home took a hit after the Competition and Markets Authority announced a full investigation into the UK vet market.

Johnson Matthey declined as it posted a fall in full-year underlying profit as it was hit by lower metals prices.

Whitbread and DDC fell as they traded without entitlement to the dividend.

Market Movers

FTSE 100 (UKX) 8,361.96 -0.10%

FTSE 250 (MCX) 20,747.43 0.18%

techMARK (TASX) 4,880.57 0.35%

FTSE 100 - Risers

St James's Place (STJ) 488.40p 4.85%

Marks & Spencer Group (MKS) 293.40p 1.87%

Scottish Mortgage Inv Trust (SMT) 884.40p 1.66%

Schroders (SDR) 387.80p 1.36%

Unilever (ULVR) 4,329.00p 1.26%

BAE Systems (BA.) 1,388.00p 1.06%

GSK (GSK) 1,805.50p 0.95%

Barclays (BARC) 213.20p 0.83%

3i Group (III) 2,921.00p 0.79%

F&C Investment Trust (FCIT) 1,032.00p 0.78%

FTSE 100 - Fallers

National Grid (NG.) 1,035.50p -8.16%

Severn Trent (SVT) 2,520.00p -4.51%

United Utilities Group (UU.) 1,035.00p -3.90%

Whitbread (WTB) 2,989.00p -2.03%

DCC (CDI) (DCC) 5,625.00p -2.00%

Antofagasta (ANTO) 2,214.00p -1.86%

RS Group (RS1) 799.00p -1.72%

Fresnillo (FRES) 610.50p -1.61%

Smith & Nephew (SN.) 1,000.00p -1.48%

Weir Group (WEIR) 2,134.00p -1.20%

FTSE 250 - Risers

Hargreaves Lansdown (HL.) 1,140.50p 16.50%

AJ Bell (AJB) 406.00p 12.00%

QinetiQ Group (QQ.) 414.80p 10.85%

Wizz Air Holdings (WIZZ) 2,072.00p 5.61%

Target Healthcare Reit Ltd (THRL) 79.50p 3.52%

Octopus Renewables Infrastructure Trust (ORIT) 70.00p 2.64%

Abrdn (ABDN) 156.10p 2.63%

Tate & Lyle (TATE) 692.00p 2.22%

AO World (AO.) 112.00p 2.19%

Scottish American Inv Company (SAIN) 530.00p 2.12%

FTSE 250 - Fallers

Drax Group (DRX) 516.50p -6.94%

Great Portland Estates (GPE) 400.00p -5.33%

Pets at Home Group (PETS) 269.40p -4.74%

Pennon Group (PNN) 638.50p -3.98%

Johnson Matthey (JMAT) 1,745.00p -3.43%

ICG Enterprise Trust (ICGT) 1,182.00p -2.48%

RHI Magnesita N.V. (DI) (RHIM) 3,555.00p -2.20%

TI Fluid Systems (TIFS) 132.80p -2.06%

W.A.G Payment Solutions (WPS) 68.60p -2.00%

NextEnergy Solar Fund Limited Red (NESF) 75.35p -1.89%

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