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London open: Stocks firmer amid a buffet of earnings

Thu 28 April 2022 09:13 | A A A

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Market latest

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

7208.81 | Positive 188.36 (2.68%)
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Prices delayed by at least 15 minutes

(Sharecast News) - London stocks were in the green on Thursday morning amid a smorgasbord of earnings reports, after a mixed session on Wall Street overnight and as concerns over gas supplies in eastern Europe lingered.

At 0902 BST, the FTSE 100 was up 0.87% at 7,490.19, and the FTSE 250 was ahead 0.93% at 20,627.90.

"After a choppy session yesterday, markets in Europe managed to finish the session in positive territory, however the gains were hard won, and lacked conviction," said CMC Markets chief market analyst Michael Hewson.

"In the US, the attempts to move higher were similarly lacking in conviction, with the best that can be said is that we've seen a little bit of a pause for breath after recent heavy declines, as we head towards the end of the week, and the month."

Hewson said the open in Europe looked positive after Facebook owner Meta Platforms' first quarter numbers were not as bad as feared, sending the shares higher after hours in a "bit of a relief rally", while Asia markets also moved higher on pledges of further fiscal support from Chinese policymakers.

"April has been a disappointing month for stock markets in general, but for US markets it's been particularly bad with the Nasdaq 100 hitting one-year lows yesterday, before managing to finish more or less unchanged."

On the economic front, all eyes were on the United States, where the latest economic growth measure was due to be released at 1330 BST.

GDP growth is expected to have slowed significantly in the first quarter, with economists pencilling in a rise of 1.1%, compared to 6.9% three months ago.

On home shores, Bank of England governor Andrew Bailey is due to speak at 1000 BST, while in Germany, inflation figures for April are due out at 1300 BST.

In equities, kitchen supplier Howden Joinery was higher after reporting that overall revenues had grown 21.8% year-on-year in the 16 weeks ended 16 April, while same depot revenues were up 20.1%, driven by increases in both prices and volume.

Unilever was managing gains after warning about rising costs, as the consumer goods group reported higher first-quarter sales driven by price increases.

Asia-focused bank Standard Chartered jumped at the open, after reporting a better-than-expected 6% rise in first-quarter profit, boosted by rising global interest rates.

Pharmaceuticals firm Indivior was firmer after first quarter net revenue came in at $207m (£165.07m), up 15% year-on-year, as it maintained its guidance for the full year.

Premier Inn owner Whitbread was higher after swinging to a full-year profit and beating estimates as revenues improved, although it raised guidance on cost inflation as the economic squeeze continued.

Glencore rose after the miner said its trading business boomed in the first quarter, as the war in Ukraine caused shortages of some commodities and volatile markets.

Barclays was higher, even after it delayed its £1bn share buyback further as a £523m conduct charge caused the bank's first-quarter profit to fall.

Pre-tax profit dropped 7% to £2.23bn in the three months to the end of March from a year earlier as income rose 10% to £6.5bn.

The decline was caused by the conduct charge which covered over-issuance of securities in the US and customer compensation costs for a separate matter.

On the downside, supermarket chain Sainsbury's was sliding after it warned of lower profits this fiscal year as the cost-of-living crisis and inflation hit the economy.

The company forecast underlying pre-tax profit of £630m - £690m in full-year 2022/23 as it posted a £730m profit last year, up 104% on the prior 12 months driven by grocery and fuel sales.

St. James's Place was weaker after it reiterated its expectations for full-year new business growth and over the medium-term, despite the "significant" impact of the war in Ukraine during the first quarter.

Market Movers

FTSE 100 (UKX) 7,488.75 0.85%

FTSE 250 (MCX) 20,627.81 0.93%

techMARK (TASX) 4,331.02 1.03%

FTSE 100 - Risers

Standard Chartered (STAN) 539.80p 12.53%

Whitbread (WTB) 2,868.00p 4.03%

Airtel Africa (AAF) 148.40p 3.63%

Smith & Nephew (SN.) 1,308.00p 3.11%

Ashtead Group (AHT) 4,298.00p 3.00%

Aveva Group (AVV) 1,979.00p 2.86%

Coca-Cola HBC AG (CDI) (CCH) 1,643.00p 2.82%

Burberry Group (BRBY) 1,570.50p 2.61%

Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY) 46.84p 2.34%

Rolls-Royce Holdings (RR.) 84.21p 2.22%

FTSE 100 - Fallers

Sainsbury (J) (SBRY) 229.40p -4.02%

Fresnillo (FRES) 767.60p -3.30%

London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) 7,858.00p -1.28%

Relx plc (REL) 2,393.00p -0.91%

Severn Trent (SVT) 3,138.00p -0.70%

St James's Place (STJ) 1,306.50p -0.65%

Tesco (TSCO) 271.90p -0.62%

Reckitt Benckiser Group (RKT) 6,154.00p -0.58%

United Utilities Group (UU.) 1,154.00p -0.56%

Anglo American (AAL) 3,487.50p -0.54%

FTSE 250 - Risers

Lancashire Holdings Limited (LRE) 447.00p 12.14%

Grafton Group Ut (CDI) (GFTU) 1,009.40p 5.92%

Beazley (BEZ) 438.40p 4.88%

Spectris (SXS) 2,794.00p 4.72%

Telecom Plus (TEP) 1,600.00p 4.58%

IMI (IMI) 1,346.00p 4.10%

Network International Holdings (NETW) 260.00p 4.00%

Indivior (INDV) 335.80p 3.96%

Hays (HAS) 121.60p 3.67%

Renishaw (RSW) 4,100.00p 3.22%

FTSE 250 - Fallers

Weir Group (WEIR) 1,561.50p -3.01%

Morgan Sindall Group (MGNS) 2,210.00p -2.43%

Tyman (TYMN) 279.50p -2.27%

Ibstock (IBST) 181.40p -1.20%

Baltic Classifieds Group (BCG) 129.80p -1.07%

Centamin (DI) (CEY) 89.68p -1.04%

Syncona Limited NPV (SYNC) 165.80p -0.96%

Coats Group (COA) 67.20p -0.88%

Fidelity China Special Situations (FCSS) 234.00p -0.85%

Sequoia Economic Infrastructure Income Fund Limited (SEQI) 100.00p -0.79%

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