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(Sharecast News) - On a pretty uninspiring day for London stocks, the tobacco and pharma sectors were among those holding back gains.
Tobacco was in the red ahead of full year results for British American Tobacco next week.
Pharmaceuticals were mixed, with generic drug maker Hikma leading the decline, while behemoths AstraZeneca and GSK were also in the red amid the growing clamour stateside about drug prices, with the subject being the focus of a Netflix show this week.
This comes after the White House proposal earlier this month for a rule targeting the prescription drug rebate system, to increase transparency and resetting a system that currently sees insurers and pharmacies often favoring medicines with higher list prices.
As a sign of the building momentum, a US judge also cleared the way for a potentially massive class action lawsuit against insulin makers Sanofi, Novo Nordisk and Eli Lilly.
General industrials were in the red, led by packaging makers DS Smith and Smurfit Kappa.
At the top end of the leaderboard was the household goods sector, where Reckitt Benckiser's final results pleased investors. Fourth quarter sales were up 4% on a like-for-like basis versus the average analysts forecast of 3.3% and the Cilit Bang and Durex maker said it expected momentum to continue in 2019, setting a target of 3-4% growth.
Morgan Stanley noted that after the the shock retirement announcement from Rakesh Kapoor last month the stock had fallen to three-year lows, but that these "solid" results, statement from the chairman that the new CEO will look to carry on the recent strategy "provides significant reassurance".
Retailers were also on the up, with Next, Primark owner ABF, Ocado and Marks & Spencer all higher. With RBS and water companies such as Severn Trent and United Utilities all in the green, it could have been an effect of the resignation of seven Labour MPs to form a new independent group in parliament. This selection of domestically focused stocks suggested that investors saw the weakening of Labour's hand as a potential positive. Utilities share prices have suffered in the recent past from fears that Labour would bring them back under state control if they ever come to power.
Top performing sectors so far today
Household Goods & Home Construction 16,313.93 +2.49%
Software & Computer Services 2,008.34 +2.05%
General Retailers 2,176.98 +2.03%
Food Producers & Processors 7,081.77 +1.71%
Real Estate Investment & Services 2,563.38 +1.68%
Bottom performing sectors so far today
Tobacco 33,675.11 -1.20%
Pharmaceuticals & Biotechnology 15,127.43 -0.87%
General Industrials 5,724.88 -0.73%
Forestry & Paper 21,192.24 -0.66%
Media 8,009.86 -0.62%
FTSE 100 (UKX) 7,234.44 -0.03%
FTSE 250 (MCX) 19,134.79 0.78%
techMARK (TASX) 3,541.95 0.33%
FTSE 100 - Risers
Reckitt Benckiser Group (RB.) 6,322.00p 5.07%
Micro Focus International (MCRO) 1,760.50p 4.79%
TUI AG Reg Shs (DI) (TUI) 831.00p 2.72%
Next (NXT) 4,836.00p 2.37%
Associated British Foods (ABF) 2,318.00p 2.29%
Ocado Group (OCDO) 925.20p 2.14%
SEGRO (SGRO) 653.20p 2.06%
Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS) 252.50p 2.02%
Marks & Spencer Group (MKS) 290.80p 1.86%
Severn Trent (SVT) 1,981.00p 1.85%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Hikma Pharmaceuticals (HIK) 1,718.00p -2.33%
International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 650.60p -1.99%
Smith (DS) (SMDS) 347.10p -1.81%
Smurfit Kappa Group (SKG) 2,302.00p -1.62%
Standard Chartered (STAN) 629.50p -1.32%
Carnival (CCL) 4,283.00p -1.27%
Relx plc (REL) 1,699.00p -1.22%
Paddy Power Betfair (PPB) 6,114.90p -1.21%
GVC Holdings (GVC) 633.50p -1.09%
AstraZeneca (AZN) 6,178.00p -1.01%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Indivior (INDV) 119.15p 5.12%
FDM Group (Holdings) (FDM) 848.00p 4.69%
Vivo Energy (VVO) 135.00p 4.34%
TI Fluid Systems (TIFS) 192.00p 4.12%
JD Sports Fashion (JD.) 467.50p 4.03%
CLS Holdings (CLI) 238.00p 3.93%
Charter Court Financial Services Group (CCFS) 291.20p 3.70%
Contour Global (GLO) 174.10p 3.69%
B&M European Value Retail S.A. (DI) (BME) 337.60p 3.53%
Inmarsat (ISAT) 375.80p 3.44%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Plus500 Ltd (DI) (PLUS) 859.10p -6.77%
FirstGroup (FGP) 93.30p -2.76%
RHI Magnesita N.V. (DI) (RHIM) 4,354.00p -2.64%
Tullow Oil (TLW) 226.20p -1.69%
EI Group (EIG) 197.20p -1.65%
Computacenter (CCC) 1,102.00p -1.61%
CYBG (CYBG) 186.50p -1.58%
Petrofac Ltd. (PFC) 395.30p -1.25%
Galliford Try (GFRD) 682.50p -0.80%
Fidelity Special Values (FSV) 254.00p -0.78%
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