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FTSE 100 index closes convincingly higher but FTSE 250 lags

The UK's index of leading shares closed up nearly 26 points at 7,172 with consumer shares doing well

bt
  • FTSE 100 closes up over 25 points
  • US markets in the red
  • Just Eat completes US deal

5pm: FTSE closes ahead

FTSE 100 index finished Tuesday in the green, while US stocks went the other way, and FTSE 250 lagged following yesterday's news that coronavirus restrictions in the UK would be extended.

The UK's index of leading shares closed up nearly 26 points at 7,172, a 16 month high, with consumer shares doing well, like Primark owner Associated British Foods plc (LON:ABF), which was the top gainer, up 3.27%.

The pound was also lower against the US dollar, down 0.17% at US$1.4082, which gave the index a boost.

Midcap FTSE 250 finished down nearly 113 points at 22,631.

"It’s been another positive day for markets in Europe today with the FTSE100 eking out a new 16 month high, however the FTSE 250 has lagged behind somewhat, in the aftermath of yesterday’s confirmation of an extension of restrictions to July 19," said Michael Hewson, chief market analyst, at CMC Markets.

Over on Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average shed over 170 points at 34,223.

The S&P 500 lost around 14 at 4,240 and the Nasdaq slipped over 103 points at 14,071.

3.52pm: UK market shrugs off Wall Street blues

The FTSE 100 is holding onto its gains despite a dip on the Dow as investors digest the hefty dose of US data which has been dumped on them.

Apart from worse than expected US retail sales and higher than forecast producer prices, there have also been some housing figures.

Confidence among US homebuilders has fallen to a 10 month low, partly due to rising costs and supply shortages.

How that all fits together to paint an accurate picture of inflation is something that the Federal Reserve is going to have to resolve at its current two day meeting.

Meanwhile investors are erring on the negative side, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average down 143 points or 0.42% after a fairly flat start. The S&P 500 has lost 0.23% while the Nasdaq Composite is 0.53% lower.

But the FTSE 100 is fairly steady, up 29.21 points or 0.41% at 7175.89 and heading towards its best close for 16 months.

BT Group PLC (LON:BT.) is the biggest riser, up 3.41% to 198.45p on further consideration of last week's news that Altice, the telecoms group founded by French billionaire Patrick Drahi, had taken a 12.1% stake.

Analysts at SocGen have given the shares a lift by raising their price target to 235p.

A handful of ompanies likely to benefit from the ending of lockdown, delayed though it might be, were also moving higher.

Primark owner Associated British Foods PLC (LON:ABF) has added 3.14% while DIY group Kingfisher has climbed 1.63%.

3.15pm: Miners fall after copper price dips

A surge in the price of non-ferrous metals may have helped push US producer prices higher in May, but now a dip in the copper price has undermined some of the major commodity companies.

With copper at a seven week low on concerns the Chinese authorities may take action to curb the recent price rally, Anglo American PLC (LON:AAL) is down 3.58% - not helped by a downgrade by analysts at RBC Capital.

Antofagasta PLC (LON:ANTO) has fallen 2.84%, while Glencore PLC (LON:GLEN) has lost 2.56%. 

That has not taken the shine off the FTSE 100 however, which is up 31.86 points or 0.45% to 7178.54.

Earlier the index hit a new post pandemic high, reaching its best level since the end of February 2020.

2.47pm: Proactive North America headlines:

BioHarvest Sciences Inc (CSE:BHSC) (OTCMKTS:CNVCF) (FRA:8MV) delves into the science behind how its dietary supplement VINIA has anti-aging powers

BioSig Technologies Inc (NASDAQ:BSGM) to present data from a study of its PURE EP system at Heart Rhythm 2021 in July

Nextleaf Solutions Ltd (CSE:OILS) (OTCQB:OILFF) launches Specialty Molecules Division to develop and commercialize novel psychoactive compounds

KushCo Holdings Inc (OTCQX:KSHB) expects up to a 26% increase in its 3Q revenue driven by top customer sales

Namaste Technologies Inc (CVE:N) (OTCMKTS:NXTTF) (FRA:M5BQ) adds 550-plus product codes to CannMart digital platform over three months

Ridgeline Minerals Corp (CVE:RDG) (OTCQB:RDGMF) (FRA:0GC0) reports encouraging drill assays from Selena, confirming high-grade silver potential

American Resources Corporation (NASDAQ:AREC) grows supply chain for waste permanent magnets and lithium-ion batteries to be recycled for rare earth minerals

Co-Diagnostics Inc (NASDAQ:CODX) says it will be presenting virtually at two conferences virtually this week

Biocept Inc (NASDAQ:BIOC) (FRA:B003) says it has received 240,000 coronavirus tests since June 2020; readies flu testing for the fall

Talon Metals Corp (TSE:TLO) (OTCMKTS:TLOFF) (FRA:TAO) says it has extended nickel-copper mineralization to the north of current Tamarack resource area

INDVR Brands Inc (CSE:IDVR) (OTCMKTS:CAAOF) (FRA:3YX) appoints Hugh Hempel as its new president after closing its acquisitions of Strainz and Bronnor

Silvercorp Metals Inc (TSE:SVM) (NYSEAMERICAN:SVM) intersects high-grade gold and silver at HPG mine in China

Victory Resources Corporation (CSE:VR) (OTCMKTS:VRCFF) (FRA:VR62) launches expanded geological sampling program on Smokey Lithium property in Nevada

Aurania Resources Ltd (CVE:ARU) (OTCQB:AUIAF) (FRA:20Q)eports drilling intersected sediment-hosted copper mineralization at Tsenken N1 in Lost Cities-Cutucu Project

Tocvan Ventures Corp (CSE:TOC) (FRA:TV3) reports promising Phase II drill program results from Main Zone at Pilar gold-silver project in Mexico

Helix BioPharma Corp (TSE:HBP) (OTCMKTS:HBPCF) (FRA:HBP) spends C$1.9M on R&D in its fiscal third quarter

LeanLife Health Inc (CSE:LLP) (OTCQB:LNLHF) (FRA:LL1) tags in a financial advisor as it progresses in the North American beverage market

Plurilock Security Inc (CVE:PLUR) (OTCQB:PLCKF)  secures new order as state agencies protect from cyber attacks

New Pacific Metals Corp (TSX:NUAG) (NYSEAMERICAN:NEWP) gets the green light to start drilling at Carangas

2.45pm: Wall Street opens flat to lower as investors eye Fed

The main indices on Wall Street have opened flat or lower on Tuesday morning as investors kept a close eye on the latest meeting of the Federal Reserve.

Shortly after the opening bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up slightly, 0.03%, at 34,405, while the S&P 500 had dipped 0.06% to 4,252 and the Nasdaq fell 0.31% to 14,130.

Back in London, the FTSE 100 was inching higher into late afternoon, rising 34 points to 7,180 at around 2.45pm.

1.58pm: Retail sales disappoint, producer prices hit record

US retail sales have come in lower than expected but producer prices are higher than forecast, which is likely to raise the inflation issue once more as the Federal Reserve meets.

May's retail sales fell 1.3% compared to expectations of a 0.7% decline, but April's figure was revised upwards from unchanged to a rise of 0.9%.

Sales of vehicles and electronic goods, which had been in demand during lockdown as people avoided public transport and bought equipment for home working, declined in May.

(The car figures are also likely to have been affected by fewer vehicles being made as a global semiconductor shortage hinders production).

But spending on clothing and dining out grew as the US vaccination programme became more widespread.

As for producer prices, the overall figure rose from 6.2% to 6.6%, when an unchanged figure was expected.

This was the largest increase since 12-month data were first calculated in November 2010.

Core prices excluding food and energy rose by an expected 4.8%, up from 4.1%.

One of the major elements in the overall increase was the price of nonferrous metals which rose 6.9%.

 

So far the response on Wall Street has been muted. All eyes are clearly on the Fed and whatever it choses to announce on Wednesday at the end of its two day meeting.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average has moved from slightly negative to slightly positive and is set for a 0.04% rise. The S&P 500 is forecast to open 0.05% higher while the Nasdaq Composite has turned negative, albeit only to the tune of a 0.04% dip.

In the UK, the FTSE 100 has gained some ground, up 30.28 points or 0.42% at 7176.96.

12.15pm: Investors await US retail sales and producer prices

Wall Street is set for a flat open as the Federal Reserve begins its two day meeting to discuss the latest economic situation. 

And most crucially, whether the central bank needs to act amid signs of inflationary pressures.

Sophie Griffiths, market analyst at Oanda, said: "There is only one show in town this week, and that's the Fed. Investors want to know if the Fed has started to talk about reining in its ultra-loose policy or not. The markets want to know whether the sugar rush that has boosted stocks to all-time highs is coming to an end. 

"The Fed is unlikely to hurry into a decision now. However, with bond yields at three-month lows and equities at record highs, the Fed has the market where it wants it. As such, there's a good runway for very gradually introducing the debate surrounding tapering asset purchases. Even if it doesn't happen tomorrow, it could well happen at the Jackson Hole economic forum later in the summer."

Ahead of all that, the Dow Jones Industrial Average is expected to open virtually unchanged (down a miniscule 0.02%) while the S&P 500 if forecast to edge up 0.07% and the tech heavy Nasdaq Composite is indicated to add 0.12%.

As the Fed meets, they will see the latest US retail sales and producer price figures, due at 1.30pm BST.

Retail sales have been on a rollercoaster ride in recent months, with a fall of 2.7% in February, a 10.7% surge in March, then a flat figure in April.

The May figure due later is forecast to slip 0.7%.

Michael Hewson at CMC Markets said: "While the US is doing well on the vaccine rollout plans and the reopening of the economy, with theme and holiday parks also reopening, there still seems to be an overriding feeling of caution around consumer spending patterns which appears to be tempering retail sales. Higher fuel prices probably aren’t helping with an expectation of a decline of -0.7% expected.

"With inflation at multi year highs today’s PPI numbers for May could also offer a further glimpse into the inflationary impulse of the US economy. Often a leading indicator of future CPI numbers they have already proved to be reasonably accurate so far. 

"Today’s headline PPI is expected to stay at 6.2%, however core prices are expected to rise further from 4.1% to 4.8%, which would be additional food for thought for the members of the [Federal Reserve} when they sit down and start their deliberations later today."

Back in the UK, the FTSE 100 is treading water but still in positive territory, up 19.34 points or 0.27% at 7166.02. 

11.45am: Upper Crust owner on the way up

Another business to benefit from the rebound in hospitality shares is cafe and sandwich bar owner SSP PLC (LON:SSPG).

Its shares are 2.44% higher at 323.8p on hopes that the business, which has obviously struggled throughout the pandemic, will benefit when lockdown is lifted, even if that moment has been delayed.

Susannah Streeter, senior investment and markets analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: "Although a quick turnaround recipe for the Ritazza and Upper Crust owner SSP, is still not yet on the cards, there was renewed appetite for [its] shares...

"Investors are clearly hoping the full easing of restrictions will help footfall rebound across the airport and train station network, where the chain runs concessions. However, with hybrid working emerging as a popular choice, the captive commuter market is still expected to stay rather subdued."

The rise in SSP has done little to help the mid-cap FTSE 250 where it resides, which is up just 0.16% at 22,781.

Meanwhile the FTSE 100 is currently up 22.05 points or 0.31% at 7168.73.

11.00am: Boohoo boosted by update

Leading shares continue to bask in the sunshine, taking the delays to the end of lockdown restrictions in their stride.

An Australian/UK trade deal just announced by the two governments has had little effect, perhaps because many economists believe it will add very little to the UK economy overall.

Still, the FTSE 100 remains positive, up 26.56 points at 7173.24.

Among the risers is Boohoo PLC (LON:BOO), up 1.07% at 332p after its first quarter results.

The online retailer saw revenues climb 32% to £486mln compared to last year, and a 91% jump compared to the same period in 2019.

The business, which bought the Debenhams brand and has now launched a digital department store, kept full-year guidance unchanged and expressed confidence in its medium-term prospects underpinned by its expansion plans.

 

9.53am: Market shrugs off Freedom Day delay

The delay to "Freedom Day" unveiled on Monday saw various consumer sectors sell off, but this morning there is something of a recovery.

British Airways owner International Consolidated Airlines PLC (LON:IAG) is up 1.93%, while EasyJet PLC (LON:EZJ) has climbed 1.76%.

Hotels group Whitbread PLC (LON:WTB) is 1.29% better while Wagamama owner Restaurant Group PLC (LON:RTN) has added 2.43%.

 AJ Bell investment director Russ Mould said: “The hospitality and travel stocks which had sold off ahead of the delay to ‘Freedom Day’ in the UK made partial recoveries as investors welcomed some form of clarity over the new 19 July unlocking date.

“The move had been widely trailed in advance and therefore did not come as a huge shock to the market.”

Retailers are also rising, with Primark owner Associated British Foods PLC (LON:ABF) up 3.75% and B&Q business Kingfisher PLC (LON:KGF) climbing 1.92%.

The FTSE 100 is off its best levels but still up 15.56 points or 0.22% at 7162.24. Meanwhile the FTSE 250 is less buoyant, just 0.08% higher at 22,763.

Inflationary worries could come to the fore again later. As the US Federal Reserve begins its two day meeting, the latest US retail sales and producer prices figures will give the central bank something to think about as it discusses signs of pricing pressures in the economy.

9.02am: Food delivery business seals US acquisition

Just Eat Takeaway.com NV (LON:JET) is one of the biggest risers in the UK blue chip index.

Do investors believe we will all go back to ordering takeaways now that "Freedom Day" when lockdown restrictions end has been delayed by a month?

More likely they are welcoming the news that the company has completed its £5.75bn takeover of US rival Grubhub, first announced around a year ago.

The move marks the company's entry into the US food delivery market.

Jitse Groen, Just Eat chief executive, said: "I have always believed that the combination of Takeaway.com, Just Eat and Grubhub is a winning combination. The new company is the market leader in Europe, Canada and Australia, with very strong positions in the most important markets in the United States."

Just Eat is 122p or 1.92% higher at 6483p.

Overall the FTSE 100 has added to its early gains and is now up 27.55 points or 0.38% at 7173.67.

8.39am: Leading shares move higher at open

The FTSE 100 got off to a subdued but positive start, buoyed by the progress made on Wall Street in a rather odd final hour.

Both the Nasdaq and S&P 500 ended in record territory after a surprise rally, though Dow stood more or less pat.

It was hard to understand the late rebound given the Fed’s Open Markets Committee is expected to discuss the staged curtailing of monetary support at a two-day meeting starting Tuesday.

Certainly, the bond markets were beginning to pre-empt this and a possible rise in US interest rates as prices eased and yields ticked higher on the benchmark 10-year US Treasury.

Here at home, the latest economic data revealed the unemployment rate had ticked down to 4.7% from 4.8% with payrolls increasing 200,000 between April and May, buoyed by demand for the hospitality sector.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq’s performance appeared to prompt buyers of Scottish Mortgage Trust (LON:SMT), one of Silicon Valley’s biggest investors, and Allianz Technology Trust (LON:ATT), which rose 1.4% and 2.2% respectively.

A mini commodities sell-off hit miners with Anglo American (LON:AAL), off 1.7%, and Antofagasta (LON:ANTO), the copper specialist, down 1.4%. The former was also the focus of a downgrade by RBC Capital.

Proactive news headlines

Keywords Studios PLC (LON:KWS) has said that following a leave of absence for health reasons in March, its chief executive Andrew Day has decided to bring forward a longer-term retirement plan and will be leaving his role as CEO and his position as a director with immediate effect.

Westminster Group PLC (LON:WSG) said it has been awarded a long-term contract to provide security services to five airports in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Panther Metals PLC (LON:PALM) announced the completion of data processing from airborne geophysical programmes on its wholly owned projects in Western Australia and the Northern Territory.

BATM Advanced Communications Limited (LON:BVC; TASE:BVC) has landed a US$4.1mln cybersecurity contract from a unnamed “long-standing government defence department customer”.

Frontier IP Group PLC (LON:FIPP) said its portfolio company, Pulsiv, has appointed Adam Westcott as its chief financial officer.

Eckoh PLC (LON:ECK) believes lasting changes to the working environment, particularly an increase in work-for-home patterns, will drive opportunities and demand for its secure payments and customer contactproducts.

Condor Gold PLC (LON:CNR)(TSE:COG) has commenced a 1,700 metre infill geotechnical drilling programme within the permitted La India open pit in Nicaragua. Two diamond drill rigs have been deployed. The drilling is likely to add significant new resources to the planned open pit. 

Eurasia Mining PLC (LON:EUA) is proceeding with its plans to create a series of joint venture companies with partner Rosgeo. On 26 March 2021, Eurasia signed a binding agreement to create a joint venture with Rosgeo in which Eurasia will own a 75% equity stake in nine platinum group metal and battery metals assets, four of which are post the Russian feasibility study stage, and which have state approved reserves. 

Kavango Resources PLC (LON:KAV) has identified an electro-magnetic anomaly in Target Area C in the Hukuntsi section of the  Kalahari Suture Zone project. Designated Target C1, the conductive anomaly is located 11km from Target A2, which was first announced in April last year.

Tavistock Investments PLC (LON:TAVI) returned to profit in its latest financial year as higher gross margins combined with lower overheads.

SigmaRoc PLC (LON:SRC), a buy-and-build construction materials group, signed a joint venture agreement with a major Calais-based high-grade limestone and construction materials company. 

Norman Broadbent PLC (LON:NBB) has appointed recruitment veteran Peter Searle as executive chairman. He will take up the role immediately after the recruitment and business group’s Annual General Meeting on June 25. 

Pelatro Plc (LON:PTRO) is aiming to raise at least £2.15mln of new capital through a share placing plus a share offer to retail investors on the PrimaryBid platform. Some 5.37mln new shares are being sold in a placing, priced at 40p per share. Shares sold via PrimaryBid will be priced on the same terms.

Teleradiology specialist Medica Group PLC (LON:MGP) has appointed a veteran of the technology sector as its new senior independent director and chair of the audit committee. Barbara Moorhouse will replace Steve Whittern at the company’s annual meeting on Wednesday (June 16).

6.50 am: FTSE 100 called higher after Wall Street rally 

The FTSE 100 is expected to open in positive territory after a record close for both Nasdaq and S&P 500.

In Asia, opinion was split with Japan and Australia performing well, while China’s main markets were led lower by flattening commodity prices.

The early action in London is likely to be subdued ahead of a two-day meeting of America’s Federal Open Markets Committee (FOMC), which, according to some reports, will assess whether it is time to scale back its US$120bn asset purchase scheme.

Inflation rather than stimulus has become the watchword in recent weeks as the world makes a rapid (possibly too rapid in the eyes of economists) recovery from the global pandemic.

Anticipating possible interest rate rises, the 10-year US Treasury yield nudged higher overnight.

“[There has been] some pre-FOMC position shuffling is occurring across asset classes at the moment,” said Jeffrey Halley, markets analyst at OANDA.

“Equities continue on their merry way higher, with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq tracing new record highs overnight.

“The Dow Jones is lagging, perhaps as its components could be perceived as more vulnerable to the rising inflation data being seen across the world. US yields moved higher across the curve overnight, notably in the 30-year tenor.

“Given the recent gains in bond prices, though, the price action looks more corrective and cautious, with US Retail Sales and PPI to come this evening before the main event tomorrow US time.”

Here at home, updates from Boohoo (LON:BOO), the online fashion giant, and plant hire firm Ashtead (LON:AHT), are top of the list of the companies reporting on Tuesday.

Around the markets

  • Pound: US$1.4113 (flat)
  • Bitcoin: US$40,301.64 (+2.5%)
  • Gold: US$1,866.20 (flat)
  • Brent crude: US$73.09 (+0.3%)

6.50am: Early Markets - Asia / Australia

Stocks in the Asia-Pacific region were mixed on Tuesday after the Nasdaq and S&P 500 both rose to all-time closing highs overnight on Wall Street.

The Shanghai Composite in China fell 0.90% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index dipped 0.93%

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 gained 0.95% while South Korea’s Kospi rose 0.14%.

Shares in Australia surged, with the S&P/ASX 200 trading 1.02% higher.

Proactive Australia news:

Buru Energy Limited (ASX:BRU) (OTCMKTS:BRNGF) (FRA:BUD) is advancing preparations for its Currajong 1 exploration well, the first well in its 2021 drilling campaign in the Canning Basin, with the Ensign 963 rig mobilised to site.

Meteoric Resources NL (ASX: MEI) (FRA:RNF) has upgraded the Juruena Project resource in Brazil to 1.9 million tonnes at 6.3 g/t for 387,000 ounces of gold, an increase of 50% over the previous resource.

MGC Pharmaceuticals Ltd’s (ASX:MXC) (LSE:MXC) (OTCMKTS:MGCLF) cannabis-derived epilepsy product CannEpil® has been added to the Primary Care Reimbursement Service (PCRS) in Ireland which makes it free of charge for patients prescribed the treatment.

Latitude Consolidated Ltd's (ASX:LCD) (FRA:1KX) first-pass drilling points to previously unidentified and untested northwest-southeast striking mineralisation at Suzie North exploration target within the Murchison Gold Project in WA.

Vango Mining Ltd (AXS:VAN) is well-positioned to further advance its 100%-owned Marymia Gold Project in Western Australia after raising A$6.1 million in an equity raising to sophisticated and professional investors.

TNT Mines Ltd’s (ASX:TIN) latest exploration program has uncovered a large gold anomaly around 1.2 kilometres south of the Eureka Pit in Western Australia.

Emyria Ltd (ASX:EMD) has filed additional patents supporting its EMD-004 cannabinoid-based drug development program targeting irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)

Fe Limited (ASX:FEL) has fired the first blast of ore and waste in the JWD Iron Ore Project pit as part of early development

Archer Materials Ltd (ASX:AXE) (OTCMKTS:ARRXF) (FRA:38A) has signed a non-binding letter of intent (LOI) with Australian Missile Corporation (AMC) to support Australia’s Sovereign Guided Weapons Enterprise.

Kazia Therapeutics Ltd (ASX:KZA) (NASDAQ:KZIA) has teamed up with a medical college from Cornell University to launch a phase two clinical study investigating Kazia’s investigational new drug paxalisib in combination with ketogenesis.

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