ADVFN Morning London Market Report: Monday 15 November 2021

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London open: Stocks steady but Avast surges


London stocks were steady in early trade on Monday following a muted session in Asia.

At 0845 GMT, the FTSE 100 was flat at 7,345.77.

Richard Hunter, head of markets at Interactive Investor, said: “In early exchanges, UK indices saw a lacklustre open, with some weakness in cyclical stocks offset by a drift to defensives to render the indices flat.

“Any sustained weakness could, however, tempt institutional international investors back into the fray with the UK market having underperformed some of its global peers on a relative basis.

“Even so, the gains in the year to date have been rewarding, with the FTSE 100 up by 13.7% and the more domestically-focused FTSE250 by 15%.”

Hunter said retail sales data and UK inflation figures will take centre stage this week as the earnings season finally winds down.

In equity marketsAvast was the standout gainer on the FTSE 100 after NortonLifeLock satisfied the US antitrust condition for its acquisition.

Government outsourcer Serco rallied as it lifted profits guidance after better-than-expected trading in Australia and the UK from Covid-related work.

CMC Markets surged after the online financial trading group confirmed it was looking at a possible separation of its leveraged and non-leveraged divisions in order to unlock shareholder value. The shares were also underpinned by an upgrade to ‘buy’ at Jefferies.

Cineworld racked up health gains after it said box office and concession revenues in October were at 90% of pre-Covid levels as “an excellent slate of films” drove a recovery.

Ascential was also higher after announcing the acquisition of WhyteSpyder, an e-commerce software and digital merchandising business which helps brands succeed on Walmart’s digital marketplace, for an undisclosed sum. The company also said both editions of its Money20/20 event rebounded strongly this year.

On the downside, IAG was in the red after HSBC aviation analyst Andrew Lobbenberg suggested the British Airways and Iberia owner could tap shareholders for more cash early next year. According to the Mail on Sunday, Lobbenberg said a rights issue would be the fastest way for the aviation giant to tackle its €12.3bn debt and allow it to restart paying a dividend.

IT provider Kainos slumped even as it reported a jump in first-half profit and revenue amid “robust” market demand.

In broker note action, insurer Admiral was lifted by an upgrade to ‘buy’ at Berenberg, while Direct Line was knocked lower by a downgrade to ‘hold’ by the same outfit.

EasyJet flew lower after a downgrade to ‘reduce’ at Kepler Cheuvreux, while B&M European Value slid after a downgrade to ‘sell’ at Goldman SachsAuto Trader fell after a downgrade to ‘add’ at Peel Hunt.


Top 10 FTSE 100 Risers

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# Name Change Pct Change Cur Price
1 Tui Ag +2.26% +5.10 231.00
2 Royal Dutch Shell Plc +2.25% +37.00 1,678.20
3 Astrazeneca Plc +2.07% +182.00 8,983.00
4 Imperial Brands Plc +1.98% +31.00 1,594.50
5 Royal Dutch Shell Plc +1.87% +31.00 1,688.00
6 International Consolidated Airlines Group S.a. +1.80% +2.96 167.28
7 Easyjet Plc +1.77% +10.60 608.60
8 Standard Chartered Plc +1.75% +8.10 469.70
9 Rolls-royce Holdings Plc +1.54% +2.20 145.48
10 Micro Focus International Plc +1.46% +5.90 409.90


Top 10 FTSE 100 Fallers

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# Name Change Pct Change Cur Price
1 Glencore Plc -1.55% -5.70 362.20
2 St. James’s Place Plc -1.37% -22.00 1,585.00
3 Evraz Plc -1.32% -8.20 611.80
4 Antofagasta Plc -1.24% -18.50 1,469.50
5 Anglo American Plc -1.23% -35.50 2,855.50
6 Ashtead Group Plc -1.18% -76.00 6,374.00
7 Bhp Group Plc -1.06% -20.80 1,940.00
8 Smith (ds) Plc -1.02% -4.00 388.90
9 Mondi Plc -0.94% -17.50 1,847.50
10 Halma Plc -0.89% -28.00 3,122.00


Europe open: Shares start week in cautious mood; Avast surges

European shares edged higher in cautious mood at the opening on Monday as new Covid lockdowns were enforced in Austria.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 index was up 0.06%, with miners dragged lower on weaker iron ore and metal prices. GlencoreRio Tinto and Anglo American were all down as a result.

Investors will be eyeing retail sales figures in the US, China and UK this week as the third quarter earnings season begins to wind down.

“Quite apart from retail sales releases in China and the UK, US retail sales will be an important barometer given the importance of the consumer to the US economy,” said interactive investor analyst Richard Hunter.

“A release last week suggested that consumer sentiment had dropped to a 10 year low, as the spectre of inflation dampened spirits. Job openings also remain high as the US grapples with containing not only the Delta variant but also encouraging a more widespread return to normality.”

Elsewhere, Austria became the first European country to reinstate a fresh lockdown, placing millions of unvaccinated people under restrictions amid record-level infection rates.

In equity news, shares in Philips, which is recalling ventilators due to use of parts containing a potentially hazardous foam, slid 8.5% after the medical equipment maker announced it was in discussions with US regulators following a new inspection of one of its facilities.

Airbus jumped 2.6% after it won a multi-billion-dollar order for 255 single-aisle A321neo passenger jets from private-equity firm Indigo Partners’ portfolio airlines and a separate order by Wizz Air for 102 of the aircraft.

Avast shares surged after NortonLifeLock satisfied the US antitrust condition for its acquisition.


Monday newspaper round-up: EU car makers, living wage, pensioners

Weak EU vehicle emissions targets could allow Europe’s biggest carmakers to produce millions more petrol and diesel cars than necessary up to 2030 in a “wasted decade” for cutting carbon pollution, according to a report. Analysis of car industry sales plans for electric vehicles shared exclusively with the Guardian by Transport and Environment (T&E), a thinktank and campaign group, showed that manufacturers could hit their 2030 EU carbon emissions targets with four years to spare. – Guardian

More than 300,000 workers in the UK will get a pay rise from Monday as the charity behind the voluntary real living wage raises the minimum hourly rate amid growing fears over a squeeze on household incomes this winter. Set by the Living Wage Foundation, the nationwide “real living wage” will be raised by 40p to £9.90, while workers in London will see their pay boosted by 20p to £11.05. The changes will apply to workers at about 9,000 living wage employers who adopt the voluntary pay measure. – Guardian

Millions of pensioners face a £169 blow to their incomes next year as the state pension fails to keep pace with inflation. It comes as the Government is set to reject calls from the House of Lords for a bigger pension rise, despite figures this week expected to show inflation already nearing 4pc, a decade-high. – Telegraph

Some companies under investigation by the Serious Fraud Office are spending up to ten times more than Britain’s anti-fraud and bribery organisation on legal and investigation fees, according to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, leaving the fraudbusters outgunned and less effective. Lack of funding, senior officials joining law firms representing the companies that the SFO is investigating and a perceived hesitation in prosecuting companies and executives all undermine the fight against economic crime, the bureau has found. – The Times

It’s “showtime,” Jamie Foxx, the Hollywood A-lister, declares in one of the many gambling adverts flooding America’s airwaves. Amid rapid growth across the country’s emerging market in sports betting, leading players are rushing to grab the best seats in the house. Investors’ interest was writ large in last year’s blockbuster listing by DraftKings, the Boston-based betting company now valued at $32 billion. Caesars Entertainment’s £2.9 billion deal for William Hill, the British bookmaker making headway in the United States, merely underlined the heavyweight operators’ determination to dominate. – The Times


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