(Sharecast News) – London’s FTSE 100 was down 0.2% at 6,829.47 in afternoon trade on Thursday.
Sainsbury’s rallied as it lifted profit forecasts after a booming festive period as Britons treated themselves to champagne and steaks in response to pandemic restrictions on the size of gatherings and online orders hit record levels.
The company said it now expected to report underlying profit before tax of at least £330m in the year to March 2021 against previous expectations of £270m and compared with £586m a year ago after forgoing business rates relief of £410m.
Paper and packaging group Mondi was also firmer on the back of a bullish note from Jefferies, which upgraded its packaging sector outlook to positive. Jefferies kept Mondi as its top pick in the sector with a ‘buy’ recommendation and a 2,050p price target.
Building materials group CRH was also higher after an upgrade to ‘buy’ at Societe Generale.
British Airways owner IAG fell as budget airline Ryanair said it was slashing its flight schedule and annual traffic forecasts after fresh lockdowns in the UK and Ireland in response to a new variant of the coronavirus.
In addition, Wizz Air said it had cancelled the bulk of its UK flights in January due to the latest lockdown.
FTSE 100 – Risers
Sainsbury (J) (SBRY) 242.90p 4.47%
Ferguson (FERG) 9,178.00p 2.96%
BT Group (BT.A) 144.35p 2.34%
Imperial Brands (IMB) 1,630.00p 2.16%
Hargreaves Lansdown (HL.) 1,570.00p 1.82%
Mondi (MNDI) 1,857.00p 1.78%
Rio Tinto (RIO) 6,221.00p 1.73%
CRH (CRH) 3,440.00p 1.71%
Pershing Square Holdings Ltd NPV (PSH) 2,655.00p 1.53%
Evraz (EVR) 522.60p 1.36%
FTSE 100 – Fallers
Auto Trader Group (AUTO) 583.40p -4.33%
M&G (MNG) 197.75p -2.78%
International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 153.75p -2.75%
British Land Company (BLND) 475.80p -2.66%
Rightmove (RMV) 629.00p -2.45%
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) 4,707.00p -2.22%
DCC (DCC) 5,476.00p -2.21%
Experian (EXPN) 2,819.00p -2.08%
Whitbread (WTB) 3,077.00p -2.07%
Pearson (PSON) 684.00p -2.03%