London close: Markets mixed amid slew of earnings, bubble concerns

by | Mar 2, 2021

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London stocks were mixed at the close on Tuesday, after a Chinese official earlier warned that foreign markets are in a bubble, with investors spending much of the day rifling through a veritable tsunami of corporate news.
The FTSE 100 ended the session up 0.38% at 6,613.75, while the FTSE 250 was down 0.21% at 21,177.91.

Sterling was in a mixed state as well, last strengthening 0.17% on the dollar to trade at $1.3949, but slipping 0.03% against the euro to 1.1552.

“Today’s market seems to lack the uniformly bullish conviction seen on Monday,” said IG chief market analyst Chris Beauchamp.

“While European stocks have rummaged around to find some more gains, Wall Street is on the back foot once more, although given the scale of the rebound yesterday that is perhaps not surprising.

“But previous legs higher began with several days of strong gains, so it is worrying that Monday’s bounce has fizzled so quickly in the US.”

Beauchamp said the moves came in the wake of comments from the Chinese regulator about “bubble conditions” in US markets, as well as in Europe, which had put investors “on notice” for further comment from regulators globally.

“Still, today hasn’t seen a complete reversal of Monday’s gains, so there is the potential for a further rally later in the week, although this will of course be dependent on how the ADP and NFP payroll reports pan out on Wednesday and Friday respectively.”

Market participants took things in their stride earlier in the session, after head of the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission Guo Shuqing said he was “worried the bubble problem in foreign financial markets will one day go pop”.

Shuqing said markets in the US and Europe are trading at high levels, running “counter to the real economy”.

CMC Markets analyst Michael Hewson said the commission head’s comments were “hardly a new phenomenon.

“There’s been talk about bubbles in US markets for months, and China’s property market isn’t immune to these sorts of concerns either.”

In equity markets, insurer Admiral advanced 2.33% ahead of its full-year results on Thursday, while engineer Renishaw surged 18.97% after saying it was putting itself up for sale.

Rotork was on the front foot by 4.31%, as its full-year adjusted operating profit beat analysts’ expectations.

On the downside, Taylor Wimpey reversed earlier gains to close down 0.39%, after saying it would resume dividend payouts as sales and profits met expectations during an otherwise “unusual and volatile year”.

Product testing and certification company Intertek also slipped below the waterline in afternoon trading, losing 1.72% after it posted a drop in full-year profit and revenue.

The company said its earnings performance was ahead of its own expectations following a strong recovery in the second half.

Flutter Entertainment was 1.81% weaker after the gambling group reported a sharp fall in full-year profits but said it had started the new year with strong momentum and higher revenues.

Equipment rental firm Ashtead fell 0.55% despite saying that full-year results are set to be ahead of its previous expectations after it outperformed the market in the nine months to the end of January 2021.

Engineer Weir lost 2.87% after it reported a decline in full-year profit and revenue.

In broker note action, doorstep lender Provident Financial was knocked 4.82% lower by a downgrade to ‘sell’ at Canaccord Genuity.

Market Movers

FTSE 100 (UKX) 6,613.75 0.38%
FTSE 250 (MCX) 21,177.91 -0.21%
techMARK (TASX) 4,019.91 0.56%

FTSE 100 – Risers

Pershing Square Holdings Ltd NPV (PSH) 2,610.00p 3.98%
Standard Chartered (STAN) 482.40p 2.64%
St James’s Place (STJ) 1,232.00p 2.50%
Admiral Group (ADM) 3,203.00p 2.43%
Aveva Group (AVV) 3,520.00p 2.30%
Johnson Matthey (JMAT) 3,235.00p 2.21%
Rio Tinto (RIO) 6,436.00p 2.11%
Anglo American (AAL) 2,959.00p 2.10%
Prudential (PRU) 1,484.00p 2.06%
BHP Group (BHP) 2,357.00p 1.90%

FTSE 100 – Fallers

JD Sports Fashion (JD.) 809.60p -3.30%
Intertek Group (ITRK) 5,348.00p -2.41%
British Land Company (BLND) 490.90p -2.02%
Barratt Developments (BDEV) 684.20p -1.98%
Flutter Entertainment (FLTR) 14,110.00p -1.71%
AstraZeneca (AZN) 6,880.00p -1.43%
Whitbread (WTB) 3,414.00p -1.41%
Next (NXT) 7,476.00p -1.24%
Associated British Foods (ABF) 2,369.00p -1.17%
Rolls-Royce Holdings (RR.) 110.15p -1.12%

FTSE 250 – Risers

Renishaw (RSW) 6,885.00p 18.71%
Hammerson (HMSO) 28.95p 5.46%
TP Icap Group (TCAP) 250.00p 5.26%
Cineworld Group (CINE) 105.00p 4.52%
Rotork (ROR) 373.40p 4.31%
AO World (AO.) 290.00p 3.57%
Lancashire Holdings Limited (LRE) 640.50p 3.39%
Centamin (DI) (CEY) 104.65p 3.31%
Essentra (ESNT) 298.40p 2.40%
John Laing Group (JLG) 309.60p 2.38%

FTSE 250 – Fallers

Genus (GNS) 4,916.00p -5.55%
Provident Financial (PFG) 273.20p -4.61%
OSB Group (OSB) 430.00p -4.44%
SSP Group (SSPG) 347.20p -4.27%
Savills (SVS) 1,120.00p -4.11%
FirstGroup (FGP) 85.35p -3.61%
TUI AG Reg Shs (DI) (TUI) 436.70p -3.56%
Workspace Group (WKP) 772.50p -3.44%
Travis Perkins (TPK) 1,426.50p -3.28%
Trainline (TRN) 511.00p -3.13%

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