British shares rise on industrials boost; Rentokil slumps
Information provider Relx gained 2.1% after it forecast that its three biggest divisions would help drive growth in underlying revenue and adjusted operating profit in 2021. Oil and gas stocks fell 0.5%, tracking lower crude prices.
- United Kingdom
British shares climbed on Thursday, boosted by industrials, although gains for the FTSE 100 index were capped by a fall in heavyweight energy shares as oil prices slipped on concerns over stalling fuel demand.
The blue-chip index rose 0.3%, with engineer Melrose Industries jumping 0.3 after Peel Hunt raised its price target on the stock. Information provider Relx gained 2.1% after it forecast that its three biggest divisions would help drive growth in underlying revenue and adjusted operating profit in 2021.
Oil and gas stocks fell 0.5%, tracking lower crude prices. Rentokil Initial declined 1.3% after saying demand for its disinfection services, which helped first-quarter sales grow, is expected to unwind in the year.
The domestically focussed mid-cap FTSE 250 index added 0.5%. Construction and regeneration company Morgan Sindall Group surged 12.2% to the top of the index as brokerages raised their price targets on the stock after it raised its annual outlook. "The underlying optimism about the reopening process is still intact ... earnings news from our reporting season here, which is kind of winding down now, has been pretty good," said Ian Williams, Peel Hunt's economics & strategy research analyst.
"We're in a bit of a holding pattern with investors waiting for the next phase and until we can see the full impact of the next round of unlocking in the UK and how that boosts economic activity across." The FTSE 100 has gained ~7% year-to-date on optimism that speedy COVID-19 vaccinations and constant policy support from the government would drive a stronger economic recovery from the pandemic-led downfall.
Among other stocks, Russia's Polymetal International added 2.1% after its first-quarter production grew 3%. Equipment rental company Aggreko dropped 2.7% on a report that its biggest shareholder Liontrust Asset Management plans to oppose a takeover deal.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)