ADVFN Morning London Market Report: Friday 19 May 2017

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London open: Stocks in the black as Trump worries subside for now

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London stocks edged higher in early trade, taking their cue from an upbeat session on Wall Street, where shares rebounded from this week’s Trump-inspired selloff.

At 0830 BST, the FTSE 100 was up 0.4% to 7,462.68, with miners racking up healthy gains as copper prices rose. Meanwhile, the pound was 0.3% higher versus the dollar at 1.2977.

Stocks in the US ended higher on Thursday, recovering from losses earlier in the week amid concerns that President Trump could be impeached.

Oanda analyst Craig Erlam said: “Investors are clearly still a little anxious about the political situation in the US, which showed to an extent on Wednesday, but as it stands I don’t think they’re too concerned. Wednesday’s sell-off may have shocked a few people but US indices remain in the same range they’ve traded in for the last few months and as long as that remains the case, it would suggest that investors are not too concerned.”

In corporate news, Entertainment One pushed higher after announcing the start of production on a new series of Peppa Pig.

Private landlord group Grainger was also in the black as it hiked its interim dividend 10% after a first half where it secured half of its investment target and cut costs in a market where the proportion of privately rented homes is at its highest levels since records began in 1980.

Aviva was higher but Legal & General dropped after they updated the market on their Solvency II positions.

Close Brothers was firmer after reporting “solid” loan book growth in its banking division in the third quarter to the end of April, and saying it remains confident of delivering a good result for the full year.

Safestore advanced after saying it has refinanced its US private placement notes and amended bank facilities to extend the average maturity and lower the cost of its debt management by £34m a year.

Hikma Pharmaceuticals slumped as it updated its guidance on full year revenue to be $2bn-$2.1bn in constant currency after last week’s rejection of its asthma drug by US regulators.

Just Eat was on the back foot after the Competition and Markets Authority said it is referring its proposed acquisition of Hungryhouse to an in-depth phase 2 investigation.

Senior was boosted by an upgrade at Raymond James, while SIG was lifted as Peel Hunt raised it to ‘buy’.

However, Johnson Matthey and Experian were hit by downgrades from UBS and Jefferies, respectively, while Antofagasta fell after Deutsche Bank cut the stock to ‘sell’. British Land and Land Securities were dented by downgrades to ‘neutral’ at JPMorgan Cazenove, while Thomas Cook was downgraded by Morgan Stanley.

On the data front, the CBI Industrial trends survey is at 1100 BST, with consensus for an unchanged reading of 4for May.

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