ADVFN Morning London Market Report: Tuesday 14 September 2021

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London open: Stocks fall as investors digest jobs data; miners in the red


London stocks edged lower in early trade on Tuesday as investors digested the latest UK jobs data, weighed down by weakness in the mining sector and a disappointing update from Ocado.

At 0840 BST, the FTSE 100 was down 0.3% at 7,046.51.

Figures released earlier by the Office for National Statistics showed worker numbers bounced back in August to pre-pandemic levels, while job vacancies hit a record high as the recovery from the Covid-19 crisis continues.

The number of workers on payrolls increased by 241,000 from August to 29.1m, while the number of job vacancies in the June to August period rose 35% to a new record high of 1.03m, with the biggest jump in hiring seen in hotels and restaurants.

Meanwhile, the unemployment rate fell to 4.6% in July from 4.7% the month before, in line with analysts’ expectations.

In the three months to July, average earnings fell to 8.3% from 8.8% but were ahead of expectations of 8.2%.

ONS deputy national statistician Jonathan Athow said: “Early estimates from payroll data suggest that in August the total number of employees is around the same level as before the pandemic, though our surveys show well over a million are still on furlough.

“However, this recovery isn’t even: in hard-hit areas such as London and sectors such as hospitality and arts and leisure, the numbers of workers remain well down on pre-pandemic levels.

“The overall employment rate continues to recover, particularly among groups such as young workers who were hard hit at the outset of the pandemic, while unemployment has fallen.

“Vacancies reached a new record high. Not surprisingly, this is driven above all by hospitality, the sector with the highest proportion of employers reporting their job openings are hard to fill.”

In equity marketsOcado slumped after the online supermarket said sales at Ocado Retail dropped by considerably more than expected over its third quarter, but only due to a conflagration at its customer fulfilment centre at Erith.

Miners were under the cosh as copper prices fell, with BHPGlencoreAnglo AmericanRio Tinto and Antofagasta all lower. Mining giant BHP was also hit by a downgrade to ‘equalweight’ at Barclays.

On the upside, JD Sports Fashion surged to the top of the FTSE 100 after it reported record first-half results, boosted by pent-up demand after UK stores reopened from lockdown and acquisitions in the US.

Pre-tax profit before exceptional items jumped to £439.5m in the six months to the end of July from £61.9m a year earlier as revenue rose to £3.89bn from £2.54bn. JD said it expected annual headline pre-tax profit for the full year to be at least £750m.

Trainline rallied as it predicted a return to profit in the first half of the year as ticket sales recovered from the damage inflicted early in the pandemic. Group net ticket sales were £666m in the three months to the end of August to stand at 71% of the total two years earlier. In the first half net ticket sales of £1bn were 54% of the level two years earlier.


Top 10 FTSE 100 Risers

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# Name Change Pct Change Cur Price
1 Ashtead Group Plc +1.41% +82.00 5,916.00
2 Pearson Plc +1.22% +9.00 748.60
3 Kingfisher Plc +1.10% +3.90 359.40
4 Bunzl Plc +1.05% +27.00 2,594.00
5 Itv Plc +0.98% +1.10 112.80
6 Next Plc +0.89% +70.00 7,922.00
7 Unilever Plc +0.84% +33.50 4,031.50
8 Sse Plc +0.67% +11.00 1,642.50
9 Severn Trent Plc +0.53% +15.00 2,824.00
10 United Utilities Group Plc +0.52% +5.50 1,059.50


Top 10 FTSE 100 Fallers

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# Name Change Pct Change Cur Price
1 Burberry Group Plc -3.07% -57.50 1,817.50
2 Ocado Group Plc -2.55% -48.00 1,837.50
3 International Consolidated Airlines Group S.a. -2.45% -3.64 144.66
4 Evraz Plc -2.19% -13.40 597.60
5 Anglo American Plc -1.84% -57.00 3,036.00
6 Hsbc Holdings Plc -1.66% -6.30 374.05
7 Rolls-royce Holdings Plc -1.55% -1.74 110.20
8 Rio Tinto Plc -1.55% -82.00 5,205.00
9 Glencore Plc -1.53% -5.20 334.70
10 Bhp Group Plc -1.51% -31.50 2,049.00


Europe open: Stocks fall as investors eye US inflation figures

European stocks fell in early trade on Tuesday as investors eyed the release of US inflation data later in the day.

At 0850 BST, the benchmark Stoxx Europe 600 index was down 0.3% at 466.47, Germany’s DAX was 0.1% lower at 15,693.89 and France’s CAC 40 was 0.7% weaker at 6,632.49.

Neil Wilson, chief market analyst at, said: “US CPI inflation later is the chief attraction as well as Apple’s product show.

“Today’s CPI will be closely watched of course, but will be enough to change anyone’s thinking about whether inflation is stickier than the Fed tells us?”

The US inflation data for August is due at 1330 BST.

In equity markets, miners were under pressure as copper prices fell, with the Stoxx Europe 600 basic resources index down 1.7% at 581.11.

Elsewhere, Danish brewer Carlsberg was knocked lower by a double downgrade to ‘sell’ at Berenberg, while British Airways and Iberia parent IAG flew lower after a downgrade to ‘neutral’ from ‘outperform’ at BNP Paribas.

On the upside, jewellery company Pandora gained after saying it aims to achieve sales growth of 6% to 8% in the coming years.


US close: Stocks mixed as Dow Jones snaps losing streak

Wall Street stocks closed on a mixed note on Monday as the blue-chip Dow Jones and the S&P 500 bounced back from five consecutive days of losses.

At the close, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.76% at 34,869.63, while the S&P 500 was 0.23% firmer at 4,468.73 and the Nasdaq Composite saw out the session 0.07% weaker at 15,105.58.

The Dow Jones closed 261.91 points higher on Monday, all but erasing losses recorded in the final session of the previous week.

In focus on Monday, an apparent decline in new Covid-19 cases was giving investors a reason to feel positive at the open, with the US’ seven-day average through 10 September dropping to 136,000 from 157,000 a week earlier.

As a result, reopening plays were trading higher, with Delta Air LinesUnited AirlinesCarnival and MGM all in the green.

Market participants were holding out for the release of this month’s consumer price index on Tuesday, with the key inflation reading for the month of August expected to come in at 5.3% after July’s 13-year high of 5.4%.

On the macro front, the US budget deficit narrowed to $2.7trn during the first 11 months of the fiscal year as the economic recovery and employment gains helped boost tax receipts. For the month of August, the budget deficit slimmed to nearly $170.6bn compared with $200.0bn a year ago, the Treasury department said, while tax receipts rose 20% to $268.0bn and outlays climbed 4% to $439.0bn.

No major corporate earnings were released on Monday.


Tuesday newspaper round-up: Evergrande, travel industry, travel chaos

Property giant China Evergrande Group has said that it cannot sell properties and other assets fast enough to service its massive $300bn debts, and that its cashflow was under “tremendous pressure”. Only hours after angry investors besieged its Shenzhen headquarters and the company denied it was set for bankruptcy, Evergrande issued a statement to the Hong Kong stock exchange saying that a significant drop in sales would continue this month, which was likely to further deteriorate its liquidity and cash flow. – Guardian

The travel industry has called for ministers to tear up the UK’s Covid traffic light and PCR testing rules as figures reveal their “devastating impact” on overseas flights and holiday bookings in peak season. Bookings for holidays abroad this summer were down 83% on 2019, according to data from the Travel Association (ABTA), with half of travel companies reporting no increase in bookings compared with last summer, despite the vaccination programme. – Guardian

Heathrow will have no rail or Tube services on Boxing Day, leaving passengers facing the prospect of travel chaos on one of the busiest days of the year for the airport. Network Rail and Transport for London (TfL) are planning engineering works, The Telegraph can disclose, meaning passengers will only be able to get to the airport by car or coach. – Telegraph

MPs have accused the insolvency profession of operating like the “Wild West” after an inquiry found evidence of alleged widespread misconduct including “intimidation”, “deception” and “misappropriation of assets”. The all-party parliamentary group on fair business banking said that it had received “startling” evidence about the profession this year in response to prominent failures and complaints. – The Times

The world’s biggest retailer was at the centre of an elaborate hoax yesterday seemingly aimed at manipulating the price of a cryptocurrency. A press release purportedly from Walmart claimed that it would allow customers to pay for purchases online using litecoin from next month. – The Times


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