(WebFG News) - Monday saw the FTSE 100 reach its highest level since February as the pound weakened further.
Smith & Nephew was top of the blue chip pile as Dutch giant Philips' first-quarter results revealed strong growth in medical equipment, which was music to the ears of the London-listed maker of artificial shoulders, knees and possibly toes.
A further tonic for S&N shares
was bid speculation bubbling up again as City traders pointed to US-based Stryker, based in the marvellously named Kalamazoo, Michigan, being a possible suitor after four years ago confirming it had been been looking at a potential takeover.
Wealth manager St James Place headed higher ahead of first-quarter results due on Tuesday.
Micro Focus climbed as the software group confirmed that US hedge fund Elliott International has 5.1% stake. Earlier this month the shares began to rise on reports that the activist investor had taken a stake, with bosses said to be "pushing for changes", according to reports.
Shares in credit checker Experian were boosted by a double upgrade from Deutsche Bank to 'buy' from 'sell' as analysts forecast acceleration in growth as the company is "overcoming many concerns we had with the model".
Anglo-South African financial services provider Old Mutual was higher as it revealed that its Old Mutual Wealth business is expecting to list on the London Stock Exchange as Quilter in June. A prospectus published on Monday confirmed the planned listing for 25 June, coming on the same day the South African rand took a battering, falling 1.4% against the pound to 17.1898 ZAR.
Other UK banks were on the rise, led by Lloyds Banking, noted market analyst Michael Hewson at CMC Markets, as rising bond yields across the board as higher interest rate expectations help to push UK and German 10 year yields up to one month highs. On the other side of the coin, the rising yields hit bond proxy shares such as United Utilities and National Grid.
Shares in NMC Health fell the most as the United Arab Emirates private healthcare operator launched an offering of convertible bonds. The guaranteed convertible bonds are due 2025 with a principal amount of $450m.
FTSE 100 (UKX) 7,397.89 0.40%
FTSE 250 (MCX) 20,320.53 0.49%
techMARK (TASX) 3,447.28 0.77%
FTSE 100 - Risers
Smith & Nephew (SN.) 1,394.00p 3.11%
St James's Place (STJ) 1,143.50p 3.06%
Old Mutual (OML) 249.00p 2.64%
Experian (EXPN) 1,643.00p 2.27%
Pearson (PSON) 797.60p 1.73%
Vodafone Group (VOD) 213.55p 1.69%
Micro Focus International (MCRO) 1,320.00p 1.66%
Rentokil Initial (RTO) 290.80p 1.57%
Smith (DS) (SMDS) 515.40p 1.50%
Marks & Spencer Group (MKS) 284.60p 1.43%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
NMC Health (NMC) 3,568.00p -3.25%
WPP (WPP) 1,115.50p -2.70%
Bunzl (BNZL) 2,077.00p -2.49%
Fresnillo (FRES) 1,269.50p -2.20%
United Utilities Group (UU.) 702.00p -2.12%
Reckitt Benckiser Group (RB.) 5,508.00p -2.08%
GKN (GKN) 459.20p -1.86%
National Grid (NG.) 797.80p -1.86%
Rolls-Royce Holdings (RR.) 854.20p -1.39%
Compass Group (CPG) 1,484.50p -1.23%