- FTSE 100 catches up after long weekend
- Euroscepticism tempered by elections results in Italy, Greece
- IHG gains on bid interest
- Lloyds to float TSB division
- Pfizer walks away from AstraZeneca proposal
techMARK 2,788.40 +1.10%
FTSE 100 6,849.22 +0.49%
FTSE 250 15,836.22 +0.83%
UK stocks posted decent gains on Tuesday, tracking a strong performance made across Europe the previous session, as investors reacted to a wave of results from this weekend's elections.
"The broader political situation is thus providing few unpleasant surprises, and with little macro data of note out this morning traders have taken the opportunity to push the market higher," said Market Analyst David Madden from IG.
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) was rising strongly in London on the back of weekend press reports of a takeover bid, while Lloyds's announcement of its intention to float TSB helped shares
of the bank and London Stock Exchange higher.
While UK markets were closed on Monday for a Bank Holiday, indices across the continent posted strong gains in the wake of the European Parliament elections at the weekend. The FTSE 100 was up 0.5% at 6,849 by midday.
Though the standings of anti-EU parties increased in some countries - such as UKIP in the UK and the Front National party in France - stocks were given a boost as the overall rise of 'euroscepticism' was outweighed by strong results from pro-euro parties in Italy and Greece. Italy's FTSE MIB in particular surged nearly 4% yesterday after incumbent President Matteo Renzi's Democratic Party managed to secure a sound victory this weekend.
"The election results are a positive, especially for Italy and Greece, where euroscepticism would have been a powerful threat to pending reforms and to the return of international investors," according to analysts at RBS.
Meanwhile, Chief Market Analyst Michael Hewson from CMC Markets said that developments in Ukraine also helped to lift sentiment on European markets yesterday despite Ukrainian forces launching air strikes on pro-Russian militants along the eastern border.
"The weekend vote in the Ukraine appears to have been one major catalyst for yesterday's strong European session, with the new Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko making conciliatory noises towards Russia, as well as the European Union in an attempt to bring together the various factions in an attempt to de-escalate recent tensions," he explained.
IHG jumps on bid interest
IHG shares surged after Sky News reported that the the company rejected a £6bn takeover bid on the grounds that it was too low. While the identity of the bidder has not been confirmed, analysts have suggested that the proposal could have come from Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide.
Lloyds also rose after confirming it will float a quarter of shares in TSB on the London Stock Exchange in June. Chief Executive António Horta-Osório said the initial public offering of TSB "is an important further step for the group as we act to meet our commitments to the European Commission".
Heading the other way was AstraZeneca after US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer called an end to its takeover pursuit following continued rejections from the board of the Anglo-Swedish rival. Societe Generale was weighing further on AstraZeneca's share price this weekend after cutting its rating on the stock from 'hold' to 'sell'.
Rio Tinto was trading in the red after signing an 'investment framework' with its partners to develop $20bn-worth of iron ore deposits in Guinea, representing the largest combined iron ore and infrastructure project ever developed in Africa.
Ophir Energy sank after saying it failed to encounter significant hydrocarbon shows after drilling the Affanga Deep-1 well in the Gnodo block offshore Gabon. Sector peer Tullow Oil, meanwhile, managed to push higher despite revealing that drilling of one of its majority-owned wells offshore Norway failed to meet targets.
Software maker Aveva rose strongly as it revealed an 11% increase in full-year profit underpinned by strong demand at its Engineering and Design Systems unit and improved margins.
Retailing giant Tesco fell after calling an end to talks regarding a potential partnership for its struggling hypermarket chain in Turkey. The group said that the best option now to drive value from its Kipa division will be to accelerate its plans to "focus the business on its heartlands, minimise capital spend and improve profitability".
FTSE 100 - Risers
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) 2,315.00p +4.00%
International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 391.70p +3.24%
Sage Group (SGE) 414.30p +3.16%
ARM Holdings (ARM) 909.00p +3.06%
Weir Group (WEIR) 2,600.00p +2.93%
London Stock Exchange Group (LSE) 1,899.00p +2.54%
Travis Perkins (TPK) 1,712.00p +2.52%
CRH (CRH) 1,674.00p +2.51%
Sports Direct International (SPD) 791.50p +2.26%
GKN (GKN) 396.70p +2.16%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
AstraZeneca (AZN) 4,251.50p -1.77%
Smiths Group (SMIN) 1,300.00p -1.66%
Morrison (Wm) Supermarkets (MRW) 200.10p -1.28%
Fresnillo (FRES) 842.00p -0.82%
Rio Tinto (RIO) 3,233.00p -0.75%
Severn Trent (SVT) 1,912.00p -0.62%
SABMiller (SAB) 3,313.00p -0.44%
Sainsbury (J) (SBRY) 342.20p -0.44%
Anglo American (AAL) 1,567.50p -0.38%
Tesco (TSCO) 303.05p -0.36%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Aveva Group (AVV) 2,375.00p +9.90%
Supergroup (SGP) 1,064.00p +4.31%
CSR (CSR) 576.00p +4.07%
Fidessa Group (FDSA) 2,265.00p +3.90%
Polymetal International (POLY) 526.50p +3.54%
Greencore Group (GNC) 290.30p +3.49%
Ocado Group (OCDO) 349.60p +3.37%
Morgan Advanced Materials (MGAM) 336.90p +3.34%
Spectris (SXS) 2,310.00p +3.03%
WH Smith (SMWH) 1,057.00p +3.02%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Ophir Energy (OPHR) 252.00p -3.11%
Redefine International (RDI) 54.70p -2.76%
Tate & Lyle (TATE) 667.50p -1.91%
Just Retirement Group (JRG) 147.70p -1.40%
Genesis Emerging Markets Fund Ltd Ptg NPV (GSS) 530.50p -1.12%
Paragon Group Of Companies (PAG) 385.50p -1.10%
Booker Group (BOK) 135.70p -1.02%
Investec (INVP) 511.00p -0.97%
Bellway (BWY) 1,408.00p -0.85%
Dechra Pharmaceuticals (DPH) 702.50p -0.85%