- FTSE 100 gains after hitting lowest since 15 April
- Israel, Hamas agree to 72-hour ceasefire
- Chinese inflation unchanged in July
- Centrica falls on EDF outage, Balfour rejects Carillion
techMARK 2,712.26 +0.67%
FTSE 100 6,607.04 +0.60%
FTSE 250 15,355.95 +0.74%
UK stocks rebounded on Monday morning as investors hunted for bargains after the FTSE 100 hit a four-month low last week.
The Footsie was trading 0.6% higher at 6,607 in early trading.
The index fell to 6,567.36 by Friday's close, its lowest finish since 15 April, following three straight days of losses.
A 72-hour ceasefire in Gaza helped sentiment slightly after mediation by Egypt over the weekend. The truce follows heavy fighting between Hamas and Israel over the past month, which has led to the deaths of over 2,000 people.
However, tensions in Iraq, Ukraine and Russia will continue to be watched closely by the markets this week. According to analyst Giuseppe Maraffino from Barclays, despite the improved mood on the market, "geopolitical uncertainty is likely to persist and to weigh again on market sentiment and risky assets in the very near term".
While the macro data calendar for Monday looks pretty thin, investors will be looking ahead to gross domestic product figures from Japan, Chinese and US retail sales, UK unemployment and the Bank of England's Inflation Report over the coming days.
Over the weekend it was announced that Chinese consumer price inflation remained at 2.3% in July, well below the 3.5% government target, sparking strong gains on Asian markets overnight. "The bulls may argue that this creates some headroom for policy to remain loose," according to Deutsche Bank.
Centrica falls on EDF outage
Centrica declined after saying earnings this year will be affected by a reduction in output from EDF Energy's nuclear power stations, in which it owns a 20% stake. The outage will reduce earnings per share in 2014 "by around 0.3p per share", it said.
Construction group Balfour Beatty advanced after rebuffing another takeover proposal from rival Carillion over a row about Balfour's plan to sell its US Parsons Brinckerhoff subsidiary.
Meanwhile, Balfour, which has struggled after profit warnings triggered the departure of its chief executive, unveiled results for the six months to 27 June which it said matched guidance in its most recent trading update.
Precious metal miners Fresnillo and Randgold declined early on as gold and silver prices fell on lower safe-haven demand.
Nevertheless, the wider mining sector was performing well on Monday with heavyweights such as Rio Tinto and Anglo American making gains.
Interim results from chemicals firm Synthomer were taken positively by the market after the company hiked its dividend by 25% despite a fall in sales and profits in the first half.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Smith & Nephew (SN.) 1,015.00p +2.99%
Ashtead Group (AHT) 887.50p +2.07%
Rio Tinto (RIO) 3,442.00p +1.83%
London Stock Exchange Group (LSE) 1,893.00p +1.83%
Schroders (SDR) 2,253.00p +1.81%
Mondi (MNDI) 1,019.00p +1.80%
ITV (ITV) 205.20p +1.68%
Sports Direct International (SPD) 668.50p +1.67%
Persimmon (PSN) 1,237.00p +1.64%
easyJet (EZJ) 1,248.00p +1.63%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Randgold Resources Ltd. (RRS) 5,040.00p -1.37%
Fresnillo (FRES) 999.00p -1.28%
Morrison (Wm) Supermarkets (MRW) 167.50p -1.24%
Friends Life Group Limited (FLG) 316.20p -0.97%
Royal Mail (RMG) 424.10p -0.56%
Centrica (CNA) 306.30p -0.52%
Legal & General Group (LGEN) 236.90p -0.38%
Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS) 344.70p -0.26%
Tullow Oil (TLW) 708.50p -0.21%
Aggreko (AGK) 1,697.00p -0.18%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Synthomer (SYNT) 218.10p +4.91%
Enterprise Inns (ETI) 117.60p +3.16%
Ocado Group (OCDO) 340.00p +3.06%
Michael Page International (MPI) 446.50p +2.88%
Thomas Cook Group (TCG) 118.40p +2.78%
Just Retirement Group (JRG) 153.10p +2.41%
Victrex plc (VCT) 1,710.00p +2.27%
Smith (DS) (SMDS) 272.70p +2.25%
Elementis (ELM) 282.70p +2.24%
Pace (PIC) 312.10p +2.09%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Drax Group (DRX) 638.50p -1.92%
Fidessa Group (FDSA) 2,153.00p -1.91%
Alent (ALNT) 338.20p -1.71%
COLT Group SA (COLT) 134.60p -1.68%
PayPoint (PAY) 1,025.00p -1.54%
Redefine International (RDI) 50.95p -1.36%
Barr (A.G.) (BAG) 640.00p -1.23%
Spirent Communications (SPT) 96.50p -1.08%
F&C Commercial Property Trust Ltd. (FCPT) 123.20p -1.04%
Euromoney Institutional Investor (ERM) 1,077.00p -1.01%