Big gains for the FTSE 100 on recovery hopes

Wed, 5th May 2021

Powered by gains in the mining sector and other areas which will benefit from a reopening of the global economy the FTSE 100 made strong progress on Wednesday, closing the day up 1.7% at 7,039.30. By 4.30pm UK time the S&P 500 had made more modest gains of 0.3% to 4,178.31. Television broadcaster ITV gained 2.2% to 127.1p as it reported a 2% uptick in first-quarter revenue amid an ongoing rebound in the advertising market. ITV said total advertising revenue in the first half was forecast to be up around 26% year-on-year. Online fashion retailer Boohoo shed 2% to 320.1p despite reporting a 35% rise in annual pre-tax profit, underpinned by a 41% jump in sales. Boohoo forecast lower, but still respectable, revenue growth in the current year of 25%. Insurance company Direct Line dipped 0.2% to 286.5p as it reported a 4.7% fall in first-quarter gross written premium revenue. Looking ahead, Direct Line touted 'encouraging' early indications that motor market premiums were stabilising. Rival insurer Hiscox dipped 0.9% to 803.6p, having reported a 6.3% rise in first-quarter premium revenue. Banking group Virgin Money UK slumped 1.5% to 197.7p, even as it swung to a first-half profit after a drop in bad debt charges offset a weaker operating income. Virgin Money forecast its net interest margin -- a key measure of profitability -- to edge up to 1.6% for the full year, up from 1.56% in the first half but flat on 1.6% on the second quarter. Refractory products supplier RHI Magnesita gained 1.9% to £45.52 on announcing that it was performing in line with market expectations, with a recovery in sales offset by supply-chain disruptions. RHI Magnesita said its expectations for 2021 adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation remained in line with market forecasts, based on company-complied consensus of €310 million. Property investor UK Commercial Property REIT firmed 1% to 78.3p as it hiked its first-quarter dividend after the value of its portfolio strengthened. UK Commercial Property declared a dividend for the three months through March of 0.644p per share, up 40% year-on-year. Data company WANdisco was fell 0.9% to 446p as it posted a deeper annual loss but stuck to its guidance for a rise in sales this year to $35 million. Story provided by

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