FTSE 100 down from its highs as US stocks mark new records

Mon, 8th Feb 2021

The FTSE 100 closed up materially on Monday, rising xx to xxxx.xx but was off its highs amid competing catalysts around oil prices, US stimulus and Covid. In the US stocks ascended to new record highs with the S&P 500 ahead by 0.3% to 3,897.89 at 4.30pm UK time. Bitcoin also hit a fresh record level after emerged that tech firm Tesla had invested $1.5 billion in the cryptocurrency. FTSE heavyweights BP and Royal Dutch Shell gained 4.1% to 262.3p and 2% to £13.05 respectively after Brent crude prices reached $60 a barrel for the first time since the onset of the pandemic. Credit reporting company Experian reversed 0.4% to £26.27, despite stating there was no evidence its systems had been compromised following media reports about data illegally offered for sale in Brazil. Experian said the data included photographs, social security numbers, vehicle registrations and social media login details, but stressed that its Brazilian unit Serasa did not collect or hold such data. Online fashion retailer Boohoo fell 4.8% to 347.5p, having agreed to acquire online assets of the Burton, Dorothy Perkins and Wallis brands from Acardia for £25.2 million. Fellow online retail play ASOS dipped 0.2% to £48.89 amid chatter about a windfall tax on UK retailers who have prospered in the pandemic. Industrial and electronics group Electrocomponents ticked up 0.6% to 943p as it reported like-for-like revenue growth of 8% in the four months through January. Electrocomponents kept its annual outlook unchanged, citing higher freight and labour costs. Power generator Drax firmed 1% to 391.2p following news that it agreed to acquire biomass group Pinnacle Renewable Energy for around £226 million. Drax said the deal would more than double its biomass production capacity, significantly reducing production costs. Consumer goods UP Global Sourcing, also known as Ultimate Products, rallied 2.4% to 138.2p, having forecast a rise in annual underlying profit after its first-half sales climbed 11% to £75.4 million. Ultimate Products' underlying pre-tax profit for the year through July was now anticipated to be more than £10.3 million, up from £8.2 million year-on-year, on revenue of more than £135 million. Disease test-kit supplier Omega Diagnostics rallied 32.4% to 92p on confirming it was upscaling its manufacturing capabilities, while acknowledging a media report that it had been selected by the UK government to produce Covid-19 rapid tests. Omega Diagnostics said it had noted the Financial Times report, which said it was among three companies selected to produce up to 2 million lateral flow devices per day for the UK. Molecular diagnostics group Yourgene Health slumped 5% to 12.6p after it warned that it would fall short of its previous revenue forecasts, citing the Covid-19 pandemic's impact on ordering patterns. Yourgene's revenue for the year through March was now expected in the range of £18 million-to-£20 million, lower than previous guidance but still representing year-on-year growth of around 10-20%. Veterinary drugs group Dechra Pharmaceuticals added 1.9% to £36.96 amid news that it had secured the rights to market pain management product Tri-Solfen in Australia and New Zealand. Dechra also said it had acquired a further 1.5% stake in Medical Ethics for A$32.5 million, or £18.1 million. Cloud platform group LoopUp gained 1.8% to 79.4p on confirming that it expected to report higher annual revenue and core earnings for 2020. Oil explorer Bahamas Petroleum fell 66% to 0.7p as it announced disappointing results from its hotly anticipated Perseverance-1 well in the Caribbean. Story provided by StockMarketWire.com

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