FTSE 100 slightly higher on US stimulus boost

Thu, 11th Mar 2021

The FTSE 100 was up more than 27 points at 6,752.17, as investors cheered news that the US Congress backed the $1.9 trillion stimulus plan. Morrisons has seen pre-tax profits fall more than 60% in 2020, with a £290 million hit relating to 'Covid costs', despite a rise in sales and revenue for the high street supermarket chain. Its shares dipped 0.5% to 176.2p. Rolls Royce has said its performance in 2020 has been 'significantly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic' as it reported a fall in revenue to £11.8 billion. It advanced 2.1% to 115.4p. WPP has said it had a 'remarkably resilient' 2020 as it reported a 9.3% fall in revenue to £12 billion. It advanced 0.9% to 920.6p. Drug companies GlaxoSmithKline GSK and Vir Biotechnology said they would seek authorisation in the US and other countries for their Covid-19 antibody after late-stage clinical trials showed the drug reduced hospitalisation and risk of death by 85% and was effective against other variants. GSK's share price fell 7p to £12.56. Online trading platform IG reported better-than-expected third-quarter performance and said it was on track to achieve its three-year revenue target in its significant opportunities portfolio by year-end, one year ahead of the target. Its share price rose nearly 5% to 850p. Revenue at Spirent Communications was up 4% in 2020, boosted by strong demand for both lab and live assurance solutions and our new 5G device testing solutions and services. Its share price rose 5.26% on the back of the news, reaching 250p. The Trainline has reported a fall in net ticket sales to £783 million, equivalent to 21% of the prior year, as the measures put in place to curb the spread of coronavirus resulted in a significant reduction in passenger volume. In spite of the falls in ticket sales, the company's share price rose 2.16% to 490.80p Real Estate company Derwent London swung to annual loss as the value of its property portfolio owing to the impact of Covid-19 lockdowns. For the year ended 31 December 2020, pre-tax loss was £83.0 million compared to a profit of £280.6 million in 2019, while net property and other income rose rose to £183 million from £182.6 million. Its share price fell slightly to £33. Marshalls has reinstated its dividends after a progressive growth in sales in the second half of 2020. The company has recommended a final dividend of 4.30p as sales in the fourth quarter of 2020 ended ahead of the same period the year prior. The announcement resulted in a share price surge of 6.11% to 740.68p. Bus company Go Ahead upgraded its full-year guidance after its London & International bus business secured all its expected revenue for the current year following successful contract bidding. The share price was up nearly 10% on the back of the news, at £14. Story provided by StockMarketWire.com

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