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FTSE 100 slips back as strong US growth figures stoke inflation fears

Thu, 29th Apr 2021

Rekindled fears about inflation after stonking US jobs figures erased much of the FTSE 100's earlier gains on Thursday with the index down 2.19 points at 6,961.48 by the close. In the US the S&P 500 was up 0.3% to 4,196.40 by 4.30pm UK time. On a busy day for reporting from FTSE 100 companies, Royal Dutch Shell's reversed earlier gains to trade 1.4% lower at £12.99 as it confirmed a 4% increase on its dividend per share payment to 17.35 cents for the first quarter of 2021. The oil giant said earnings rose to $3.2 billion, up from $393 million in the final quarter of 2020. It has also generated more than $8 billion of cash in the first three months of the year, while reducing net debt by over $4 billion to $71.3 billion during the same time period. Mining giant Glencore, which reported first-quarter production was 'broadly in line' with its expectations as coal production fell and copper production increased, saw its share price dip 0.9% to 300.2p. The company forecast full-year marketing earnings within the top half of guidance. Weir Group expects to deliver growth in line with current market expectations as it confirms an 11% increase in group orders in Q1 as mining and infrastructure markets continue to strengthen. The update pushed its share price up 1.1% to £19.63. Natwest Group saw its shares fall 3.6% to 196.3p despite announcing a pre-tax profit of £946 million for the first quarter of the year, which beat market expectations. Gross inflows into St James's Place reached £4.79 billion for the first quarter of 2021, 19% higher than the same period last year as investor confidence improved and clients returned to longer-term investments. The statement provided a 1.7% boost to its share price, to £13.46. Schroders' assets under management remained stable for the first quarter of 2021, reaching £672 billion at the end of March, compared with £630billion at the end of 2020. Its share price gained 0.5% to £35.78. Insurance company Lancashire said gross premiums written rose to a record for the March quarter, driven by growth in its property and casualty reinsurance segment. For the three months ended 31 March 2021, Gross premiums written increased by 46.1% year on year to $354.8 million. The news sent its share price up 4% to 707.5p. Finally, Pershing Square Holdings confirmed it will pay a second quarter dividend of 10cents, following its annual general meeting. The dividend will be paid on 18 June, 2021. Its share price rose 0.6% to £27.20. Story provided by StockMarketWire.com

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