FTSE at 14-month highs after BoE holds rates

Thu, 6th May 2021

The FTSE 100 gained 0.5% to 7,076.17 by the close after the Bank of England kept rates on hold and lifted UK growth expectations. In the US the S&P 500 was up 2.7 points to 4,170.64 by 4.30pm UK time. First quarter sales at clothing retailer, Next, were down 1.5% on two years ago resulting largely from the closure of its retail stores during the Covid-19 pandemic. The growth in online sales of NEXT Homeware, third-party brands (through LABEL) and NEXT Childrenswear, along with increasing sales overseas, served to make up for the sales lost in stores, the group said. Its share price was up 1.4% at £82.42. Homebuilder Barratt Developments' share price climbed 2% to 780.9p as it expects outturn to be 'modestly above' its expectations after raising its forecast on completions for the full-year thanks to strong demand for homes. Wholly owned completions for fiscal 2021 was expected to be between 16,000 and 16,250 homes and the company aimed to deliver around 650 joint venture home completions. Melrose Industries reported an 8% surge in sales during the first quarter of 2021, when compared with the same period a year earlier. Its share price was up 0.7% to 164.9p. Luxury carmaker Aston Martin Lagonda's share price rose dipped 0.7% to £18.87 despite reporting narrower losses in the first quarter of the year. A surge in wholesale volumes and higher prices boosted revenue for the group. Multinational packaging and paper group, Mondi, has had a 'robust' first quarter of 2021, fuelled by its sustainable packaging solutions, and higher average containerboard selling prices. Its share price fell 1.9% to £19.51. Insurance company Aviva said it had completed the sale of its entire 40% stake in the Turkish life insurance and pensions joint venture, AvivaSA Emeklilik ve Hayat AS to Ageas Insurance International NV. Its share price ticked up 0.6% to 405.8p. Property company Derwent London reported increased rent collections for the first quarter of the year and £1.3 of new lettings achieved for the year to date as London emerged from lockdown. About 93% of first quarter day rent has been collected, up from 87% on 13 April with another 4% expected later in the quarter. The shares move 1.4% higher to £34.08. Similarly, flexible office provider, Workspace, reported a pick up in demand as the government's Covid-19 restrictions has lifted. The easing of restrictions during the first quarter resulted in an increase of customer utilisation of the business centres, reaching 20% of pre-covid levels by the end of March and 30% by the end of April. Its share price, however, rose 4.1% to 874.5p. Story provided by StockMarketWire.com

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