FTSE on the charge, with miners leading the way

Wed, 5th May 2021

The FTSE 100 made a big recovery after yesterday's US tech inspired sell-off, surging 1.2% to just reclaim the 7,000 mark by midday. Miners were leading the charge, with BHP, Glencore and Rio Tinto all making gains. Television broadcaster ITV ticked up 0.4% to 124p 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 0.9% to 323.67p 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 added 0.5% to 288.3p, even 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 0.5% to 806.8p, having reported a 6.3% rise in first-quarter premium revenue. Banking group Virgin Money UK slumped 5.3% to 190.1p, 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 1.3% to £45.24 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 1.7% to 78.79p 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. Asian stock picker Schroder Oriental Income Fund added 0.3% to 288.27p, having reported a positive first-half performance as markets continued to bounce back on Covid-19 recovery hopes. Schroder Oriental Income's net asset value total return per share for the six months through March rose 21%, comparing to a 17% rise in its reference benchmark. It held its dividend at 3.8p per share. Data company WANdisco was flat at 450p 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 StockMarketWire.com

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