FTSE recovers to make gains on Friday with AstraZeneca leading the charge.

Fri, 30th Apr 2021

The FTSE 100 recovered from its lows to trade 0.1% higher at 6,969.81 by the close despite a drop in the S&P 500, which was down 0.6% to 4,187.64 by 4.50pm UK time. High-street bank Barclays reported a sharp rise in first-quarter profit as 'materially' lower credit impairment charges offset a fall in income. For the three months through March, pre-tax profit jumped to a record £2.4 billion from £0.9 billion, while income slipped 6% to £5.9 billion year-on-year. However, its share price slipped in morning trading, down 7% to 175.5p. Packaging firm Smurfit Kappa has revealed that corrugated volume growth in the first quarter was up approximately 7% in both Europe and the Americas, driving underlying revenue growth of 6% to €2,269 million (£1,972 million). It advanced 4.2% to £37.14 Pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca reported a rise in the first quarter, driven by performance in new medicines across oncology and bioPharmaceuticals. For the first quarter of the year, revenue was up 15% to $7.32 billion as product sales increased 15% to $7.26 billion. It traded up 4.4% to £77.19 per share. Another pharmaceutical firm, Hikma Pharmaceuticals, forecast its generics business to generate revenue toward the top end of guidance following a 'good' start to the new year that was in line with its expectations. It gained 3.2% to £24.40. Flow control and instrumentation group Rotork has reported that performance in the period was in line with expectations amid global disruption. The firm reports that revenue was up mid-single digits year-on-year on an organic constant currency basis, in part reflecting the weighting of first half 2020 sales to the second quarter. Its share price fell 2.6% to 347p. Oil and gas company Diversified Gas & Oil said it had conditionally acquired certain Cotton Valley upstream assets and related facilities primarily in the state of Louisiana for $135 million. It was up 3.2% to 122.2p as it also announced strong Q1 numbers and a hike to the dividend. Story provided by StockMarketWire.com

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