UK stocks open 0.4% higher, led by miners

Tue, 1st Jun 2021

UK stocks opened higher on Tuesday, buoyed by resources plays, as global recovery hopes drove further rises in commodities prices. At 0822, the benchmark FTSE 100 index was up 27.12 points, or 0.4%, at 7,049.73. Mining giants BHP, Glencore and Rio Tinto led blue-chip gains, rising 2.3% to £21.71, 2.3% to 328.75p and 2.4% to £62.12, respectively. Wickes, the DIY chain recently spun out of Travis Perkins, gained 3.5% to 265p on guiding for an adjusted full-year profit within the top end of market expectations, following a jump in year-to-date sales. Wickes said the current range of analysts' expectations for full-year adjusted pre-tax profit were £55 million-to-£74 million. Sportswear retailer JD Sports Fashion rose 1.6% to 960p, having denied a report in the Sunday Times about the future of long-serving executive chairman Peter Cowgill. JD Sports said it was not engaged in a process to recruit a new chief executive or chairman, though it confirmed that it was 'continually reviewing' the depth of its management team. Enterprise software group Micro Focus International added 0.8% to 524.06p on news that it had appointed Matt Ashley as its new chief financial officer, to replace Brian McArthur-Muscroft at the end of June. Ashley was previously CFO of gambling company William Hill and also had held senior roles at bus company National Express. Waste manager Biffa gained 7.7% to 315p even as it swung to a full-year loss following asset writedowns pinned on a reduction in food waste owing to the pandemic. Biffa's results were nevertheless better than the market and the company's own internal expectations. Advertising firm M&C Saatchi rallied 14% to 146.28p as it upgraded its annual profit forecasts after winning new work. Final results for the full year would be 'ahead of consensus expectations', M&C Saatchi said, citing new work from the UK Census campaign and dating app Tinder. Russia-focused gold miner Petropavlovsk firmed 2.8% to 25.64p on news that it had technically launched a floatation plant for processing ore, slightly ahead of a mid-year target. The Pioneer floatation plant was Petropavlovsk's second facility for processing refractory gold ore and producing flotation concentrate. Optical components and systems maker Gooch & Housego climbed 1.9% to £13.25 having resumed its interim dividend at 4.5p per share, amid a recovery in its markets. Gooch & Housego booked a fall in annual profit as restructuring costs weighed, though its underlying earnings improved. Scottish house builder Springfield Properties jumped 13% to 169p on guiding for annual profit and revenue 'significantly' ahead of market expectations. Digital technology company Kainos added 1.1% to £14.39 after it acquired Finnish group Cloudator's workday division, for an undisclosed sum. Story provided by StockMarketWire.com

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