Economic news

London Stocks Rise ahead of Services Activity Data

(Reuters) -London’s FTSE 100 edged higher on Friday, helped by consumer discretionary and mining shares, while investors awaited a reading on August services activity data due later in the day.

The blue-chip index rose 0.2. Global miner BHP Group added 1.4%, rebounding from a 5.6% fall in the previous session.

The wider mining index gained 0.6%, tracking metal prices higher. [MET/L]

Spirits maker Diageo, Dove soap maker Unilever, and tobacco company Imperial Brands all gained between 0.2% and 1.1%, providing the biggest boost to the index.

The domestic focused mid-cap FTSE 250 index edged 0.1% higher, lifted by 10.1% jump in Discoverie Group’s shares after the electronic components manufacturer and supplier upsized its equity raise offering.

Asian shares held ground as investors refrained from making big bets ahead of U.S. employment data that could throw clues on U.S. Federal Reserve’s timeline and pace of asset tapering. [MKTS/GLOB]

“The NFP (non-farm payroll) is always good for some juicy volatility intra-session, but this one will assume potentially greater importance than usual as the headline result will go a long way towards solidifying financial markets’ timing of the Fed taper,” said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at OANDA.

“A number around expectations will be a bit of a meh for me, giving us no clarity one way or the other. The result will still be ‘buy everything,’ just less vigorously.”

Domestically, the IHS Markit/CIPS services Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) is expected to fall to 55.5 last month from 59.6 in July amid supply-chain bottlenecks that also stunted British manufacturers’ recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic in August.

Among other stocks, Ashmore Group fell 4.5% after the emerging markets-focused money manager reported a 12% dip in annual net revenue.

Sanne Group slipped 1.9% after London-based private equity firm Cinven said it would not make another buyout offer for the asset management services provider.

Barratt Developments rose 1.6% to the top of FTSE 100 index after brokerages raised their price targets on the stock, while ASOS fell 2.3% after JP Morgan’s price target cut.

Reporting by Devik Jain in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and Uttaresh.V

Source: Reuters


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