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Imperial Brands (IMB)

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Up 1,713.40p
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London close: Shares extend gains with central banks and trade in focus

06 Jun 19

LONDON (ShareCast) - (Sharecast News) - London stocks extended their gains amid slight optimism on global trade even as the European Central Bank warned of the impact that trade protectionism might have, saying that rate-setters in Frankfurt had discussed various contingency plans, including the possible re-start of its quantitative easing programme.
The FTSE 100 was 0.55% firmer at 7,259.85, boosted by the strong performance from the likes of Rolls-Royce, Aviva and Go-Ahead, while the pound was 0.14% higher against the US dollar to 1.27149 and 0.48% lower versus the euro at 1.1252.

The ECB kept all its main interest rates unchanged on Thursday, but pushed back the expected data of its first hike by six months, extending its so-called forward guidance until "at least" the middle of 2020.

In Draghi's opinion, markets "might see a much broader phenomena, where the multilateral order that we have lived in since World War II" is disappearing."

"And then of course the uncertainty about Brexit negotiations, the uncertainty of vulnerabilities of certain emerging-market countries, which are important," he went on to say.

IG analyst Josh Mahony said: "Growth expectations were a key topic for the day, with both Moody's and the IMF expecting US GDP to decline in 2020. The ongoing trade war has no doubt acted as a hindrance for US businesses, and we are seeing little progress across the range of battles Trump is fighting."

Of the US-China trade war, US President Donald Trump said on Thursday that: "a lot of interesting things are happening. We'll see what happens [...] I could go up another at least $300 billion and I'll do that at the right time.

"But I think China wants to make a deal and I think Mexico wants to make a deal badly."

Trump also indicated he would take a decision on levying more tariffs on Chinese goods after the next G-20 leaders' summit in Japan, on 28-29 June.

In parallel, trade talks between the US and Mexico were due to resume on Thursday, with Trump having tweeted the night before that progress was being made "but not nearly enough".

"If no agreement is reached, tariffs at the 5% level will begin on Monday, with monthly increases as per schedule," Trump tweeted on Wednesday. "The higher the Tariffs go, the higher the number of companies that will move back to the USA!"

In equity markets, tobacco stocks were the standout gainers, with Imperial Brands and British American Tobacco the two best performers on the top-flight index.

According to Barclays, the US Food & Drug Administration was unlikely to ban menthol cigarettes over the next 12 months.

Aviva gained after the insurer said it was planning to cut around 1,800 jobs as it looks to reduce expenses by 300m a year over the next three years.

Rolls-Royce pushed higher as it announced that its pension scheme has agreed to transfer 4.6bn of assets to Legal & General in what is the UK's largest ever bulk annuity.

AstraZeneca advanced after saying that its blood cancer drug met the primary endpoints of a final stage trial and Go-Ahead rallied as it said revenue in all three of its divisions grew in the period from 30 December 2018 to 5 June 2019.

On the downside, ex-dividends were a drag, with Taylor Wimpey, Sainsbury, Kingfisher, Vodafone, Johnson Matthey, AJ Bell, AB Foods, LondonMetric Property, Synthomer, Victrex, Marshalls, Renew Holdings, SIG and SSP all in the frame.

Auto Trader dipped after it posted a 15% jump in annual profit but said the market is still challenging.

Entertainment One surged as it denied speculation that Mark Gordon was leaving his role as president and chief content officer. The independent producer said "Gordon continues to be a part of the eOne team both now and into the future".

In broker note action, EI Group was cut to 'hold' at Berenberg, but Mitchells & Butlers fizzed higher after an upgrade to 'buy' by the same outfit. Stobart was lifted by an initiation at 'buy' at Jefferies.

Market Movers

FTSE 100 (UKX) 7,259.85 0.55%
FTSE 250 (MCX) 19,065.52 -0.03%
techMARK (TASX) 3,532.78 -0.01%

FTSE 100 - Risers

Imperial Brands (IMB) 2,073.00p 5.71%
British American Tobacco (BATS) 2,915.50p 3.08%
United Utilities Group (UU.) 826.60p 2.78%
Severn Trent (SVT) 2,046.00p 2.35%
National Grid (NG.) 815.30p 1.82%
Compass Group (CPG) 1,826.00p 1.76%
Fresnillo (FRES) 802.60p 1.65%
Legal & General Group (LGEN) 264.50p 1.57%
Royal Dutch Shell 'A' (RDSA) 2,494.00p 1.56%
Flutter Entertainment (FLTR) 5,892.00p 1.55%

FTSE 100 - Fallers

Taylor Wimpey (TW.) 156.50p -7.48%
Kingfisher (KGF) 207.60p -4.81%
Hargreaves Lansdown (HL.) 1,900.00p -4.11%
Vodafone Group (VOD) 127.98p -3.85%
Sainsbury (J) (SBRY) 194.95p -3.78%
Marks & Spencer Group (MKS) 223.50p -2.99%
NMC Health (NMC) 2,200.00p -2.65%
Associated British Foods (ABF) 2,515.00p -2.33%
Ocado Group (OCDO) 1,122.00p -1.54%
Mondi (MNDI) 1,645.50p -1.47%

FTSE 250 - Risers

Entertainment One Limited (ETO) 405.40p 15.83%
Go-Ahead Group (GOG) 2,080.00p 10.46%
Mitchells & Butlers (MAB) 290.50p 3.57%
Stobart Group Ltd. (STOB) 105.40p 3.13%
Vivo Energy (VVO) 135.00p 3.05%
Fisher (James) & Sons (FSJ) 2,060.00p 3.00%
Centamin (DI) (CEY) 101.25p 2.98%
TalkTalk Telecom Group (TALK) 118.00p 2.88%
888 Holdings (888) 154.30p 2.87%
Stagecoach Group (SGC) 131.60p 2.82%

FTSE 250 - Fallers

Just Group (JUST) 44.56p -8.99%
Kier Group (KIE) 145.40p -5.46%
Intu Properties (INTU) 84.94p -4.35%
AJ Bell (AJB) 400.00p -4.31%
NewRiver REIT (NRR) 196.60p -3.86%
IP Group (IPO) 75.10p -3.84%
Countryside Properties (CSP) 291.00p -3.78%
Metro Bank (MTRO) 670.00p -3.53%
Indivior (INDV) 44.57p -3.30%
Babcock International Group (BAB) 460.60p -3.13%

Note 1: Prices and trades are provided by Digital Look Corporate Solutions and are delayed by at least 15 minutes.


Market Data

Currency UK Pounds
Price 1,713.40p
Change Today 24.60p
52 Week High 2,713.50p
52 Week Low 1,669.40p
Volume 1,116,653
Shares Issued 946.57m
Market Cap 16,218m


  Latest Previous
  4th Interim 3rd Interim
Ex-Div 20-Feb-20 21-Nov-19
Paid 31-Mar-20 31-Dec-19
Amount 72.01p 72.00p