Stronger pound drags FTSE 100 lower; midcaps outperform

imageStock Markets4 hours ago (Apr 26, 2021 17:50)

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The London Stock Exchange offices in the City of London, Britain

By Devik Jain and Medha Singh

(Reuters) -London’s FTSE-100 rose on Monday as mining and financial shares benefitted from growing hopes of an economic recovery, while a surge in shares of engineer IMI (LON:IMI) helped the mid-cap index outperform its blue-chip counterpart.

The FTSE-100 added 0.4%, helped by gains in mining stocks as copper prices hit their highest in over 10 years and prices of other metals also rose. [MET/L]

Glencore (LON:GLEN) shares jumped more than 3% as an Australian state planning commission approved an extension to the company’s Mangoola coal mine in the Upper Hunter Valley of New South Wales.

Economy-linked financial stocks added about 1.5%, while travel and leisure shares climbed more than 1% after a top European Union official said on Sunday that vaccinated Americans should be able to travel to Europe by summer.

“Travel stocks soared higher during the London session today as hopes lifted that a big rescue could now be on the cards for the summer season, with the introduction of vaccine passports,” said Susannah Streeter, senior investment and markets analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown (LON:HRGV).

The domestically focussed mid-cap FTSE 250 index added 0.92%, nearing a record high. Engineering firm IMI jumped 11% to a seven year high after it raised its annual profit outlook.

World stocks also ticked higher, with U.S. stocks advancing ahead of earnings from U.S. tech heavyweights this week. Focus is also on results from big UK banks in the coming days. [MKTS/GLOB]

The FTSE-100 has gained 7.8% year-to-date as encouraging economic data on the back of speedy COVID-19 vaccinations and constant policy support from the government lifted optimism about a stronger economic recovery.

Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) expects the UK economy to grow by a “striking” 7.8% this year, more than the United States, following a nearly 10% slump last year as Britain was hit by longer coronavirus lockdowns than many of its peers.

Rolls Royce (LON:RR) jumped 6% to the top of the FTSE-100 index after it said on Friday it was in constructive talks with Spain over the sale of its Spanish unit ITP Aero.

Global education group Pearson rose 2.7% after posting a 5% increase in underlying revenue growth in the first quarter, helped by strong demand for online learning courses.

London mid-cap stocks outperform as engineer IMI soars

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