London close: Value hunters push FTSE higher as Tesco flops on Amazon concerns
Equities in London finished Friday on a positive note as investors went value hunting after yesterday's sell-off, but sterling gains on the dollar limited the upside.
Tesco's shares initially went for a run higher on a first-quarter update, but reversed those to finish heavily lower on concerns Amazon might replace it as the UK's No.1 supermarket.
At the end of trade, the FTSE 100 was up 0.60% to 7,463.54, and the FTSE 250 higher by 1.34% to 19,816.39. In Europe, the Euro Stoxx 50, Dax and Cac 40 were all gaining. Wall St was lower, however.
Sterling was up on the dollar but down on the euro, with this trinity of currencies sensitive after the hawkish squarks made by the US Federal Reserve and Bank of England this week.
Chris Beauchamp, chief market analyst at IG, said there appeared to be little appetite to push the FTSE 100 higher, at least for now.
"The trouble is that next week's calendar is even thinner than this one, so stock markets could be in for a hard time in face of a hawkish Fed and BoE."
David Madden, market analyst at CMC Markets UK, said the FTSE was in recovery mode Friday.
"Traders are slowly but surely getting used to the idea that interest rates could be rising sooner than they initially expected," he said.
"The sharp sell-off yesterday has given traders an opportunity to acquire relatively cheap stocks, and that is precisely what they are doing."
But the UK equities market remains sensitive to economic data, Brexit, and its delicate political situation thanks to a hung parliament and the spectre of a potential rate rise by the BoE.
Investors were also relieved after EU ministers struck a deal to unlock the latest tranche of Greece's bailout cash. The bailout fund would disburse €8.5bn and help to avert a fresh debt crisis in July when the next loan repayment is due.
Looking at the FTSE 100, Tesco was in crisp focus as its shares were dumped by investors and traders rattled by Amazon buying buying Whole Foods for $13.7bn.
"Investors flipped from satisfaction at the highest sales growth in seven years to fears that Amazon could knock Tesco off its perch as Britain’s number one supermarket," said Lawler.
Sainsbury and Marks & Spencer also suffered on the news, but in contrast Morrisons' shares did well thanks to its existing relationship with the US online titan.
In other UK corporate news, BHP Billiton rose after announcing that Ken MacKenzie - a former chief executive of Australian packaging giant Amcor - was to succeed Jac Nasser as chairman with effect from 1 September following Nasser’s retirement.
Travel operator TUI and InterContinental Hotels were up after encouraging travel and tourism data from the ONS, which showed the sharply weakened pound continues to encourage visits to the UK from abroad and more spend by visitors.
Aerospace and defence group Rolls-Royce improved after saying it had started 2017 well, with all businesses performing in line with its expectations. The company’s expectations for first half revenue, profit and free cash flow were left unchanged from that provided at the AGM in May.
Anglo American shares fell as South Africa's government increased the black ownership requirement from 26% to 30%.
FTSE 100 - Risers
St James's Place (STJ) 1,236.00p 4.22%
Mondi (MNDI) 2,093.00p 4.13%
DCC (DCC) 7,495.00p 3.67%
Worldpay Group (WPG) 323.30p 3.62%
3i Group (III) 911.50p 3.52%
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) 4,434.00p 3.04%
Smiths Group (SMIN) 1,613.00p 2.94%
Coca-Cola HBC AG (CDI) (CCH) 2,369.00p 2.87%
Direct Line Insurance Group (DLG) 370.00p 2.61%
BAE Systems (BA.) 673.00p 2.44%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Tesco (TSCO) 171.10p -4.92%
Sainsbury (J) (SBRY) 252.30p -3.85%
Anglo American (AAL) 967.30p -2.79%
Marks & Spencer Group (MKS) 345.20p -1.88%
Provident Financial (PFG) 2,854.00p -1.59%
Smurfit Kappa Group (SKG) 2,300.00p -1.29%
Glencore (GLEN) 279.75p -1.17%
Rio Tinto (RIO) 3,044.00p -0.94%
BT Group (BT.A) 291.10p -0.82%
Intu Properties (INTU) 268.00p -0.78%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Rank Group (RNK) 243.50p 8.71%
Cobham (COB) 138.70p 7.19%
CLS Holdings (CLI) 221.90p 6.02%
Pets at Home Group (PETS) 162.20p 5.87%
John Laing Group (JLG) 308.90p 5.79%
NMC Health (NMC) 2,371.00p 5.61%
Ted Baker (TED) 2,470.00p 5.33%
Dairy Crest Group (DCG) 652.50p 5.33%
Brewin Dolphin Holdings (BRW) 348.80p 5.31%
Homeserve (HSV) 787.50p 5.07%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Drax Group (DRX) 326.20p -4.48%
IP Group (IPO) 136.70p -3.86%
BH Macro Ltd. GBP Shares (BHMG) 1,960.00p -3.69%
Booker Group (BOK) 186.00p -3.33%
Allied Minds (ALM) 140.10p -2.71%
Hunting (HTG) 474.40p -2.67%
Kaz Minerals (KAZ) 471.50p -2.48%
Petrofac Ltd. (PFC) 412.90p -1.92%
Crest Nicholson Holdings (CRST) 541.50p -1.72%
ZPG Plc (ZPG) 357.70p -1.65%