London open: Stocks edge higher after Thursday's losses
London stocks edged higher in early trade on Friday, recovering some ground after a more hawkish stance than expected from the Bank of England lifted the pound.
At 0830 BST, the FTSE 100 was up 0.4% to 7,448.34, while the pound was flat against the euro at 1.1448 and 0.1% firmer versus the dollar at 1.2770.
Although on Thursday the BoE stood pat on interest rates at 0.25%, as forecast, the vote revealed a 5-3 split versus the previous and expected 7-1 split, catching investors off guard.
Spreadex analyst Connor Campbell said: “After a bout of bearishness on Thursday the markets seem to be in a better mood this morning, aided by a bailout breakthrough between Greece and the Eurogroup.
“Having struck one month lows following the Bank of England’s split rate vote the FTSE is trying to recover some of that lost ground.”
He added that with little due in the way of market-moving news, it will be interesting to see what stance sterling takes if Prime Minister Theresa May manages to confirm a DUP deal ahead of next Wednesday’s rescheduled Queen’s Speech.
Investors were also likely to be breathing a sigh of relief after eurozone ministers struck a deal to unlock the latest tranche of Greece's bailout cash. The bailout fund will disburse €8.5bn and help to avert a fresh debt crisis in July when the next loan repayment is due.
In UK corporate news, Tesco was on the front foot as it delivered first quarter UK sales ahead of City expectations despite current tough conditions for the wider retail industry.
BHP Billiton edged higher after announcing that Ken MacKenzie - a former chief executive of global packaging company Amcor - has been elected to succeed Jac Nasser as chairman with effect from 1 September following Nasser’s retirement.
Aerospace and defence group Rolls-Royce ticked up after saying it has 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.
Amec Foster Wheeler rallied after being been awarded an engineering procurement and construction contract worth AUD298m in Western Australia.
BTG gained ground as it announced a successful trial of its deep vein thrombosis treatment, while Ascential advanced after it said trading so far this year has been in line with expectations.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Tesco (TSCO) 183.55p 2.00%
GKN (GKN) 347.20p 1.46%
Morrison (Wm) Supermarkets (MRW) 242.30p 1.00%
Unilever (ULVR) 4,292.00p 0.99%
Rentokil Initial (RTO) 279.50p 0.90%
Mediclinic International (MDC) 786.50p 0.90%
Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS) 253.70p 0.87%
BP (BP.) 464.95p 0.87%
Kingfisher (KGF) 304.10p 0.86%
Persimmon (PSN) 2,278.00p 0.84%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Fresnillo (FRES) 1,536.00p -1.41%
Ashtead Group (AHT) 1,582.00p -1.13%
BT Group (BT.A) 291.40p -0.72%
Convatec Group (CTEC) 320.10p -0.37%
Antofagasta (ANTO) 779.00p -0.13%
3i Group (III) 879.50p -0.11%
Anglo American (AAL) 994.40p -0.07%
ITV (ITV) 179.10p -0.00%
British Land Company (BLND) 630.50p 0.00%
Hammerson (HMSO) 597.00p 0.00%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Nostrum Oil & Gas (NOG) 493.58p 2.96%
UBM (UBM) 723.00p 2.34%
PayPoint (PAY) 986.50p 2.18%
AO World (AO.) 125.20p 1.87%
Ted Baker (TED) 2,387.00p 1.79%
Grafton Group Units (GFTU) 744.50p 1.64%
Amec Foster Wheeler (AMFW) 490.90p 1.64%
Intermediate Capital Group (ICP) 851.50p 1.61%
Fisher (James) & Sons (FSJ) 1,678.00p 1.57%
Brewin Dolphin Holdings (BRW) 336.10p 1.48%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
NewRiver REIT (NRR) 348.40p -0.74%
Just Group (JUST) 125.10p -0.64%
Hochschild Mining (HOC) 262.50p -0.61%
Ocado Group (OCDO) 272.70p -0.58%
TalkTalk Telecom Group (TALK) 176.10p -0.51%
CYBG (CYBG) 275.60p -0.51%
Polymetal International (POLY) 918.00p -0.43%
IP Group (IPO) 139.30p -0.43%
QinetiQ Group (QQ.) 287.70p -0.42%
John Laing Group (JLG) 290.80p -0.41%