London open: Stocks in the black as miners gain on China data
London stocks edged higher in early trade on Monday, with miners in the black following the release of encouraging Chinese data.
At 0830 BST, the FTSE 100 was up 0.4% to 7,407.45, while the pound was up 0.1% against the euro at 1.1430 and down 0.1% versus the dollar 1.3080.
Heavily-weighted mining stocks got a boost after data revealed China's second-quarter gross domestic product grew 6.9% from a year earlier, unchanged from the first quarter but ahead of expectations for 6.8%growth.
On a quarterly basis, the Chinese economy grew 1.7% compared to 1.3% in the first quarter, as expected. Chinese retail sales, industrial production and fixed asset investment data for June were also encouraging.
Spreadex analyst Connor Campbell said: "Understandably the FTSE’s commodity stocks were pretty pleased with the outcome of all this, allowing the UK index itself to surge 50 points higher to cross 7,400 once again.
"It helps that the pound appears to be taking a breather this morning. The currency opened flat against the dollar just below 1.31, unable just yet to build on its recent Fed-inspired 10 month peak. Sterling fared slightly better against the euro, climbing 0.1% to keep at a one month high."
In corporate news, ITV was on the front foot after it poached Carolyn McCall from easyJet to be its new chief executive.
Carillion advanced as it won HS2 contracts worth £1.4bn as part of its CEK joint venture with Kier and Eiffage. Meanwhile, Balfour Beatty gained as it won two contracts worth £2.5bn with JV partner Vinci.
Centrica edged higher as it and Stadtwerke München agreed to combine Centrica's European oil and gas exploration and production business with Bayerngas Norge to form a new joint venture.
Weir Group surged as it said its updated outlook for the group's full-year performance is now for strong constant currency revenue and profit growth, with revenues and operating profits in the oil & gas division set to be above the upper end of analysts' estimates as upstream North American markets have recovered more strongly than anticipated in recent weeks.
LondonMetric nudged up after agreeing to buy two new distribution warehouses at Logistics City in Frimley for £13.1m via a forward funding contract with Kier Property.
Polymetal International was trading higher as it upped its stake in its Nezhda gold deposit by 7% to 24.7% and acquired an option to buy the remaining 75.3% for between $105m and $180m.
UDG Healthcare ticked up as it announced the acquisition of US-based healthcare communications business Cambridge BioMarketing for up to $35m.
Elsewhere, the latest survey from Rightmove released overnight revealed that the prices of homes put up for sale in the UK remained just about flat last month.
Newly-marketed property prices edged up 0.1% in June, which was stronger than the previous month’s fall of 0.4%, and is a solid performance as the start of the summer holiday season generally has a dampening effect on both prices and activity, Rightmove said.
As the fundamentals of the housing market remain good, the online property experts said, this had led to the number of sales agreed numbers remaining almost identical to those in 2016, with many parts of the country seeing as high a proportion of properties marked as sold than at any time in the last seven years.
FTSE 100 - Risers
ITV (ITV) 178.30p 1.89%
Ashtead Group (AHT) 1,607.00p 1.64%
Anglo American (AAL) 1,135.00p 1.61%
AstraZeneca (AZN) 5,077.00p 1.57%
Fresnillo (FRES) 1,501.00p 1.35%
Mondi (MNDI) 2,040.00p 1.34%
Antofagasta (ANTO) 870.00p 1.34%
Glencore (GLEN) 319.85p 1.19%
Micro Focus International (MCRO) 2,108.00p 0.91%
Rio Tinto (RIO) 3,479.00p 0.90%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Pearson (PSON) 628.00p -1.18%
International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 621.00p -0.88%
easyJet (EZJ) 1,400.00p -0.78%
Barclays (BARC) 207.45p -0.50%
Royal Mail (RMG) 399.00p -0.50%
Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS) 251.50p -0.36%
Direct Line Insurance Group (DLG) 363.90p -0.30%
Standard Life (SL.) 413.40p -0.27%
WPP (WPP) 1,550.00p -0.19%
Rolls-Royce Holdings (RR.) 913.00p -0.16%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Carillion (CLLN) 60.85p 8.37%
Weir Group (WEIR) 1,936.00p 6.14%
Evraz (EVR) 241.90p 3.46%
Kaz Minerals (KAZ) 601.00p 2.82%
Morgan Advanced Materials (MGAM) 297.50p 2.27%
Balfour Beatty (BBY) 268.80p 2.24%
Vesuvius (VSVS) 587.50p 1.56%
Petrofac Ltd. (PFC) 456.10p 1.42%
Electra Private Equity (ELTA) 1,643.00p 1.42%
Tullow Oil (TLW) 166.60p 1.40%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
CYBG (CYBG) 272.90p -2.08%
TalkTalk Telecom Group (TALK) 185.50p -1.43%
Metro Bank (MTRO) 3,536.00p -1.34%
Sports Direct International (SPD) 293.30p -0.88%
Caledonia Investments (CLDN) 2,841.00p -0.80%
JD Sports Fashion (JD.) 342.00p -0.75%
Aldermore Group (ALD) 224.10p -0.75%
Capita (CPI) 656.00p -0.61%
JPMorgan American Inv Trust (JAM) 380.00p -0.60%
Computacenter (CCC) 878.00p -0.57%