FTSE 100 movers: Johnson Matthey rallies again but Smiths drops on results
London's FTSE 100 was up 0.6% to 7,305.66 in afternoon trade on Friday as investors mulled over PM Theresa May's Brexit speech in Florence.
Johnson Matthey was in the black for the second day running after it announced a £200m investment in battery technology on Thursday that will allow it to tap into the growing electric car market. Analysts at Deutsche Bank and Credit Suisse hiked their expectations for the company following its results.
AstraZeneca was boosted by an upgrade to 'outperform' from 'market perform' at Bernstein. The bank said although the first readout of Mystic was negative, the company's 'base' is in better shape now because of progress made elsewhere and even with no new pipeline drugs to 2025 it should be able to grow. In addition, it pointed out that Astra has one of the fullest phase 3 pipelines in the group.
On the downside, Smiths Group was under the cosh after it posted a small decline in full year underlying revenue but 11% growth on a reported basis thanks to the weak pound and said its strategic progress set it up to return to growth next year.
Heavily-weighted miners were weaker, with Glencore, Anglo American and BHP Billiton all in the red following S&P's downgrade of China's credit rating on Thursday.
CRH was on the back foot, giving back some gains after rallying a day earlier as it announced a deal to acquire Kansas-based Ash Grove Cement Company for $3.5bn.
Johnson Matthey (JMAT) 3,482.00p 2.71%
AstraZeneca (AZN) 4,897.50p 2.71%
WPP (WPP) 1,411.00p 1.73%
Standard Life Aberdeen (SLA) 423.60p 1.70%
Reckitt Benckiser Group (RB.) 6,796.00p 1.37%
Compass Group (CPG) 1,591.00p 1.27%
Pearson (PSON) 573.00p 1.15%
Whitbread (WTB) 3,683.00p 1.13%
Shire Plc (SHP) 3,844.50p 1.10%
Mediclinic International (MDC) 678.50p 1.04%
Smiths Group (SMIN) 1,508.00p -6.51%
Standard Chartered (STAN) 724.20p -1.55%
Glencore (GLEN) 342.30p -1.23%
Anglo American (AAL) 1,315.50p -1.20%
Scottish Mortgage Inv Trust (SMT) 412.10p -0.96%
BHP Billiton (BLT) 1,333.50p -0.74%
Sainsbury (J) (SBRY) 232.60p -0.73%
Prudential (PRU) 1,761.50p -0.68%
CRH (CRH) 2,701.00p -0.66%
Babcock International Group (BAB) 839.00p -0.65%