Sector movers: Oilers, miners ride gains in underlying futures higher
Oilers and Miners paced gains at the end of the week as a solid US jobs report for the month of February stoked buying interest in copper and oil futures.
According to the US Department of Labor, non-farm payrolls jumped by 313,000 last month, for the biggest single-month gain since July 2016, which easily dwarfed the consensus forecast for an increase of 195,000.
In reaction, as of 1800 GMT front month Brent crude oil futures were trading up by 2.33% at $65.13 a barrel on the ICE, while May 2018 copper futures on COMEX were trading 1.92% higher to $3.1380 a pound.
Three-month LME futures rose by less, ending the session at $6,862 per metric tonne amid short-covering and in moderate turnover.
Company-specific newsflow accounted for the advance in Automobile and Aerospace and Defence.
Among the former, GKN received a boost after announcing plans to combine its Driveline arm with US rival Dana in a $6.1bn deal.
Meanwhile, BAE Systems was lifted by the company's announcement that Westminster and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia had inked a Memorandum of Intentions to finalise the sale of 48 Typhoons to Riyadh.
Defensives and interest rate-sensitive issues generally fared worst, although an advance in Severn Trent stock helped to dampen the selling pressure in the Utilities space.
Earlier, analysts at JP Morgan had upgraded their recommendations for shares of Pennon and Severn from 'neutral' to 'overweight'.
Concerns about regulatory risk, rising government bond yields and possible nationalisation by a Labour government had pushed the shares to "unusually low" levels, they said.
"We take this opportunity to highlight stocks in our coverage universe that are oversold, trading at a material discount to 'worst case' nationalisation scenario projections."
Top performing sectors so far today
Oil Equipment, Services & Distribution +3.44%
Automobiles & Parts +1.99%
Food & Drug Retailers +1.08%
Aerospace and Defence +0.97%
Bottom performing sectors so far today
Mobile Telecommunications -1.05%
Industrial Metals & Mining -0.99%
Fixed Line Telecommunications -0.68%
Gas, Water & Multiutilities -0.61%
Pharmaceuticals & Biotechnology -0.48%