Sector movers: Retailers and banks rise, telecoms dragged down
Miners, retailers and banks were on the up on Thursday, while telecoms was the main faller.
Miners were lifted as the dollar softened to boost commodity prices, led by Anglo American and Antofagasta.
Gold was one of the main beneficiaries, also being boosted by safe haven demand as Iran and Israel squared up, but was not enough to boost Randgold Resources as it's trading update disappointed.
The yellow metal hit its highest level in over a week. "The 200-day moving average at $1,306 continues to act as support, and while gold is above that metric its outlook could be positive," said market analyst David Madden at CMC Markets. "Gold has been range-bound recently, and the $1,350 region may act as resistance."
Retailers were led by Next and Kingfisher. High street clothes retailer Next upgraded its profit guidance for the year as it posted a 6% rise in sales thanks to an 18.1% jump in online sales helping offset a 4.8% drop in retail.
Its rise in first-quarter sales was thanks to unusually warm weather in recent weeks, which could be a factor boosting Kingfisher, as more sales of garden equipment are anticipated. Dunelm, Pets at Home, Sports Direct were other retailers on the front foot on Thursday.
Banks were mostly on the up, led by Royal Bank of Scotland as the potential for its to return to the dividend list increased significantly after it agreed a $4.9bn (£3.6bn) settlement with the US Department of Justice over its selling of mortgage-backed securities before the financial crisis. Metro Bank, with consolidation in the air, Standard Chartered and HSBC were other notable risers in the sector.
Telecoms was dragged down by BT as it reported a second year of lower profits and guided to a third this coming year. Chief executive Gavin Patterson unveiled a plan to cut £1.5bn of costs within three years by axing 13,000 back office jobs and restructuring its offices.
But investment will increase, keeping the dividend flat, as Patterson also plans to hire 6,000 more new staff as part of an operating strategy rejig that will see higher capital expenditure in coming years.
Top performing sectors so far today
General Retailers +1.77%
Food & Drug Retailers +1.09%
Bottom performing sectors so far today
Fixed Line Telecommunications -6.86%
Automobiles & Parts -4.65%
Industrial Metals & Mining -0.92%
Gas, Water & Multiutilities -0.91%
Oil & Gas Producers -0.78%
FTSE 100 - Risers
Next (NXT) 5,568.00p 6.14%
ITV (ITV) 160.35p 6.05%
Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS) 286.50p 3.77%
Kingfisher (KGF) 297.30p 3.12%
RSA Insurance Group (RSA) 655.20p 3.12%
Coca-Cola HBC AG (CDI) (CCH) 2,540.00p 3.00%
Anglo American (AAL) 1,800.20p 2.87%
WPP (WPP) 1,306.00p 2.79%
Scottish Mortgage Inv Trust (SMT) 511.00p 2.65%
Antofagasta (ANTO) 1,040.00p 2.61%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
BT Group (BT.A) 221.05p -7.36%
Randgold Resources Ltd. (RRS) 5,674.00p -6.98%
Centrica (CNA) 146.50p -5.76%
Admiral Group (ADM) 1,972.00p -1.99%
Mediclinic International (MDC) 694.00p -1.76%
Barratt Developments (BDEV) 558.60p -1.72%
BP (BP.) 564.00p -1.40%
Evraz (EVR) 501.20p -1.30%
Royal Dutch Shell 'B' (RDSB) 2,705.50p -1.07%
Rolls-Royce Holdings (RR.) 824.60p -0.65%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Capita (CPI) 128.55p 5.30%
Equiniti Group (EQN) 287.00p 4.74%
Kaz Minerals (KAZ) 1,019.00p 3.87%
Sanne Group (SNN) 634.00p 3.59%
Herald Investment Trust (HRI) 1,285.00p 2.77%
RHI Magnesita N.V. (DI) (RHIM) 5,330.00p 2.59%
Polypipe Group (PLP) 408.60p 2.56%
Entertainment One Limited (ETO) 295.00p 2.22%
Investec (INVP) 586.00p 2.09%
Metro Bank (MTRO) 3,366.00p 2.06%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Superdry (SDRY) 1,250.00p -19.35%
On The Beach Group (OTB) 556.00p -16.15%
TP ICAP (TCAP) 447.20p -7.01%
Stobart Group Ltd. (STOB) 231.00p -6.48%
Contour Global (GLO) 242.00p -5.47%
TI Fluid Systems (TIFS) 246.00p -4.65%
Polymetal International (POLY) 710.00p -3.06%
Daejan Holdings (DJAN) 6,070.00p -2.57%
SIG (SHI) 137.20p -2.56%
Genus (GNS) 2,516.00p -2.48%