ADVFN Morning London Market Report: Friday 27 November 2020

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London open: Stocks decline as investors mull post-lockdown tiers


London stocks fell in early trade on Friday as investors mulled the economic impact of coronavirus restrictions following news on England’s post-lockdown tiers.

At 0840 GMT, the FTSE 100 was down 0.9% at 6,307.70, with US markets set to open for just a half-day later, having been closed for Thanksgiving on Thursday.

CMC Markets analyst Michael Hewson said: “This end of week caution appears to be predicated on concern over the short-term economic outlook, as the extension of tighter restrictions on economic activity in France, Germany and the UK creates further uncertainty over the potential for permanent economic scarring as we head into 2021.

“The vaccine story is undoubtedly good news, however there is some concern as to what the economic landscape will look like when we come out of the other side of winter.

“This has seen early weakness in the likes of travel and leisure stocks, with IAGeasyJetInternational Hotels GroupWhitbread and Cineworld all slipping a little in early trade.”

Hewson said the new tiered restrictions announced for England on Thursday “weren’t good news for the hospitality sector” after most of the nation was placed into tier 2 or tier 3 for the period leading up to Christmas.

With face-to-face Brexit talks due to resume at the weekend, sentiment took a hit after Reuters reported that European Union Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier told a closed-door meeting for national diplomats on Friday that he couldn’t say yet whether a new UK trade deal would be ready in time.

In equity markets, travel and leisure stocks with exposure to Covid-related restrictions were under pressure, with shopping centre owners British Land and Land Securities and British Airways parent IAG all lower.

Upper Crust owner SSP and WH Smith, both of which have outlets at train stations and airports, were also in the red, along with Trainline.

Wetherspoons fell after the pub said half of its pubs would remain closed under the UK government’s tiered system when the national lockdown ends on December 2. The company, headed by outspoken chief executive Tim Martin, said 366 pubs would be shut and accused the government of extending lockdown “by stealth”.

Elsewhere, Marks & Spencer was knocked lower by a downgrade to ‘neutral’ at Goldman Sachs.

Outsourcer Capita bucked the trend after saying it was in exclusive talks with private equity firm Montagu over the potential sale of its Education Software Solutions unit.


Top 10 FTSE 100 Risers

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76.4% of retail CFD accounts lose money.


# Name Change Pct Change Cur Price
1 Fresnillo Plc +2.71% +29.50 1,118.00
2 Tui Ag +1.70% +8.80 525.00
3 Hsbc Holdings Plc +1.31% +5.20 403.05
4 Flutter Entertainment Plc +0.69% +95.00 13,940.00
5 Diageo Plc +0.24% +7.00 2,935.50
6 Sage Group Plc +0.23% +1.40 600.80
7 Rsa Insurance Group Plc +0.09% +0.60 675.60
8 Antofagasta Plc +0.04% +0.50 1,216.00
9 Schroders Plc +0.03% +1.00 3,178.00
10 Bhp Group Plc +0.01% +0.20 1,728.40


Top 10 FTSE 100 Fallers

Sponsored by
76.4% of retail CFD accounts lose money.


# Name Change Pct Change Cur Price
1 Hargreaves Lansdown Plc -2.94% -42.50 1,405.00
2 Marks And Spencer Group Plc -2.84% -3.70 126.50
3 British Land Company Plc -2.77% -13.20 463.00
4 Lloyds Banking Group Plc -2.75% -1.03 36.30
5 Pearson Plc -2.66% -17.40 637.60
6 Melrose Industries Plc -2.45% -3.90 155.10
7 Land Securities Group Plc -2.45% -16.60 660.90
8 Imperial Brands Plc -2.43% -34.50 1,385.50
9 St. James’s Place Plc -2.42% -25.00 1,006.50
10 Barclays Plc -2.32% -3.28 137.82


Friday newspaper round-up: Black Friday, tech regulator, pensions, Royal Mail

Black Friday is expected to smash online sales records this year as struggling retailers slash prices in a desperate attempt to drum up trade after a lost November on the high street. The discount day has become the biggest shopping event of the year but the stakes are far higher this time round as coronavirus restrictions mean some retailers have shops closed in three of the four home nations. – Guardian

A new tech regulator will work to limit the power of Google, Facebook and other tech platforms, the government has announced, in an effort to ensure a level playing field for smaller competitors and a fair market for consumers. Under the plans, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) will gain a dedicated Digital Markets Unit, empowered to write and enforce a new code of practice on technology companies which will set out the limits of acceptable behaviour. – Guardian

Decommissioning Britain’s old nuclear sites will cost taxpayers £132bn and take 120 years, the Public Accounts Committee has said. The process will be hampered by what the spending watchdog called “decades of poor records” leading to a “perpetual” lack of knowledge about nuclear materials and old power stations, compounded by “weak oversight” from the Government. – Telegraph

The chief executive of one of Britain’s biggest traditional pension funds has warned that tens of thousands of its members will be £34,000 worse off on average as a result of planned changes to the retail prices index. Morten Nilsson, head of the BT Pension Scheme, condemned the move as “a massive transfer of wealth” from defined benefit scheme members to the government and accused ministers of backtracking on earlier statements. – The Times

The postal regulator appears to have cleared the way for the government to relax the statutory commitment of Royal Mail to deliver six days a week to all addresses in the UK. An Ofcom review of Royal Mail’s universal service obligation, enshrined in law, found that most homes and businesses will experience little impact in cutting deliveries to five days a week. – The Times


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