Monday 25 March 2019

FTSE 100 rises as lawmakers vote down no-deal Brexit

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Stock photo
Independent.ie Business Desk

UK shares rose on Thursday as financials cheered British lawmakers' rejection of a no-deal Brexit and oil majors were buoyed by higher crude prices, but mid-cap retirement services specialist Just Group slumped following plans to raise funds.

The FTSE 100 was 0.4pc higher by 0855 GMT, its fourth straight session of gains, while the FTSE 250 was up by 0.1pc.

Wednesday's parliamentary vote paved the way for another one on Thursday that could delay Britain's exit from the European Union until at least the end of June.

But a vote in favour of postponing the leaving date still does not guarantee that Brexit will be delayed, as it would require unanimous approval from European Union members, while the European Commission has stressed that there would need to be a good reason to justify a delay.

"The good news is that no-deal is off the table. The bad news is there isn't a table," said Raymond James analyst Chris Bailey.

That did not stop financials from leading gains on the main index with Lloyds, Barclays and state-owned Royal Bank of Scotland adding nearly 2pc.

Oil majors Shell and BP extended gains from a day earlier as oil prices hit their highest this year, driven by OPEC-led supply cuts and US sanctions on Venezuela and Iran.

London-listed shares of travel group TUI jumped 3.1pc after Morgan Stanley raised its rating on the stock.

But capping gains were Anglo American and Irish building materials group CRH, which each lost 2.5pc as the stocks traded ex-dividend.

On the midcaps, Just Group slid 16.5pc and was on track for its worst day since June 2016 after it said it would raise money through a share placement and debt offering due to changes in capital requirement rules.

Results drove some moves on the FTSE 250 index as well.

Property agent Savills slipped 5pc after a cautious 2019 outlook and outsourcing firm Capita shed 3.6pc after its 2018 revenue missed consensus and it forecast net debt at the higher end of its guidance range.

But Cineworld surged 5.3pc on course for its best day since August after its full-year report.

Reuters

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