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London markets climb back to gains as FTSE 250 hits new high

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London markets closed lower on Tuesday (Ian West/PA) (PA Wire)
London markets closed lower on Tuesday (Ian West/PA) (PA Wire)

London’s top markets finished in the green after late gains helped traders recover slightly from a day of steady decline.

Nevertheless, the FTSE 250 tipped to a new record high as a positive opening across global markets helped offset any concerns over the economic recovery.

The FTSE 100 closed 16.76 points, or 0.24%, higher at 7,125.78 on Tuesday.

Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK, said: “After a positive start, and another decent Asia handoff, the early gains for European markets have largely melted away, slipping back from their intraday highs in the process.

“The FTSE 250 has managed to outperform, making another new record high, however the FTSE 100 has lagged, along with the rest of Europe’s stock markets, with the exception of the Dax.

“We’re seeing some decent gains in airlines, with easyJet leading the gainers, with the calculation appearing to be that as vaccines get set to receive approvals from various regulators, it will then make it easier to oblige or compel people to have the jab, and thus make a return to some semblance of normal that much easier.”

Europe’s biggest markets were mixed, with French stocks failing to recover from their midday slump unlike UK and German counterparts.

The German Dax increased by 0.33% and the French Cac moved 0.28% lower.

In the US, the major markets maintained their positive footing once again as the tech-focused Nasdaq continued to outperform broader trends.

Wall Street traders were still fairly tentative however, as they kept an eye on the key Jackson Hole Symposium later this week.

Meanwhile, sterling continued to find progress difficult despite a decent CBI retail sales report for August, dipping against a dollar which was weak itself against other currencies.

The pound was down 0.12% versus the US dollar at 1.371 and was 0.02% lower against the euro at 1.167.

In company news, Sainsbury’s shares slipped back after Monday’s rush in value on the back of weekend reports of potential takeover interests.

Both Sainsbury’s and potentially interested party Apollo declined to comment on the speculation, and shareholder hopes over a move appeared to cool on Tuesday.

Shares in the supermarket group closed 16.5p lower at 323.5p as a result.

Open Orphan shares surged after the pharmaceutical services firm said its subsidiary has won a £8.1 million contract for a major asthma study.

It climbed 3.65p higher to 24.4p after it said it will test its inhaled human rhinovirus (hRV) antiviral product using the hVIVO Asthma Human Challenge Study Model.

Elsewhere, Wood Group nudged lower after the oil service firm posted a slump in first-half revenues after taking a hit from the pandemic, although it stuck by forecasts for a return to growth by the year end. It closed 0.5p down at 233.1p.

The price of oil built on Monday’s strong gains after US prices lifted on the back of a fire at Mexican platform which cut supply back further.

Brent crude increased by 2.88% to 70.73 dollars per barrel.

The biggest risers on the FTSE 100 were Whitbread, up 138p at 3,183p, Rolls-Royce, up 4.54p at 118.28p, Evraz, up 18p at 578p, and Taylor Wimpey, up 5.25p at 178.75p.

The biggest fallers of the day were Sainsbury’s, down 16.5p at 323.5p, Imperial Brands, down 34p at 1,524.5p, B&M, down 10.4p at 569.8p, and Kingfisher, down 5.5p at 355.5p.

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