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FTSE rises on Chinese economic stimulus pledge

Tuesday, 15th January 2019
Global equities rose on reports of a Chinese stimulus package, offsetting disappointing German economic data and nerves ahead of Theresa May's Brexit plan in the House of Commons later.

The FTSE 100 traded 0.6% higher at 6,895.

Reports that the US-Chinese trade talks saw no progress on 'structural issues' limited gains on Wall Street with the exception of the tech-heavy Nasdaq, up 1.3% at 7,000 at around 4:45pm UK time.

Brent crude oil surged 1.7% to $60 per barrel.


House builder Persimmon dipped 1.2% to £22.01, paring earlier gains, after it said it expected its annual profit to be 'modestly' ahead of current market expectations, as higher home completions and selling prices boosted revenue.

Online retailer Boohoo reversed 7.2% to 180.5p, despite it upgrading its full-year sales guidance, as investors focused on a narrowing of its margin guidance. Boohoo shares also had a good run in the two weeks leading up to the sales update.

Sub-prime lender Provident Financial tumbled 19.5% to 521p on announcing that it expected its annual profits to come in at the lower end of expectations, amid a rise in sour loans.

Recruitment group Hays added 3.7% to 146.9p after revealing its second-quarter net fee income had been bolstered by growth in its international businesses.

Asset manager Ashmore softened 1.8% to 371.8p even as its second-quarter assets under management were buoyed by net inflows, offsetting a negative investment performance.

Real estate adviser Savills shed 4.3% to 731.3p, despite the company forecasting growth in both annual revenue and underlying profits following a 'robust' closing quarter.

Communications technology group Spirent Communications rallied 13.9% to 142.6p on announcing that it expected to exceed market expectations with an around 30% rise in annual operating profit.

Student accommodation specialist Watkin Jones gained 3.3% to 220p as it posted a rise in annual profits 'slightly ahead' of its previous expectations, driven by strong student accommodation sales.

Fantasy miniatures specialist Games Workshop gained 4.3% to £32.85 as it boosted its first-half profit by around 7%.


Housing and care sector support services provider Mears dropped 3.8% to 332p after it announced that trading in 2018 met its expectations in a 'competitive' environment.

A profit warning from independent hospital group Spire Healthcare saw the shares dive 11.9% to 102.7p, near an all-time low.

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