Heathrow price cap dismay | FTSE higher on Covid boost
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9.30pm: Wall Street falls
US stocks fell for a second day in a row as markets failed to build on last week’s strong rebound from 2022 lows, with investors once again selling off shares amid looming recession fears and new economic data showing that consumer confidence plunged to a 16-month low.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1.6%, nearly 500 points, while the S&P 500 lost 2% and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite 3%.
5pm: London closes higher
The FTSE 100 closed 65.09 points higher at 7,323.41 after China eased Covid quarantine restrictions, including a reduction in the length of mandatory quarantine for inbound travellers.
David Madden, market analyst at Equiti Capital, said: “Overnight, China eased its restrictions relating to Covid-19 as case numbers are falling.
“Even though the country still has measures in place, the move is interpreted as a sign that things are moving in the right direction, which has lifted sentiment across the board as stocks, oils and industrial metals are higher.”
Aero engine maker Rolls-Royce rose on the back of an upbeat note on the stock by Morgan Stanley. Shell and BP rallied 3.1% and 1.4% respectively, while miners also gained amid higher commodity prices, Glencore rising 1.7% and Rio Tinto up 2%.
Energy services company Petrofac rallied 2.7% as it said trading and expectations were in line with guidance, adding that its engineering and construction division was set to secure strong order intake in the second half and deliver backlog growth year on year.
The CAC 40 in Paris ended up 0.6%, while the DAX 40 in Frankfurt ended up 0.4%.
The pound was quoted at $1.2191 at the London equities close, falling from $1.2303 at the close on Monday, with reports of some selling on the back of Nicola Sturgeon‘s date for another Scottish independence referendum.
7am: Heathrow criticises CAA price cap
Heathrow airport boss John Holland-Kaye has criticised a new passenger price cap announced by the Civil Aviation Authority, saying it underestimates the cost of delivering a good passenger service and warned that it would hit investment in the airport.
7am: DeepMatter deal
DeepMatter Group, the Glasgow-based digital chemistry data and software company, has acquired French company ChemIntelligence in a transaction valuing the business at up to £0.42m.
7am: Newton revenue rises
Property factoring specialist Newton Property Management recorded a 9% increase in revenue in 2021, and is set to grow headcount and strengthen its leadership team in 2022.
Posting revenue of £3.78 million [2020: £3.45m], the firm founded in 2001 by chairman Stephen O’Neill now manages 28,000 properties across Scotland, with offices in Glasgow, Aberdeen, and Inverness.
London’s oil majors will be boosted by crude prices which were the big mover overnight, with a barrel of Brent up 1.2% to $116.5, from $110 at the end of last week.
Wall Street’s main indices finished in the red, led by a 0.7% fall for the Nasdaq, 0.3% decline for the S&P 500 and 0.2% drop for the Dow Jones.
Asia’s markets were mixed early today. Japan’s Nikkei 225 index was up 0.4% and in China the Shanghai Composite was up 0.1%, while the Hang Seng index in Hong Kong was down 0.7%.