Rolls-Royce up as market surges | ReNeuron CEO quits
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4.30pm: London surges
Shares in the FTSE 100 shot up, helped by weak sterling, and shrugging off concerns over global slowdown and China’s Covid problems.
By mid-afternoon the index was off its early 150 points surge, but still managed a three-digit rise at the close, ending the session 102.35 points (1.37%) higher at 7,554.09.
Aero engine maker Rolls-Royce topped the index, up 5.7% to 98.5p, followed by Ocado, up 4.64%. Cineworld was 9% lower in early trade but closed just 1.43% lower after warning of dilution in any restructuring transaction.
Rolls-Royce benefited from Jefferies putting the company on its buy list with an increased price target of 125p, from 90p.
“As we look to 2023, we are more risk-on, and warm to aftermarket momentum,” the broker said..
The broker also suggested the group would gain the most from a reopening in China, although new figures showed China’s manufacturing activity shrank sharply in December for the third month in a row. This was despite Beijing’s loosening of Covid restrictions at the beginning of the month.
Sterling was quoted at $1.1980 late Tuesday, down from $1.2054 at the London equities close on Friday.
After a poor 2022, Wall Street’s main indexes opened higher on the first trading day, but as the London equities market closed the Dow Jones Industrial Average was 0.6% lower, the S&P 500 was down 0.7% and the Nasdaq Composite was 1% off.
Discount supermarket group Aldi said its UK sales in December were up by 26% on the previous year as shoppers searched for cost of living bargains and football fans feasted on snacks during the winter World Cup. Full story here
Cineworld Group said there have been no talks with AMC Entertainment Holdings regarding the sale of its cinema assets, despite media reports, but warned shareholders that any deal would result in a “very significant dilution of existing equity interests.” Full story here
Stem cell firm ReNeuron Group said Catherine Isted has stepped down as chief executive with immediate effect.
Iain Ross has been appointed executive chairman on an interim basis and will lead the restructuring of the business.
Barbara Staehelin, ReNeuron’s senior independent director, said: “We would like to thank Catherine for her contribution over the past 17 months, initially as CFO and more recently as CEO, and wish her well in the future.
“We are excited about the future of the company and are very grateful to Iain for agreeing to lead the company.
“He is an experienced industry executive who has led several successful biotech turnarounds, including more recently that of Redx Pharma and Silence Therapeutics.”