London’s FTSE 100 finished Friday’s trading session 1.2% higher at 7,043.6 points after US retail sales came in flat, short of expectations and helping to calm the recent fears over inflation that have spooked global markets.

By 4.30pm UK time the S&P 500 index was up 1.2% at 4,163.67. In the UK, the domestically focused FTSE 250 finished up 1.2% at 22,336.1 points.


In corporate news, accounting software firm Sage (SGE) saw interim results give its stock a lift, the share price advancing 3.8% to 647.4p.

The figures prompted an upgrade from analysts at Morgan Stanley, which also became more positive on the prospects of budget hotelier Whitbread (WTB) as lockdown restrictions in the UK continue to ease, pushing its stock 3.9% higher to £31.80.

The big corporate story of the day came among the mid-caps, where FTSE 250 specialist asset services firm Sanne (SNN) jumped 21.2% to 731p after rebuffing a £1.3 billion bid approach from private equity firm Cinven.

Investors were betting that Cinven is not done, and that the failed offer could also draw rival buyers into an auction for Sanne.

Commodities broker Marex Spectron hopes to list shares on the London Stock Exchange’s main market, the company has said.

Marex saw revenue jump 18% to $414.7 million in the year to 31 December 2020, with adjusted operating profit before tax up 15% from $53.4 million to $61.5 million, the company said.


Motor insurer Sabre Insurance (SBRE) gained 2.5% to 263p as a trading update ahead of its AGM pointed to a ‘strong’ result for the current financial year.

Infrastructure investor John Laing (JLG) said it wrapped its investment in the Colombian road public private partnership project Pacifico 2 after receiving all necessary approvals. Its share price rose 1.2% to 365p.

Gold production firm Polymetal (POLY) perked up 1.35 to £15.99 on news it has received an ISS ESG Corporate rating of B-, placing the firm in the Prime sector.

Real estate company LondonMetric Property (LMP) was marked up 1.4% to 226p after it acquired three logistics warehouses in Croydon, Dunstable and Warrington for a combined £18.7 million.

Real estate investment trust LXi REIT (LXI) said it had acquired Cazoo click & collect facility in Doncaster and two additional drive-thru coffee units in Edinburgh and Dumbarton for a combined £6.1 million. Its share price rose 0.6% to 135.2p.

Crest Nicholson (CRST) improved 1.6% to 429p after the housebuilder said it expected profit to receive a one-off boost after it agreed to sell its 50% stake in Longcross Studio, a film studio, to Longcross General Partner, an Aviva Investors company.

Shares in The Works (WRKS) weakened 3.6% to 70.1p after the cut-price books, toys and arts and crafts retailer refrained from issuing earnings guidance, warning ‘a higher than normal degree of uncertainty remains’ in terms of the consumer recovery which is expected to ‘persist for some time’.

Supplier of advanced composite kitting solutions Velocity Composites (VEL:AIM) surged 24% higher to 24.8p on news it has signed a new three-year contract with a major Tier 1 aerostructures manufacturer based in Hampshire.

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Issue Date: 14 May 2021