It may be unlucky for some but for UK investors Friday 13th provided welcome relief after a week of brutal losses which saw $8tn wiped off global markets.
Governments in countries which have been hardest-hit by coronavirus, such as Italy and South Korea, have implemented bans on the short-selling of stocks in order to try to restore order to their respective markets.
FTSE IN RECOVERY MODE
Having lost 10.9% or £160bn in value yesterday, its biggest ever one-day points fall and the worst day since the 1987 crash, the FTSE 100 rallied 4% to 5,448 driven by the mining and energy sectors.
Brent crude oil prices stabilised around the $34 level per barrel while gold, which actually fell yesterday such was the indiscriminate nature of the selling, recovered to $1,588 per ounce.
Leading the gainers were miners BHP (BHP), up 15% to £10.78, and Rio Tinto (RIO), up 13% to £33.63. In close pursuit were Anglo American (AAL) up 10% to £13.64, Glencore (GLEN) up 9% to 138p and Royal Dutch Shell (RDSB) up 9% to £11.95.
FEW COMPANY UPDATES
With investors still shell-shocked from the sell-off it was a mercifully 'slow news day' for UK stocks.
The move was likely to cost Saga between £10m and £15m in lost profits over the next six weeks but the firm has £33m of net cash and a £100m credit facility it can fall back on to ease any working capital strains. Shares added 1.5% to 15.2p.
Premier Oil (PMO) moved to reassure investors that despite the collapse in oil prices it was on a firm footing, having hedged around 30% of this year’s production at an average price of $60 per barrel and that it had plenty of liquidity to ride out a phase of lower prices.
The firm had also reviewed its capital spending and based on a $100m reduction and no change in the oil price from current levels it would end the year roughly cash-flow neutral. The news sent the shares up 25% to 15.7p.
In another example of the unexpected knock-on effects of coronavirus, games maker Codemasters (CDM) announced that due to the decision by Universal Pictures to delay the cinema release of ‘Fast & Furious Crossroads’ from May 2020 until April 2021, timing for the launch of its tie-in game was now ‘uncertain’. Shares in Codemasters slipped 2% to 232p.
On a more positive note, drug discovery firm Redx (REDX:AIM) revealed that it had received a takeover approach from Yesod Biosciences at 15p per share and was in discussions with its major shareholders on what to do next. Redx shares rocketed 210% higher to 15.5p.
FOR A FULL LIST OF FTSE RISERS AND FALLERS SEE HERE