London city skyline
UK and European stocks gain as Labour wins election / Image source: Adobe

Stock prices in London where in the green on Friday morning as investors digested the landslide Labour victory in the general election ending 14 years of Tory rule.

Labour’s Keir Starmer is set to be the next Prime Minister after the party’s election victory overnight.

Later on Friday, markets in New York will reopen after being closed for Independence Day. Investors will be eyeing this month’s nonfarm payroll data.

The FTSE 100 index opened up 31.34 points, 0.4%, at 8,272.60. The FTSE 250 was up 359.66 points, 1.8%, at 20,970.00, and the AIM All-Share was up 4.45 points, 0.6%, at 773.87.

The Cboe UK 100 was up 0.4% at 823.50, the Cboe UK 250 was up 1.8% at 18,262.09, and the Cboe Small Companies was up marginally at 16,997.82.

In European equities on Friday, the CAC 40 in Paris was up 0.3%, while the DAX 40 in Frankfurt was up 0.5%.

The UK’s Labour Party has won a highly anticipated landslide victory in the general election. Just after 0500 BST, Labour secured the 326 seats needed for a majority.

The ‘sunlight of hope’ is ‘shining once again’ on Britain, Keir Starmer said as he hailed his party’s landslide UK election victory.

In the early hours of Friday morning, the Labour leader addressed party supporters in the Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall, telling them: ‘We did it.’

Still to come on Friday, markets in New York will reopen after Independence Day. There is also US nonfarm payrolls data at 1330 BST.

The US is expected to have added 190,000 new nonfarm jobs in June, easing from 272,000 a month earlier.

‘Federal Reserve (Fed) doves are waiting in ambush to boost their rate cut bets,’ said Ipek Ozkardeskaya at Swissquote Bank.

‘A weaker-than-expected set of data should further fuel the Fed rate cut bets, weigh on the yields and the US dollar, while a positive surprise should get the Fed doves to scale back their rate cut bets – that have been rising lately thanks to a set of soft economic data and dovish Fed comments - and throw a floor under the yields and back the dollar.’

In early economic news, annual growth in UK house prices quickened last month, but edged lower on a monthly basis, numbers from mortgage lender Halifax showed.

UK house price growth quickened to 1.6% in June on-year, from 1.5% in May.

Prices edged 0.2% lower in June from May, having being flat a month earlier.

Halifax Head of Mortgages Amanda Bryden said: ‘Mortgage affordability is still the biggest challenge facing both homebuyers and those coming to the end of fixed-term deals. This issue is likely to be eased gradually, through a combination of lower interest rates, rising incomes, and more restrained growth in house prices.’

In early trade, the FTSE 100’s housing stocks were doing well. Persimmon, Taylor Wimpey and Barratt Developments were up 2.5%, 1.7%, and 1.6%, respectively.

Meanwhile, Glencore edged up 1.5%.

Glencore has received approval from the government of Canada for the acquisition of a 77% stake in Elk Valley Resources from Teck Resources.

The $6.9 billion purchase was announced back in November.

The transaction is now expected to close on July 11.

Chief Executive Gary Nagle said: ‘We are pleased to have received final regulatory approval for the transaction and look forward to completing the acquisition and welcoming EVR into the Glencore Group. Glencore’s Canadian assets form a significant part of our global business, and some have a history that dates back more than 100 years.’

On the other end of the index, there were just a handful of stocks in the red. Amongst them, financial firms were struggling. Standard Chartered and HSBC both lost 1.2%.

In the FTSE 250, Softcat lost 4.5% making it the worst performer on the index in early trade.

Jefferies cut the provider of IT infrastructure technology and services’ ’buy’ rating to ’underperform’.

On London’s AIM, PipeHawk plummeted 72%, after it said that its financial position is now ‘under severe financial pressure.’

The company said that it is now taking steps to potentially place its subsidiary QM Systems into administration.

In March, PipeHawk said that QM experienced a number of challenges, including a reduction in the number of orders as well as the value of orders received.

However, the company believed that it would receive two material orders.

Yet, on Friday, PipeHawk said that the orders ‘will not be forthcoming.’

The pound was quoted at $1.2772 early on Friday in London, higher compared to $1.2765 at the equities close on Thursday. The euro stood at $1.0825, higher against $1.0812. Against the yen, the dollar was trading at JP¥160.84, lower compared to JP¥161.16.

In Asia on Friday, the Nikkei 225 index in Tokyo was down marginally. In China, the Shanghai Composite was down 0.3%, while the Hang Seng index in Hong Kong was down 1.0%. The S&P/ASX 200 in Sydney closed down 0.1%.

Brent oil was quoted at $87.53 a barrel early in London on Friday, up from $87.44 late Thursday.

Gold was quoted at $2,366.90 an ounce, higher against $2,358.90.

As well as the US nonfarms data, still to come on Friday’s economic calendar there is a retail sales reading for the eurozone. It is due out at 1000 BST.

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Issue Date: 05 Jul 2024