FTSE slips despite booming Kingfisher and rising oil

The blue-chip index slid for a second day, with investors cautious after last week’s gains.

The FTSE 100 slipped on Tuesday morning, despite rising oil prices boosting energy stocks and soaring trading at B&Q owner Kingsfisher (KGF).

The blue-chip index fell 23 points, 0r 0.3%, to 6,775, declining for a second day follow last week’s more than 6% gain. 

‘Investors are still navigating the choppy waters between reopening stocks and Covid winners. Global indices remain at or close to record highs, although the FTSE 100 continues to trade at a discount to peers,’ said Neil Wilson, chief analyst at Markets.com.

‘It’s proving a tough course – as warned the rotation-recovery trade would not be a straight line.’

Kingsfisher was the stand-out performer, rising 2.9% to 288p, after the home improvement retailer reported strong trading. In the fourth quarter to 9 January, like-for-like sales rose 16.9% with a notable acceleration in growth seen from mid-November coinciding with the second national lockdown in England.

‘As far as Covid winners go, Kingfisher continues to be a beneficiary of people forced to stay home,’ said Wilson.

BA-owner International Consolidated Airlines (IAG) gained 2% to 156p.

Oil resumed last week’s gains, with Brent Crude topping $56 a barrel after an 0.8% rise. Shell (RDSB) traded up 1.2% to £14.25, while BP (BP) advanced 0.8% to 301p.

Reckitt Benckiser (RB) dropped 2%% to £64.24 while Relx (REL) fell 1.8% to £18.34. The UK’s largest investment trust, Scottish Mortgage (SMT ), declined 1.7% to £12.22 after Tesla (TSLA.O) and tech names racked up heavy losses in the US yesterday. 

The mid-cap FTSE 250 index was quiet in early trading, shedding 23 points, or 0.1%, to 20,754.

Companies involved in gaming and betting software were top performers. Playtech (PTEC) leapt 5.4% to 474p while Gamesys Group (GYS) jumped 3.5% to £13.00.

After its shares have made strong gains in the last six months, Games Workshop (GAW) slid 6.5% to £108.70 despite reporting first-half numbers well up on a year ago. Shipbroker Clarkson (CKN) dropped 3.5% to £27.75.

Among investment trusts, Premier Miton Global Renewables (PMGR ) jumped 5% to 180p after receiving the London Stock Exchange’s Green Economy Mark, for which companies and funds must generate 50% or more of their total annual revenues from products and services that contribute to the global green economy.

Chrysalis Investments (CHRY ) – formerly Merian Chrysalis – traded down 2.4% to 186p despite holding The Hut Group (THG)’s shares rising 1.6%. The e-commerce company raised sales guidance for the third time since its IPO back in September.

VPC Specialty Investments (VSL ) added 1p or 1.2% to 85p, on top of yesterday afternoon’s 4.5p or 5.5% jump after disclosing it anticipated to make a $19.5m gain on a stake in Bakkt Holdings, a digital assets trading platform that is expanding into cryptocurrencies.

UK Mortgages (UKML ) was up 0.9% after completing the securitisation of a pool of mortgages originated by Keystone, a potential milestone in its bid to improve returns for shareholders after fending off a bid from M&G last summer.

Schroder European (SERE ) real estate investment trust eased 0.5p or 0.5% to 102.5p after an update showing rent collection in the last quarter had improved slightly to 89%, with a net increase of 1.4% to €268.6m in the portfolio’s valuation in the three months to 31 December.

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