Virus slowdown, dividend news helps FTSE

The new trading week started on a more optimistic note with the FTSE following the lead of its European peers and opening higher as the coronavirus spread started showing signs of levelling off.

Crypto 1

The new trading week started on a more optimistic note with the FTSE following the lead of its European peers and opening higher as the coronavirus spread started showing signs of levelling off.  

After weeks of weighty health news, investors were quick to grasp the opportunity to buy rather than sell, and the risers on the FTSE looked far more impressive than the losses.

Topping the tables was plane engine maker Rolls Royce, rallying 16% as it became the latest company to scrap its targets and give up on paying out a dividend to protect itself through the coronavirus downturn. In contrast, Legal & General also rallied 16% after it said it would still pay out dividends at the end of the year despite the opposite advice from the Bank of England.  

There are still a few falling stocks on the index but their declines are all well below 1%. Among them are supermarkets, utilities and pharma companies, mostly stocks that benefitted from the extended UK lockdown.

OPEC meeting

Oil could see some volatility in the days ahead as OPEC members and Russia will discuss cutbacks in the face of evaporating global demand. The dispute between Saudi Arabia and Russia over who will produce more and who will produce less, will have to go on the backburner as the two countries face a bigger problem after Brent crude dropped below $30 in March. If OPEC+ does cut output today it is still a question of whether there is going to be much upside for oil prices, given President Trump's Thursday tweet on the topic had already caused prices to rally 30% last week.

More from UK 100

Disclaimer: The information on this web site is not targeted at the general public of any particular country. It is not intended for distribution to residents in any country where such distribution or use would contravene any local law or regulatory requirement. The information and opinions in this report are for general information use only and are not intended as an offer or solicitation with respect to the purchase or sale of any currency or CFD contract. All opinions and information contained in this report are subject to change without notice. This report has been prepared without regard to the specific investment objectives, financial situation and needs of any particular recipient. Any references to historical price movements or levels is informational based on our analysis and we do not represent or warranty that any such movements or levels are likely to reoccur in the future. While the information contained herein was obtained from sources believed to be reliable, author does not guarantee its accuracy or completeness, nor does author assume any liability for any direct, indirect or consequential loss that may result from the reliance by any person upon any such information or opinions.

Futures, Options on Futures, Foreign Exchange and other leveraged products involves significant risk of loss and is not suitable for all investors. Losses can exceed your deposits. Increasing leverage increases risk. Spot Gold and Silver contracts are not subject to regulation under the U.S. Commodity Exchange Act. Contracts for Difference (CFDs) are not available for US residents. Before deciding to trade forex and commodity futures, you should carefully consider your financial objectives, level of experience and risk appetite. Any opinions, news, research, analyses, prices or other information contained herein is intended as general information about the subject matter covered and is provided with the understanding that we do not provide any investment, legal, or tax advice. You should consult with appropriate counsel or other advisors on all investment, legal, or tax matters. References to Forex.com or GAIN Capital refer to GAIN Capital Holdings Inc. and its subsidiaries. Please read Characteristics and Risks of Standardized Options.