Wealth Manager - the site for professional investment managers

Register to get unlimited access to all of Citywire’s Fund Manager database. Registration is free and only takes a minute.

Soaring RBS props up FTSE ahead of US jobs figures

Soaring RBS props up FTSE ahead of US jobs figures

Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS.L) has soared after announcing profits doubled in the first quarter of the year, helping to drag the FTSE 100 into positive territory as the market awaits US job figures this afternoon.

RBS jumped 29.4p, or 9.6%, to 335.6p as the taxpayer-owned bank reported pre-tax profits of £1.6 billion for the first three months of the year, almost double what it made in the same quarter last year. The FTSE 100 rose four points, or 0.1%, to 6,813.

'The first quarter interim management statement appears at first read to be way above consensus and our forecast, driven by substantially lower impairments, accompanied by an encouraging outlook statement,' said Mike Trippitt, analyst at Numis.

InterContinental Hotels (IHG.L) also posted big gains, adding 202p, or 10% to £22.25 as it proposed a special dividend and reported the most revenue per hotel room for nearly two years.

InterContinental is proposing returning $750 million (£440 million) to shareholders and reported a 6% jump in revenue per room for the first quarter.

Resolution (RSL.L) added 3.7p, or 1.2%, to 301.3p as the closed-book life insurer, whose shares have slumped in recent months, was raised to 'neutral' from 'underperform' by analysts at Credit Suisse. 

AstraZeneca (AZN.L) fell 36p, or 0.7%, to £47.79, after US rival Pfizer improved its takeover offer from £46.61 to £50 per share. Analysts at Barclays said the offer was likely to prove merely a step towards further negotiation.

'The 70%/30% equity/cash original offer left shareholders with a possibly unwelcome high exposure to Pfizer shares,' they said. 'Today's deal shows a more modest move towards increasing that cash component to around 32% and we expect this could be a point of negotiation going further.'

Trading was muted elsewhere, as investors waited for the publication of US non-farm payroll jobs data this afternoon. Investors expect hiring to have increased at the quickest rate in five months in April.

Leave a comment!

Please sign in or register to comment. It is free to register and only takes a minute or two.
Citywire TV
Play Navigating geopolitical risk with ETFs

Navigating geopolitical risk with ETFs

ETFGI’s Deborah Fuhr on how investors can use exchange-traded funds to position their portfolio.

Play Sarasin’s Boucher: why I like salmon with chocolate

Sarasin’s Boucher: why I like salmon with chocolate

Henry Boucher, manager of the £129 million Sarasin Food & Agriculture Opportunities fund, explains why he is gobbling up salmon and chocolate stocks.

Play Alibaba hype, the UK slowdown and opportunities in European sovereign bonds

Alibaba hype, the UK slowdown and opportunities in European sovereign bonds

Libby Ashby and leading wealth managers analyse what the Alibaba IPO hype means for Chinese equities, slowing growth of the UK economy and whether there’s anything left to play for in the European sovereign bond market.

Your Business: Cover Star Club

Profile: Barclays' former advisory boss on his move into property

Profile: Barclays' former advisory boss on his move into property

On paper, Rick Denton might have been expected to finish his career in banking

Wealth Manager on Twitter