The FTSE 100 climbed almost 20 points to 6,678.32 this morning, continuing its resurgence from yesterday on the back of stronger oil prices.
The Government's roadmap out of lockdown, announced at the start of the week, has continued to provide a boost to the outlook for many businesses.
Associated British Foods today said it expected to reopen 83% of Primark stores by 26 April, and forecast better-than-expected first-half performance for its grocery, sugar, agriculture and ingredients businesses. Its share price continued on its upward trajectory, reaching £24.38 this morning.
Spectris' Shares price was down 1.39% at £30.45 in spite of announcing a 5% increase in its full year dividend for 2020, alongside a £200 million share buyback programme.
Defence company BAE Systems touted profit growth for 2021 after reporting a fall in annual profit as higher costs offset a climb in revenue. For the year ended 31 December, pre-tax profit fell to £1.60 billion from £1.63 million year-on-year, while revenue increased 5.5% to £19.28 billion. Its share price was up 1.1% at 501.4p.
Standard Chartered has reported a 3% fall in income for 2020 to $14.8 billion and a 40% drop in underlying profit before tax driven by COVID-related elevated impairments and lower interest rates. Its share price plummeted nearly 4% to 489.50p.
Mondi's share price has remained relatively stable, down just 0.83% at £17.76 in spite of announcing an 8% fall in group revenue, while pre-tax profits fell 30% when compared to the previous year. In its results statement for the 12 months to December 31, 2020, the company reported an underlying EBITDA of €1,353 million, with margin of 20.3%.
Luxury carmaker Aston Martin Lagonda kept its guidance for 2021 unchanged after reporting wider annual losses as sales fell sharply owing to the pandemic impact and an ongoing plan to cut dealer inventory. The announcement sent its share price rocketing - up nearly 8% at £21.65. For the year ended 31 December, pre-tax losses widened to £119.6 million from £466 million, as revenue fell 38% to £611.8 million.