Sector movers: Big pharma, support services pace gains
Big Pharma paced gains in London at the start of the week, led by shares in Dechra Pharmaceuticals after the veterinary drugs maker hiked its dividend payout following what it described as an "encouraging" start to its new financial year.
Heavyweights AstraZeneca and GlaxoSmithKline were also both sharply higher, with the former boosted by a deal with Australian peer CSL to manufacture its Covid-19 vaccine and the latter boosted by the details of the pricing for its own vaccine.
Support services were close behind, with US-focused Ashtead registering a pull-back towards its 52-week highs ahead of its first quarter trading update due out the next day.
Utility stocks were another source of strength for UK stocks, alongside gains for aerospace and defence names including BAE Systems, Meggitt and Rolls Royce.
Boosting the latter was a 0.83% drop in the value of the pound to 1.3169 after the UK's chief Brexit negotiator warned Brussels that the country was ready to walk away without a deal if necessary.
Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab, meanwhile, said limits to the European Union's access to UK fishing waters and the ability for London to chart its own course when it came to state aid were not negotiable.
Going the other way, oil equipment stocks were lower after Saudi Aramco cut the price for Arab Light crude, which was interepreted by traders as a potential signal of weakening demand.
Top performing sectors so far today
Pharmaceuticals & Biotechnology 17,488.43 +3.97%
Support Services 8,998.59 +3.24%
Gas, Water & Multiutilities 4,787.66 +3.00%
Software & Computer Services 2,067.24 +2.89%
Electricity 7,267.25 +2.86%
Bottom performing sectors so far today
Technology Hardware & Equipment 2,149.26 -1.80%
Oil Equipment, Services & Distribution 4,460.28 -0.96%
Alternative Energy 0.00 0.00%
Alternative Investment Instruments NULL 0.00%
Automobiles and related providers NULL 0.00%
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