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FTSE 100 sets inflation worries aside to make a positive start to the new trading week; Flutter flie

The FTSE 100 set aside inflation worries to focus on the positives – a successful vaccine roll-out and a potential booster from America’s US$1.9 trillion pandemic bail-out package.

In Asia earlier, the regional markets, though broadly higher, were still a little wary of the threat of rising prices.

The UK, which has tended to head in the opposite direction to the world’s main bourses, may be the beneficiary of wholesale bargain-hunting in coming weeks, according to Richard Hunter, head of markets at Interactive Investor.

“The prospects for a strong rebound has also seen the continuation of the rotation theme, with more traditional and cyclical stocks the subject of renewed investor interest, and to some extent at the expense of the previously all-firing growth stocks, and big tech in particular,” he explained.

Shares in Flutter Entertainment (LON:FLTTR) flew 7.1% higher after the gaming group confirmed it was mulling a US IPO for a small portion of its FanDuel business. Fellow sports betting giant Entain (LON:ENT) rose 2.6% in Flutter’s wake.

BT Group (LON:BT.A) was also an early riser, up 2%, amid weekend reports it may be allowed by regulators to make a decent rate of return on the massive fibre investment made by its Openreach regulated business.

The morning’s big faller was Provident Financial (LON:PFG), which dropped 22% after threatening to put its home credit division into administration in a stand-off over compensation claims against the business.

Shares in HG Capital Trust (LON:HGT) fell 9% after the annual results revealed its net asset value had weakened in the first two months of 2021.

6.50 am: Positive start predicted 

The FTSE 100 looks likely to make a positive start to the trading week, largely ignoring the bout of the jitters experienced by Asia’s main markets.

The big bourses in the region succumbed to renewed worries over inflation stoked by America’s latest stimulus programme and a vaccine-led rapid rebound in economic growth.

The 10-year Treasury yield is seen as indicative of this growing anxiety and it remained stubbornly above 1.6%.

A sharp rise in Chinese retail sales, rather than placating the market, simply further played into the narrative around global pricing pressure.

“The inflation genie I mentioned on Friday found life rather uncomfortable in its bottle, it appears, as US yields shot higher last week,” said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at OANDA.

“Notably, the long end of the curve steepened markedly, and for all the noise surrounding the rise in 10-year yields, the 30-years was where the real action was.”

Back here in the UK, it looks set to be another busy week for corporate news with updates from Ocado (LON:OCD), Greggs (LON:GRG) and Fevertree (LON:FVR) among the pick of the bunch.

On the macro front, market watchers will also be keenly eyeing the commentary from monthly meetings of both the US Federal Reserve and the Bank of England.

Around the markets

  • Pound worth US$1.3903 (-0.15%)
  • Bitcoin US$59,135.75 (-2.445)
  • Gold US$1,720.90 (flat)
  • Brent crude US$69.53 (+0.45)

6.50am: Early Markets – Asia / Australia

Stocks in the Asia-Pacific region were mostly lower on Monday ahead of this week’s Federal Reserve meeting in the US.

The Hang Seng index in Hong Kong fell 0.39% while the Shanghai Composite in China slipped 1.67%.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 rose 0.17% but South Korea’s Kospi dipped 0.20%.

Shares in Australia were flat, with the S&P/ASX 200 closing 0.09% higher.

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Proactive Australia news:

Theta Gold Mines Ltd (ASX:TGM) (OTCMKTS:TGMGF) plans to use A$3.13 million raised in a placement to support the development of its starter open-pit gold projects in South Africa.

Technology Metals Australia Ltd (ASX:TMT) (FRA:TN6) has executed a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with LE System Co Ltd (LES) of Japan to assess the potential application of LES’ proprietary technology to extract vanadium and other metals from the Gabanintha Vanadium Project (GVP) waste streams.

Core Lithium Ltd’s (ASX:CXO) (OTCMKTS:CXOXF) wholly-owned Finniss Lithium Project, near Darwin in the Northern Territory, has been awarded Major Project Status (MPS) by the Australian Federal Government.

Queensland Pacific Metals Ltd (ASX:QPM) (FRA:4EA) has received positive assays for mixed hydroxide precipitate (MHP) produced from recent piloting test-work for the TECH project in Townsville, Queensland.

Elixinol Global Ltd (ASX:EXL) (OTCQB:ELLXF) (FRA:E8M) has entered into a binding agreement for its subsidiary Elixinol BV to acquire CannaCare Health GmbH, a company incorporated in Germany for an upfront consideration of €9 million in cash and shares.

Creso Pharma Ltd (ASX:CPH) (OTCMKTS:COPHF) (FRA:1X8) has entered into a transformational agreement to buy established psychedelics company Halucenex Life Sciences Inc, which will strengthen the company’s position in Canada, as well as lead to new market entries and commercialisation opportunities.

Creso Pharma Ltd (ASX:CPH) (OTCMKTS:COPHF) (FRA:1X8) has entered into a transformational agreement to buy established psychedelics company Halucenex Life Sciences Inc, which will strengthen the company’s position in Canada, as well as lead to new market entries and commercialisation opportunities.

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