FTSE 100 movers: Next surges after update; Royal Mail slumps

21 July 2021

(Sharecast News) - London's FTSE 100 was up 1.8% at 7,003.88 in afternoon trade on Wednesday.
Fashion retailer <strong>Next</strong> surged to the top of the index after it lifted full-year profits guidance after a sales rebound in the second quarter. In an unscheduled trading update, the company said it now expected annual pre-tax profits of &#163;750m, up &#163;30m from previous forecasts and towards the top end of estimates.

Stocks with particular exposure to Covid-related restrictions rose, with engine maker <strong>Rolls-Royce</strong>, British Airways parent <strong>IAG</strong> and Premier Inn owner <strong>Whitbread</strong> all up.

Catering group <strong>Compass</strong> was boosted by an upgrade to 'buy' from 'hold' at <em>Jefferies</em>, which argued that the risk/reward was now more favourable. The bank said reopening uncertainty has propelled caterer shares back to post-Covid relative lows.

"However, balance sheets were de-risked last year and first-time outsourcing has emerged more rapidly than expected so industry revenue is likely to be bigger at next peak."

On the downside, <strong>Royal Mail</strong> slumped after it said revenues rose 12.5% in the first quarter as people continued to shop online with Covid lockdown restrictions still in place, but that UK parcel volumes had started to slip as curbs were lifted.

<strong>Avast</strong> was knocked lower by a downgrade to 'neutral' at <em>Goldman Sachs</em>.

<strong>FTSE 100 - Risers</strong>

Next (NXT) 7,984.00p 7.98%
Rolls-Royce Holdings (RR.) 96.30p 6.98%
International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 169.38p 5.56%
Compass Group (CPG) 1,482.00p 4.92%
3i Group (III) 1,210.50p 4.49%
Land Securities Group (LAND) 691.00p 4.25%
Intermediate Capital Group (ICP) 2,112.00p 4.19%
British Land Company (BLND) 508.20p 3.82%
Whitbread (WTB) 2,944.00p 3.70%
Smith &amp; Nephew (SN.) 1,544.50p 3.59%

<strong>FTSE 100 - Fallers</strong>

Royal Mail (RMG) 513.60p -3.20%
Polymetal International (POLY) 1,540.00p -1.79%
Avast (AVST) 580.40p -1.63%
Fresnillo (FRES) 761.40p -0.99%
Scottish Mortgage Inv Trust (SMT) 1,320.50p -0.23%
Severn Trent (SVT) 2,699.00p -0.15%
Hikma Pharmaceuticals (HIK) 2,625.00p -0.04%
Reckitt Benckiser Group (RKT) 6,406.00p 0.03%
National Grid (NG.) 924.00p 0.22%
Spirax-Sarco Engineering (SPX) 14,250.00p 0.25%