FTSE 100 rebounds as risk appetite rises; AstraZeneca jumps on positive drug trials

FTSE 100 rebounds as risk appetite rises; AstraZeneca jumps on positive drug trialsFTSE 100 rebounds into positive territory following gloomy week of trading last week; AstraZeneca jumps to the top of the blue-chip leaderboard on positive drug trial results Pound holds six-week high against the dollar; trading flat at $1.3192 ahead of Repeal Bill ABF dips despite raising its full-year outlook as its Primark business continues to enjoy strong growth; Randgold Resources and Fresnillo drop as rising risk appetite pulls down gold prices 10:39AM Insurers rebound as Hurricane Irma payout fears recede Flooded streets in Havana which was battered by Hurricane Irma Hopes that the damage caused by Hurricane Irma will be less severe than expected has lifted the Lloyd's of London insurers heavily exposed to events in the US this morning. European insurers retreated last week on fears of huge payouts in the aftermath of the two hurricanes that have left a trail of destruction in the Caribbean and southern US. The damages could, however, come in at less than $50bn compared to a previous estimate of around $192bn, according to LCG analyst Ipek Ozkardeskaya. On the FTSE 250, Lancashire Holdings and Beazley have jumped 7.5pc and 5.7pc, respectively, while the Stoxx 600 insurance index, which tracks the performance of all the large insurance companies in Europe, has enjoyed its best day since April, rising 2pc. 10:10AM AstraZeneca jumps to the top of FTSE 100 on positive drug trials AstraZeneca chief executive Pascal Soriot had been rumoured to be leaving for Israeli rival Teva Pharma giant AstraZeneca leads the blue-chip stocks in London this morning after reporting positive results from two phase III lung cancer drug trials. The Flaura Tagrisso and Pacific trials data beat "already high expectations", commented Liberum analyst Roger Franklin. He said: "The Flaura Tagrisso data delivered almost exactly what was expected at progression-free survival but with the kicker of positive early overall survival trends. More importantly, in Pacific, the magnitude of the progression-free survival benefit over placebo was truly impressive " Rebound of #ASTRAZeneca from end-July 5mth lows continues, +2.4%. Drug that saw setback in advanced cancer shows promising stage 3 data ^KO— City Index (@CityIndex) September 11, 2017 AstraZeneca's shares crashed 15pc in July following poor results in its MYSTIC lung cancer drug trial. However, it has slowly clawed back value since and today's 1.9pc rise leaves it just 4.6pc short of its share price just before the MYSTIC trials disappointed. Its chief executive Pascal Soriot was rumoured to be on the verge of jumping ship to rival Teva earlier this summer but the Israeli company finally filled its vacancy this morning with Kaare Schultz  from H. Lundbeck A/S. 9:48AM Carillion confirms departure of finance boss amid string of management changes Carillion is reeling from a chaotic few months Troubled support services firm Carillion has confirmed the departure of its finance director as it announces a string of changes to its management team. It was reported over the weekend that finance boss Zafar Khan was due to step down from the business, which has lost almost £800m from its market capitalisation in recent weeks. In a statement to the stock market, Carillion said Mr Khan had left the company with immediate effect. He has been replaced by Emma Mercer, who has previously served as finance director of Carillion's UK construction business, as well as chief financial officer and senior vice president of Carillion Canada. Carillion shares have fallen 4.3pc this morning. Read Sam Dean's full report here Carillion 9:25AM ABF dips despite lifting its outlook on strong Primark performance Primark's strong performance has lifted owner ABF's guidance for the year Associated British Foods is the biggest laggard on the FTSE 100 this morning, dipping 2.1pc, despite lifting its full-year guidance as sales and margins improve at its key Primark business. ABF said that the discount fashion retailer will enjoy a 13pc rise in sales on a constant currency basis despite the bleak consumer backdrop. The company is "well ahead of last year", according to Hargreaves Lansdown analyst George Salmon. He added on what the results mean for the rest of the struggling high street: "The UK has been singled out as performing particularly strongly, which would normally have positive read-across for the rest of the clothing sector. However, this probably isn’t the case this time. "We feel Primark’s good domestic performance is more a sign the UK consumer is tightening the purse strings and moving down the value chain as inflation outstrips wage growth." 9:12AM North Korea nuclear no-show lifts sentiment on the markets Rising risk appetite has been helped by North Korea's nuclear no-show North Korea's nuclear no-show over the weekend has lifted the mood on European stock markets this morning with all the major indices rebounding after a gloomy week of trading last week. There were fears that the rogue state would conduct its latest round of tests on Saturday, the nation's founding day, with tensions rising on the UN Security Council over whether to ban the country's oil imports.  Gold has been pulled off its 13-week high, bringing down shares in FTSE 100 precious metal miners Fresnillo and Randgold Resources, while safe haven the Japanese yen is the biggest laggard on the currency markets, slipping 0.5pc against the dollar. The mood has also been helped by Hurricane Irma's strength waning, according to Accendo Markets analyst Mike Van Dulken. He said: "This helpful combo has seen a return of risk appetite and corresponding fall in demand for safe havens. Equities and base metals thus called higher at the expense of Gold, Silver, bonds, the Japanese Yen and Swiss Franc." 8:38AM Agenda: Rising risk appetite pulls up European stock markets Primark owner ABF has retreated into the red despite lifting its full-year outlook Welcome to our live markets coverage. Rising risk appetite on the markets has lifted the FTSE 100 back into positive territory this morning with pharma giant AstraZeneca leading the index after jumping just under 3pc on successful lung cancer drug trial results. Four negative sessions last week pulled the UK's blue-chip index lower but the mood on European stock markets has improved over the weekend with the DAX and CAC 40 enjoying strong rebounds. Gold's retreat this morning as risk-on mood returns to the markets has wounded precious metal miners Randgold Resources and Fresnillo while ABF has nudged down despite raising its full-year outlook thanks to strong results in its Primark business. Asia stocks start the week higher in risk-on mood w/ Yen weaker, Treasury ylds rising as Irma weakens & UN to vote on oil embargo of N Korea pic.twitter.com/tZAHHjmUAB— Holger Zschaepitz (@Schuldensuehner) September 11, 2017 The economics calendar has a very light look to it but any wobbles in passing the Repeal Bill in parliament later today could stoke some movement on currency markets. With inflation and wage growth data due in the coming days, you couldn't blame traders for sitting on their hands until they get hold of this week's highlight economics figures. This morning, the pound has held onto its six-week high against the dollar from Friday, trading flat at $1.3190. Interim results: Restore, Luceco, Deltex Medical Group, EKF Diagnostics Holdings, Cloudcall Group, John Laing Infrastructure Fund, XLMedia, Pennant International Group, Crossrider Full-year results: Abcam, K3 Capital Group, 1pm Trading statement: Associated British Foods AGM: Real Estate Credit Investments, CH Bailey, Empyrean Energy

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