By Dave Morris
London markets rose as European Central Bank President Mario Draghi promised stimulus if economic conditions didn’t improve.
How did markets perform?
The U.K.’s FTSE 100 /zigman2/quotes/210598409/delayed UK:UKX -3.71% was up 0.5% at 7,395.5. On Monday it dipped 0.2%.
The pound /zigman2/quotes/210561263/realtime/sampled GBPUSD -0.0886% fell by 0.2% to $1.2525, after declining Monday by 0.4%.
What’s moving the markets?
Markets reacted to a speech in Portugal by ECB President Draghi, who said that if the region’s economy slows and the Bank’s inflation target is threatened, “additional stimulus will be required”. He cited the threat of protectionism as one of the key factors weighing on exports, particularly manufacturing, and said that the bank’s asset purchase program “still has considerable headroom”.
Conservative Party MPs are preparing to hold its second ballot Tuesday to choose a replacement for U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May. Boris Johnson remains the front-runner, which was cited as the reason the pound slumped against the U.S. dollar.
Which stocks are active?
Ashtead Group PLC /zigman2/quotes/200232063/delayed UK:AHT -5.32% shares climbed 2.8% after the industrial equipment rental firm reported strong fourth quarter fiscal 2019 earnings. Pretax profit was £208.6 million, up from £174.7 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2018. The company attributed the rise to organic growth in rentals, and predicted continuing strength in North American markets.
Rolls-Royce Holdings PLC /zigman2/quotes/203646520/delayed UK:RR -10.07% announced it is buying Siemens AG’s /zigman2/quotes/200873563/delayed DE:SIE -3.11% electric aircraft technology business for an undisclosed sum. Siemens’ “eAircraft” business is developing all-electric and hybrid electric technology for use in the aerospace industry. Rolls-Royce shares advanced 0.9%.