By Steve Goldstein, MarketWatch
British stocks edged higher on Monday, with companies sensitive to Chinese demand getting a boost from the country’s efforts to limit the economic fallout from the deadly coronavirus.
The FTSE 100 /zigman2/quotes/210598409/delayed UK:UKX +0.31% rose 0.3% to 7430.20, helped by gains by HSBC Holdings /zigman2/quotes/203901799/delayed UK:HSBA +1.67% , which rose 1.2%; oil giant BP /zigman2/quotes/202286639/delayed UK:BP +2.84% , which rose 1.6%; and miner BHP Group /zigman2/quotes/203323256/delayed UK:BHP +1.13% , which rose 1.5%.
China took another step to boost its economy, with the People’s Bank of China cutting its one-year lending rate, as the finance minister said the country is planning targeted tax cuts.
Trading was light, with U.S. markets closed for the Presidents Day holiday.
Jupiter Fund Management /zigman2/quotes/202315343/delayed UK:JUP +0.09% climbed nearly 4% after reaching a deal to buy another fund management group which has had declining outflows. It will acquire Merian Global Investors for £370 million in stock as well as another potential £20 million depending on performance. Merian managed £22.4 billion as of Dec. 31, generating management fees of £140 million per year. Jupiter said the deal will add to earnings by a low to mid-teen percentage from 2021.
Tullow Oil /zigman2/quotes/205079109/delayed UK:TLW +2.79% slumped 4% after announcing it was abandoning a well offshore of Peru. Tullow said it was still positive about Peru’s wider offshore potential.