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MARKET REPORT: England’s football victory delivers boost for Just Eat

Takeaway stocks were given a much-needed boost last night as England romped to victory at Wembley.

The industry always performs well when England enter the final stages of a big football competition and that will be music to the ears of investors who had already sent Just Eat Takeaway to the top of the FTSE 100 leaderboard, up 3.9 per cent, or 257p, at 6875p, even before kick-off. 

Domino’s Pizza added 1.2 per cent, or 4.6p, at 388.6p.

Fans celebrate England’s win over Germany in Euro 2020. The takeaway industry always performs well when England enter the final stages of a big football competition

They will be hoping for further gains as the tournament progresses. Danni Hewson, analyst at AJ Bell, said: ‘Imagine the wave of goodwill that will engulf, well most people in the country, if England make it to the final.’

But while the win raised the nation’s spirits, some of the gains may have been down to renewed concerns over the spread of the Delta variant of coronavirus.

Figures showed cases on the rise and as a result investors snapped up stocks that had performed well during the pandemic, namely takeaway firms, cardboard box packagers and supermarkets. 

The retreat back into ‘safe’ stocks was seen as a setback by many brokers as investors had been showing appetite for more risk.

Stock Watch – Lamprell 

Oil and gas services group Lamprell has seen more than a quarter of its stock market value wiped off after it warned over its future amid a funding crisis.

The company’s shares fell 32.3 per cent, or 21.9p, to 46p, after it said that it needed to raise up to £108million by the end of the third quarter.

The London-listed firm is in talks with banks to borrow £65million and is mulling an equity raise to secure the rest.

But it said it may need to raise the full amount through an investor cash call.

It is deferring payments to creditors to preserve its balance sheet.

Ocado added 2.1 per cent, or 43p, to reach 2062p and Smurfit Kappa climbed 1.7 per cent, or 65p, to 3959p. 

Meanwhile B&M, which sells household goods like Cillit Bang, was also a notable riser, rising 1.7 per cent, or 9.4p, to 574.6p.

Builders were also making gains as house prices rise at their fastest pace in 17 years.

Persimmon added 1.6 per cent, or 46p, to hit 2981p and Taylor Wimpey was up 1.1 per cent, or 1.8p, to 162.25p.

Overall, the FTSE 100 climbed 0.2 per cent, or 14.58 points, to 7087.55.

Among the losers were travel stocks as German Chancellor Angela Merkel tries to ban UK travellers from the EU because of the surging Covid cases.

The pain was amplified as Spain also toughened restrictions.

British Airways owner IAG was down 1.4 per cent, or 2.5p, to 173.9p, and airline Tui fell 5.1 per cent, or 19.4p, to 364.7p. 

CMC Markets analyst Michael Hewson said: ‘There appears to be a growing realisation that for all the optimism over the UK’s vaccination progress, the travel sector will never recover properly until the rest of the world gets its act together when it comes to vaccines.’

Clothing firm Superdry has had a quietly impressive year so far and was up another 6.5 per cent, or 27p, to 442p yesterday, as broker Liberum published a gushing note saying Superdry was at ‘just the beginning of an exciting journey’.

Analyst Wayne Johnson pointed to its ‘digital-led marketing’, new senior hires, and ‘real progress’ on aims to improve its products, presence on social media and its environmental, social and governance. 

Countryside Properties slipped 0.2 per cent, or 0.8p, to 481.8p as its finance boss Mike Scott resigned to head to rival Barratt.

Countryside said it had not yet found a replacement, but Barratt edged up 0.4 per cent, or 3p, to 706p.

While Covid is still causing chaos for several companies, biotechnology company Avacta has been making money with its lateral flow tests. 

It revealed that its diagnostic tests could detect the Delta variant which is becoming widespread in the UK, and that it outperformed two similar tests available in Europe. It climbed 4.6 per cent, or 8p, to 182p.

Hunting, which makes tools for oil drillers, has had less luck in the last year as demand for fuel slumped. 

In a trading update, it said it was likely to report a ‘modest loss’ for the first half of 2021. It fell 5.5 per cent, or 13.5p, to 231.5p.

Mears Group, which provides housing maintenance and repair services for council homes, said payment disruptions caused by the pandemic were largely over, and that its full-year results were in line with expectations. 

Shares climbed 1.9 per cent, or 3.5p, to 187.5p.

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