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Important information: The value of investments can go down as well as up so you may get back less than you invest. Investors should note that the views expressed may no longer be current and may have already been acted upon. This is a third-party news feed and may not reflect Fidelity’s views.

London midday: Stocks extend gains as Vodafone and Entain jump

(Sharecast News) - London stocks had extended gains by midday on Monday, helped along by strong performances from Vodafone, Entain and Rolls-Royce, as investors mulled the latest comments from Federal Reserve officials. The FTSE 100 was up 0.6% at 7,622.93.

Steve Clayton, head of equity funds at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: "It is too early to be talking of rate cuts said John Williams, President of the New York Fed. That burst a few traders' bubbles, coming after a week which saw US bond yields tumbling in anticipation of rate cuts in 2024.

"Markets will be thinning out this week, ahead of the Xmas holidays and there is a relatively light corporate reporting schedule."

In equity markets, Vodafone shot to the top of the FTSE 100 as it confirmed it is in talks with several parties about the potential merger or disposal of its Italian unit, after France's Iliad said it had submitted a proposal to merge their two Italian businesses.

Ladbrokes owner Entain rallied after an upgrade to 'buy' at Jefferies, but British Gas owner Centrica was hit by a downgrade to 'hold' by the same outfit.

Rolls-Royce rose following a report the company is in talks with Ukraine's biggest private power company to build a string of mini nuclear power plants.

IP Group surged as it announced the launch of a share buyback of up to £20m. The company said that "in light of the prevailing discount" between its share price and its net asset value per share, the board has determined that now is an appropriate time to initiate the buyback.

Bulmers and Magners owner C&C Group gained after appointing Andrew Andrea as chief financial officer with effect from 1 March 2024.

Games Workshop advanced as it an exclusive rights deal with Amazon to develop its Warhammer 40,000 game into films and television series, together with associated merchandising rights.

Speciality chemicals company Croda fell as it announced the departure of chief financial officer Louisa Burdett and said full-year pre-tax profit was set to be at the lower end of its guided £300m to £320m range.

Precious metals miner Fresnillo lost its shine after a downgrade to 'underweight' at Morgan Stanley.

Market Movers

FTSE 100 (UKX) 7,622.93 0.61% FTSE 250 (MCX) 19,238.66 0.15% techMARK (TASX) 4,204.98 0.83%

FTSE 100 - Risers

Vodafone Group (VOD) 69.12p 6.80% Entain (ENT) 995.00p 6.01% BP (BP.) 466.15p 1.81% Rolls-Royce Holdings (RR.) 295.30p 1.79% Airtel Africa (AAF) 123.90p 1.72% Shell (SHEL) 2,543.00p 1.60% Antofagasta (ANTO) 1,641.50p 1.58% GSK (GSK) 1,438.40p 1.35% Flutter Entertainment (CDI) (FLTR) 13,580.00p 1.31% Relx plc (REL) 3,062.00p 1.26%

FTSE 100 - Fallers

Fresnillo (FRES) 534.00p -8.81% Croda International (CRDA) 4,928.00p -2.61% Spirax-Sarco Engineering (SPX) 10,100.00p -1.94% Mondi (MNDI) 1,512.00p -1.47% Berkeley Group Holdings (The) (BKG) 4,798.00p -1.46% Rentokil Initial (RTO) 420.80p -1.45% Centrica (CNA) 140.45p -0.95% Ocado Group (OCDO) 716.20p -0.94% Unite Group (UTG) 1,034.00p -0.86% Barratt Developments (BDEV) 561.60p -0.78%

FTSE 250 - Risers

IP Group (IPO) 56.10p 7.27% Energean (ENOG) 984.00p 4.18% Future (FUTR) 690.50p 2.75% Currys (CURY) 51.40p 2.70% Baltic Classifieds Group (BCG) 230.00p 2.68% Wood Group (John) (WG.) 162.00p 2.53% AO World (AO.) 95.40p 2.47% OSB Group (OSB) 435.00p 2.45% SDCL Energy Efficiency Income Trust (SEIT) 64.10p 2.40% ICG Enterprise Trust (ICGT) 1,228.00p 2.33%

FTSE 250 - Fallers

Trustpilot Group (TRST) 139.00p -4.73% Quilter (QLT) 100.80p -2.51% PPHE Hotel Group Ltd (PPH) 1,175.00p -2.49% Bakkavor Group (BAKK) 82.00p -2.38% Aston Martin Lagonda Global Holdings (AML) 200.40p -2.24% Dr. Martens (DOCS) 89.60p -2.08% W.A.G Payment Solutions (WPS) 88.20p -2.00% SSP Group (SSPG) 228.00p -1.89% Tullow Oil (TLW) 35.50p -1.83% Sequoia Economic Infrastructure Income Fund Limited (SEQI) 83.10p -1.77%

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Important information: This information is not a personal recommendation for any particular investment. If you are unsure about the suitability of an investment you should speak to one of Fidelity’s advisers or an authorised financial adviser of your choice. When you are thinking about investing in shares, it’s generally a good idea to consider holding them alongside other investments in a diversified portfolio of assets. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future returns.

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