March 25: Stocks to Watch in Trade Today

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The FTSE 100 index opened lower on 25 March. The blue-chip index though managed a flat ending in positive territory at 6,712.89, up by 0.20 per cent in the last session on Wednesday, supported by the flash IHS/CIPS PMI data, which showed better-than-expected rebound in the UK business activity for March. Further, Andy Haldane, Chief Economist, Bank of England, said he was optimistic about a quick economic recovery as the nation raced ahead with its Covid-19 vaccinations and as restrictions are gradually getting lifted.

Here are 10 stocks that are likely to be in focus today:

AstraZeneca (NASDAQ:AZN): In a new analysis of its US trial, the leading drugmaker has said that its Covid-19 vaccine was 76 per cent effective in preventing symptomatic illness. This was slightly lower than the level announced earlier on 22 March (79 per cent) in a study that was criticised for using outdated information. The company’s shares (LON: AZN) had closed down by 1.18 per cent at GBX 7,130.00 on Wednesday, 24 March.

BT Group (LON:BT): The telecom giant said that it was all set to meet the target of extending a full-fibre broadband network to 4.5 million premises by the end of March. BT shares (LON: BT.A) had ended 1.81 per cent lower at GBX 146.25.

Bellway (LON:BWY): The residential property developer announced that it has resumed paying the dividend to its shareholders after encouraging first-half results. For the half-yearly period to 31 January 2021, the company revenue rose 11.6 per cent to £1.72 billion. The company stock (LON: BWY) closed 2.26 per cent lower at GBX 3413.00 on Wednesday.

Rolls-Royce Holdings Plc (LON:RR): Norway’s justice minister said that the country will block Rolls-Royce from selling a Norwegian maritime engine manufacturer to a Russian firm due to national security reasons. The government decision came as a blow to Rolls-Royce as it was aiming to raise £2 billion from the disposals by 2022, as part of its larger plan to recover from the coronavirus pandemic. Rolls-Royce (LON: RR.) shares had closed 2.56 per cent higher at GBX 108.00 in the last day’s trade.

International Consolidated Airlines Group (LON:ICAG) SA: The British Airways owner secured a US $1.76 billion credit facility for three of its Covid-hit airlines, namely British Airways, Aer Lingus and Iberia. The three airlines planned to have separate borrowing limits from the overall three-year facility. Shares of the company (LON: IAG) were up 3.98 per cent GBX 194.80 on Wednesday.

PJSC MMC Norilsk Nickel: The mining and metallurgical company is scheduled to announce its earnings today. Analysts expect the company’s revenue to be close to £6.38 billion. The shares of the company (LON: MNOD) were down 3.94 per cent at USD 28.06 at Wednesday’s close.

Sensirion Holding AG (LON:0SE5): The company will be presenting an update on its growth strategy today, at its first capital markets day. The firm’s strategy would be focused on four pillars — cost and market leadership, leading the environmental market, technological developments and innovation. The company shares (LON: 0SE5) closed at CHF 43.80 on 24 March at the LSE.

S4 Capital Plc: The financial conglomerate will be releasing its earnings for H2 2020 today. Its earnings per share are expected to be 0.06p, while the revenue is forecasted to be 197.8 million by analysts. On Wednesday, the company shares (LON: SFOR) closed at GBX 488.00, up 1.04 per cent.

Cineworld Group (LON:CINE): The leading film house’s financial results will be in the spotlight on Thursday. While market experts estimate its revenue to be £138.92 million, the loss per share could be nearly 0.36p. The company stock (LON: CINE) closed at GBX 102.80, down 2.05 per cent on 24 March.

United Utilities Group Plc (LON:UU): The company is expected to report a strong financial performance as it issues its trading update today. Earlier this month, the firm said it accelerated investments this year, targeted to benefit customers and the environment. On Wednesday, the company stock (LON: UU.) ended down by 0.90 per cent at GBX 910.00.

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