Bitcoin ETF Approved, Minted Miners, Darktrace Respite & SMT Tech Gains

Home > Analysis > Bitcoin ETF Approved, Minted Miners, Darktrace Respite & SMT Tech Gains

A better feel for markets this morning ahead of key US inflation data, which is due out at 1.30 pm London time today.

The FTSE 100 is up by +0.18% at the time of writing, and there are also gains in European indices with the German Dax up by +0.38%, the Dutch AEX 25 by +0.69% and Sweden’s OMX by +0.46% among others.

  • In Germany, heavyweights Siemens and SAP are leading the market higher.
  • In Amsterdam Just Eat, Adyen and ASML are among the major gainers.
  • Whilst rises in the prices of Atlas Copco and Investor B have boosted the OMX.

Miners pick up

Closer-to-home miners are helping the FTSE with Antofagasta up by +2.50% and Anglo-American by 2.14%.

Antofagasta has been upgraded by broker RBC, whose mining research is well respected. RBC now rates the copper miner as an outperform and is suggesting the stock should benefit from an expected tightening in copper supplies.

The broker raised its price target to £18.00p from a figure of £13.00.

The price of copper and Antofagasta shares likely depends on the speed of interest cuts in the US and any recovery in a sluggish Chinese economy.

Expectations for the latter are low, so even a marginal improvement could provide a boost.

A boost for Whitbread

Travelodge owner Whitbread has added +2.49% following the release of third-quarter results, that showed accommodation sales up by +11.0%, on the back of what the company called

“Strong demand in both London and the Regions”.

The firm’s German hotels did even better with overall accommodation sales there rising by +47.00% and like-for-like sales up by +14.0%.

The company said that this strong trading had continued into 2024 but it didn’t alter the guidance offered when it published interim results back in October.

Positive results from Whitbread suggest that, as with Greggs the Bakers yesterday, if you are correctly positioned in the market, with the right product at the right price, then, cost of living crisis or not, you can still grow your business.

Whitbread shares are down by -7.50% over the last 52 weeks, but up by +11.50% in the last quarter, upside momentum that should continue post-earnings.

Tech holdings help Scottish Mortgage Trust shine

Scottish Mortage Trust, +1.80%, continues to rally, as holdings such as chip maker Nvidia, (which is up by more than +14.00% in the last week) outperform.

Scottish Mortgage has now posted gains in four consecutive sessions and is up by almost +15.00% over the last quarter, and by +22.00% in the last 6 months.

That means it’s outperformed the Nasdaq 100, which has only managed to add +11.61% in that time.

The London market might not have many technology stocks in its ranks, but it does have technology exposure.

Respite for Darktrace

Away from the topflight, cyber security outfit Darktrace is up by just over +9.00% today following a trading update, which showed strong revenue growth.

The company was able to report a +27.00% gain in Annual Recurring Revenues, or ARR, over the same period last year.

Darktrace has come in for criticism for some of its accounting practices, and its association with former Autonomy CEO Mike Lynch.

However, cyber security is a growth market, and I note that several of ther firm’s US peers received upgrades from Investment bank Morgan Stanley yesterday.

Spot Bitcoin ETFs are approved

The US Securities and Exchange Commission finally approved ETFs on the spot price of Bitcoin, some of which could debut in the US this afternoon.

The news came with more of a whimper than a bang and the tone of the SEC announcement was begrudging at best, implying that recent court rulings had forced the regulator’s hand, rather than any conversion, as regards its views on the merits of cryptocurrency Investing.

There are still questions about the practicalities of managing exchange-traded funds over an instrument that trades 24/7.

However, it seems that these may have to get worked out in running as it were.

So watch this space.

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