Sector movers: Retailers in focus amid predictions for strong Easter trading
(ShareCast News) - Health Care Equipment & Services and retailers more generally saw the biggest gains at the start of the week, with the latter boosted by hopes for strong trading over Easter and ahead of finals due out from JD Sports and Tesco.
Companies in the former of those two spaces got a shot in the arm as private hospital group Mediclinic announced that the Swiss canton of Zurich had decided not to approve a proposed tax on privately-insured patients treated in listed hospitals, boosting its shares.
The impact of another measure, the national tariff on outpatients, which is still under discussion, will have a 10% impact on Mediclinic's Hirslanden private hospital group's outpatient revenues, which in turn account for only 20% of that unit's revenues.
Retail footfall over the coming Easter weekend was set to outpace 2016 levels thanks to the holiday falling after payday with mild weather expected to deliver an additional boost, Springboard predicted, giving many retailers' shares a lift.
Footfall in the UK will rise by 5.4% over the Easter weekend and came on the heels of a 1.2% year-on-year rise in March, Springboard said.
During the Easter weekend last year footfall declined 1.9%.
Of possible interest, in a research note on the Sporting Goods sector analysts at Deutsche Bank told clients: "proliferation of 'sneaker culture' continues to support sports lifestyle brands and retailers in Europe. Sector growth remained solid at a high-single-digit rate throughout Q4 and trends remain healthy year-to-date in our opinion."
On a related note for retailers in general, data out later this same week on consumer prices and average weekly earnings may also have an impact on analysts' sales and profits forecasts for companies.
Going the other way, Tobacco was among the main fallers with Goldman Sachs making cautious sounds on the Health and Personal Care sector, telling clients it remained at 'Sell' on shares of Unilever although it remained "more positive" on Tobacco and Beverages remained "attractive."
Goldman had a 'Buy' on Imperial Brands.
The British Retail Consortium's Retail Sales Monitor for March was scheduled for release at midnight.
Top performing sectors so far today
Health Care Equipment & Services 7,568.04 +1.37%
Food Producers & Processors 7,855.55 +1.24%
Forestry & Paper 21,176.49 +0.92%
Food & Drug Retailers 3,027.72 +0.84%
General Retailers 2,512.36 +0.77%
Bottom performing sectors so far today
Industrial Metals & Mining 2,476.86 -1.37%
Industrial Transportation 3,037.82 -0.53%
Gas, Water & Multiutilities 6,356.68 -0.49%
Support Services 7,519.62 -0.47%
Tobacco 60,129.29 -0.46%