FTSE 100 sees August’s gains disappear in a single day .. but some stocks remain winners

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Today has seen just about all of August’s gains for the FTSE 100 wiped out in a single day.


Miners and fund managers have been the big losers this month, with concerns over slowing growth in China as the People’s Republic tries to get a lid on a new wave of coronavirus infections.


Despite the index effectively returning to square one in August, there have been some handsome performers, such as Rolls-Royce Group PLC, up 13%, and insurance stocks.


The fact that utilities such as SSE PLC, the top performer with a 14% advance, and National Grid PLC, just outside the top 10 with a 5.4% hike, have been among the better investment plays this month probably tells you all you need to know about the fragile state of stock market sentiment at the moment.


If you believe in the wonders of the relative strength index – essentially the average of an upward price change divided by the average of the downward price change over a given period (usually 20 days) – then a couple of August’s better performers – Admiral Group PLC and Croda International PLC are “overbought” (think Leicester City winning the Premiership – the current level is an outlier based on historical experience) while some of the laggards, such as Burberry Group PLC, Royal Mail Group PLC and Pearson PLC are approaching “oversold” territory.


(A rating of more than 70 is generally regarded as “overbought” while a rating of less than 30 is regarded as “underbought” or “oversold”).


The following tables also give the momentum index values for August’s best and worst performers; this looks at the share price over a 20-day interval, expressing the current share price as a percentage of the 20 days ago price.


Ticker Company % change this month % change this year RSI (20 days) Momentum index (20 days)
SSE SSE PLC 14.4 10.2 64.4 110
RR. Rolls-Royce Group PLC 12.9 1.23 59.5 118
FLTR Flutter Entertainment PLC 11.1 -9.55 54.9 105
INF Informa PLC 8.28 -2.37 54.5 107
CRDA Croda International PLC 7.85 37.7 78.1 115
AV. Aviva PLC 7.76 28.3 58.4 108
ADM Admiral Group PLC 7.69 26 78.2 111
JD. JD Sports Fashion PLC 7.56 12.2 56.1 104
PRU Prudential PLC 6.71 7.46 53.1 107
TW. Taylor Wimpey PLC 6.65 5.88 57.6 107
GSK GlaxoSmithKline PLC 6.07 12.1 67.2 107
Ticker Company % change this month % change this year RSI (20 days) Momentum index (20 days)
RIO Rio Tinto PLC -14.7 -4.82 33.2 89.1
PSON Pearson PLC -13.9 10 32.8 88.2
EVR Evraz PLC -11.6 15.1 35.5 90.4
BRBY Burberry Group PLC -11.5 2.12 30.2 89
HL. Hargreaves Lansdown PLC -9.26 -2.87 37.7 92.3
AAL Anglo American PLC -9.11 19.6 41 99.7
SMIN Smiths Group PLC -8.94 -5.85 37.4 90.4
ABDN abrdn PLC -7.59 -6.7 36.3 92.6
BHP BHP Group PLC -7.16 12.1 43.4 96.8
PHNX Phoenix Group Holdings -6.98 -9.79 33.1 92.4
MNG M&G PLC -5.99 7.05 36.6 94.2
IHG InterContinental Hotels Group PLC -5.73 -4.5 37.6 94.9

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