Shares in Aston Martin cruised to a seventh consecutive session of gains after a positive result on the track and hopes of a turnaround.
The FTSE 250 luxury car maker gained 15 per cent, or 36.1p, to 276.1p in a rally that some analysts put down to a ‘short squeeze’.
This happens when short-sellers betting against the stock are forced to close their positions to limit losses when shares rise.
On track: Fernando Alonso drove his Aston Martin to third-place at the Bahrain Grand Prix over the weekend in what was the first Formula 1 event of the season
The rally began last week when Aston Martin published its full-year results for 2022. Although it made losses of £495million, investors were encouraged by a more optimistic outlook for this year.
The feel-good factor was helped by Fernando Alonso’s surprise third-place at the Bahrain Grand Prix at the weekend in the first Formula 1 race of the season.
Oddo BHF auto analyst Anthony Dick said: ‘It could be some shorts covering or generally improved perception on the back of reassuring results.
‘It’s also possible the F1 performance could have something to do with it.’ Analysts at Jefferies sounded a note of caution and warned Aston Martin shares have ‘run ahead of themselves’.
The FTSE 100 was down 0.22 per cent, or 17.32 points, to 7929.71 while the FTSE 250 rose 0.69 per cent, or 138.34 points, to 20,064.11.
Mining stocks sank into the red after China issued a lower-than-expected economic growth target of 5 per cent.
Anglo American was down 3.7per cent, or 111p, to 2931.5p while Rio Tinto fell 2.8 per cent, or 172p, to 5972p, Glencore slid 3.9 per cent, or 20.5p, to 502.5p and Antofagasta sank 1.5 per cent, or 25.5p, to 1638.5p.
Stock Watch – Kingswood
Kingswood shares rose after it said its UK business could be sold.
The global wealth manager, which looks after mortgages, pensions and tax, said that it is looking at ‘strategic options’ that include a potential sale of the company’s UK business or third-party investment.
It came after a report at the weekend suggested it could be sold for up to £250million.
Shares in Kingswood, which also operates in Ireland, South Africa and the US, jumped 9.4 per cent, or 2.5p, to 29p.
Shipping company Clarkson gained 1.8 per cent, or 60p, to 3365p after profits hit a record high. The company reported a 45 per cent rise in profits to £100.9million. attributing it to the strong performance of its broking division.
Rolls-Royce powered ahead after Bernstein raised the jet engine maker’s target price to 165p from 108p. The shares, which have risen 64 per cent this year, added 2.1 per cent, or 3.14p, to 152.78p.
Paddy Power and Betfair owner Flutter added 4.6 per cent, or 615p, to 13,975p after Citigroup raised its target price to 13,500p from 12,500p.
James Fisher and Sons fell 5.3 per cent, or 20.5p, to 370p after it said its results would be published two weeks later than planned after recent corporate activity delayed the audit timetable.
The group, which provides marine engineering services, sold its James Fisher Nuclear Holdings business to Rcapital.
It also sold three businesses last year and expects to report higher revenues than during the previous 12 months.
Foxtons rose 3 per cent, or 1.2p, to 41.2p after the estate agent snapped up rival Atkinson McLeod for £7.4million.
Lookers bought Shropshire vehicle hire and brokerage business Fourways.
But shares in the car dealer sank 1.3 per cent, or 1.2p, to 92p.
Seeing Machines fell 5.8 per cent, or 0.43p, to 7.01p after revenues from its after-market business slumped by 14 per cent to £8.6million in the second half of last year due to limited hardware supply.
Its business aims to prevent driving-related deaths by installing cameras in vehicles that can detect if a motorist is tired. Revenue rose 54 per cent to £20.3million for the six months to December 31.
Elsewhere, Getech jumped 15.5 per cent, or 2.25p, to 16.75p after its hydrogen developer business hired the former boss of ITM Power, Dr Graham Cooley, as its next chairman.
The energy software group bought H2 Green for £1m in January 2021. Cooley, who led ITM from 2009 to 2022, joins H2 Green as it aims to ramp up its capacity to deliver clean energy.