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MARKET REPORT: Aston Martin races to its seventh day of gains

On track: Fernando Alonso drove his Aston Martin to third place in the Bahrain Grand Prix this weekend in what was the first Formula 1 event of the season

Shares of Aston Martin reached a seventh consecutive session of gains after a positive result on the track and hopes of a turnaround.

The luxury carmaker FTSE 250 gained 15%, or 36.1p, to 276.1p in a rally that some analysts called a “short squeeze”.

This occurs when short sellers betting against the stock are forced to close their positions to limit losses when the stock rises.

On track: Fernando Alonso drove his Aston Martin to third place in the Bahrain Grand Prix this weekend in what was the first Formula 1 event of the season

On track: Fernando Alonso drove his Aston Martin to third place in the Bahrain Grand Prix this weekend in what was the first Formula 1 event of the season

The rally began last week when Aston Martin released its annual results for 2022. Although it posted 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 finish at the Bahrain Grand Prix this weekend in the first Formula 1 race of the season.

Anthony Dick, automotive analyst at Oddo BHF, said: “It could be short coverings or a generally improved perception on the back of reassuring results.”

“It’s also possible that F1’s performance has something to do with it.” Jefferies analysts issued a note of caution and warned that Aston Martin shares had “gotten ahead of themselves”.

The FTSE 100 was down 0.22%, or 17.32 points, at 7929.71 while the FTSE 250 was up 0.69%, or 138.34 points, at 20,064.11.

Mining stocks sank into the red after China announced a lower-than-expected economic growth target of 5%.

Anglo American fell 3.7%, or 111p, to 2,931.5p while Rio Tinto fell 2.8%, or 172p, to 5,972p, Glencore slipped 3.9%, or 20.5p, to 502.5p and Antofagasta sank 1.5%, 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 deals with mortgages, pensions and tax, said it was considering “strategic options” which include a potential sale of the firm’s UK business or third-party investment.

It came after a report over the weekend suggested it could be sold for up to £250million.

Shares of Kingswood, which also operates in Ireland, South Africa and the United States, jumped 9.4%, or 2.5p, to 29p.

Shipping company Clarkson gained 1.8%, or 60p, to 3,365p after profits hit a record high. The company announced a 45% increase in profit to £100.9million. attributing it to the strong performance of its brokerage division.

Rolls-Royce pulled ahead after Bernstein raised the jet engine maker’s target price to 165p from 108p. The shares, which are up 64% this year, added 2.1%, or 3.14p, to 152.78p.

Paddy Power and Betfair owner Flutter added 4.6%, or 615p, to 13,975p after Citigroup raised its target price to 13,500p from 12,500p.

James Fisher and Sons fell 5.3%, or 20.5p, to 370p after announcing that its results would be released two weeks later than expected after recent business activity delayed the audit schedule.

The group, which provides marine engineering services, has sold its James Fisher Nuclear Holdings business to Rcapital.

He also sold three businesses last year and expects to post higher revenues than in the previous 12 months.

Foxtons rose 3%, or 1.2p, to 41.2p after the estate agent bought out rival Atkinson McLeod for £7.4million.

Lookers bought Fourways, a car hire and brokerage business in Shropshire.

But shares of the car dealer fell 1.3%, or 1.2p, to 92p.

Seeing Machines fell 5.8%, or 0.43p, to 7.01p after revenue from its aftermarket business fell 14% to £8.6m in the second half of last year due to a limited supply of materials.

Its activity aims to prevent driving-related deaths by installing cameras in vehicles capable of detecting whether a motorist is tired. Revenue rose 54% to £20.3million for the six months to December 31.

Elsewhere, Getech jumped 15.5%, or 2.25p, to 16.75p after its hydrogen development business hired former ITM Power boss Dr Graham Cooley as its next chairman.

The energy software group bought H2 Green for £1m in January 2021. Cooley, who ran ITM from 2009-2022, is joining H2 Green with the aim of increasing its ability to deliver clean energy.

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