Trending tickers: Gold, Ryanair, Nvidia and AstraZeneca

An employee places ingots of 99.99 percent pure gold in a workroom at the Novosibirsk precious metals refining and manufacturing plant in the Siberian city of Novosibirsk, Russia, September 15, 2023. REUTERS/Alexander Manzyuk/File Photo
Gold has surged to new record high. (Reuters / Reuters)

Gold jumped to fresh record highs amid renewed hopes for interest rate cuts from the US Federal Reserve and rising geopolitical tensions in the Middle East.

Spot gold hit a record high of $2,453.30 (£1,931.61) an ounce soon after the Iranian president Ebrahim Raisi was killed in a helicopter crash. His death has added to tensions in the Middle East, which analysts said increases the appeal of the metal, which is considered a safe haven in times of turmoil.

Bullion has also received a boost as traders have been increasing bets in recent sessions that the Federal Reserve could reduce borrowing costs as early as September, a scenario that would bolster gold as it doesn’t pay interest.

Susannah Streeter, head of money and markets at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: "Demand for the safe-haven asset has surged as investors have been digesting news of the death of Iran’s president Ebrahim Raisi who is believed to have been killed with others including foreign minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian in a helicopter crash.

Read more: Stocks to watch this week: Nvidia, Marks & Spencer, Ryanair, and UK inflation

"Demand for the metal has also likely to have been pushed up by renewed speculation that the Federal Reserve will be minded to cut interest rates a couple of times this year.

"Recent data is indicating inflation is staying on the right downwards trajectory, and there are other signs of demand being drawn out of the economy, such as retail sales coming in softer."

Budget airline Ryanair has reported a strong rise in full-year profits after raising its fares by more than a fifth.

Profit after tax climbed 34%to €1.9bn in the 12 months to March 30 as demand rose 9% to 184 million passengers. Revenue jumped 25% to €13.4bn.

Chief executive Michael O’Leary said recent fare pricing was “softer” than expected and the company moved to boost demand in the first quarter of its new financial year.

He added: “We remain cautiously optimistic that peak summer 2024 fares will be flat to modestly ahead of last summer.”

Passenger numbers also outpaced previous all-time highs and are now well above pre-pandemic numbers at 184 million – a rise of 23% on the pre-COVID year of 2019. Those passengers paid fares costing an average of 21% more than the year up to March 2023.

The airline said it expected to take delivery of 12 new Boeing 737 Max aircraft between March and July, but said it would be 23 short of the contract with the manufacturer after repeated scandals over safety that have caused delays in deliveries.

The darling of AI and technology investors was higher in pre-market trading as the company is set to report results from its first quarter of fiscal year 2025 on 22 May.

Wall Street is betting on a blowout quarterly report from Nvidia on Wednesday, with its stock near record highs as investors look for evidence that the AI chipmaker can maintain its explosive growth and stay ahead of rivals.

"There is a lot riding on Nvidia's earnings. It is the most important stock in the sector," Will Rhind, founder and CEO of GraniteShares, which runs an ETF that invests in the chip firm, told Reuters.

For the second quarter, analysts project earnings growth of more than 120% and nearly 100% revenue growth.

Read more: FTSE 100 LIVE: European markets and oil prices higher as Iran's president killed in crash

"We see enough room for NVDA to post FQ1E (April) revenue potentially as high as $26B (data centre ~$22-23B) and potentially guide to ~$27-28B in total revenue (data centre ~$25-26B) — both good enough to keep the stock biased higher, in our view," UBS analyst Timothy Arcuri wrote in a note to clients

The stock is up more than 86% in 2024 and more than 200% over the past year.

Shares in the drugmaker were lower in London after it announce an $1.5bn investment in a manufacturing site in Singapore dedicated to the production of antibody drug conjugates, an advanced form of chemotherapy that could replace conventional treatment.

The pharmaceutical giant said the intended site, which it hopes will emit zero carbon from day one, will begin design and construction later this year and be 'operationally ready' by 2029.

Chief executive Pascal Soriot said Singapore was a top global venue for investment with a reputation for excellence in complex manufacturing.

ADCs are engineered antibodies that bind to tumour cells and then release cell-killing chemicals.

The complex multi-step ADC manufacturing process includes antibody production, synthesis of the chemotherapy drug and linker, drug-linker conjugation, and filling of the completed ADC substance.

Watch: Gold’s Global Rally Is Sparking a New Investor Class

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