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London Markets: Hargreaves Lansdown shares slump, while Smith & Nephew soar as U.K. stocks grapple with geopolitics

Surging commodity prices lifted London stocks to positive territory on Tuesday, as geopolitical tensions swirled around investors.

The FTSE 100 index
UKX,
+0.51%

rose 0.4% to 7,518, also getting a lift as a strong dollar weighed on the British pound
GBPUSD,
-0.29%

down 0.4%. Investors were absorbing escalation in the Ukraine-Russia crisis after President Vladimir Putin on Monday announced he would officially recognize two separatist regions.

Investors had been hoping for a diplomatic solution and a summit this week between Putin and President Joe Biden, but Western nations were instead rolling out sanctions. The possibility remains that Russia will go ahead and fully invade Ukraine in a fluid situation.

Read: What war in Ukraine would mean for markets as Putin orders Russian troops to separatist regions

The crisis sent shares of energy companies soaring, with Shell stock
SHEL,
+1.38%

up 1%.

HSBC’s
HSBC,
+1.32%

HSBA,
+0.90%

fourth-quarter net profit more than tripled from a year earlier, ending 2021 with a strong earnings turnaround, though investors focused on its caution on China and shares rose just 0.4%.

Smith & Nephew
SNN,
+6.22%

SN,
+8.48%

shares surged 7% after the U.K. medical-technology group said it expects stronger growth in the second half of the year versus the first, though with global supply-chain issues continuing.

The company said profit more-than-doubled for 2021 due to revenue above pre-COVID-19 levels for its Sports Medicine & ENT and Advanced Wound Management franchises.

On the downside, shares of Hargreaves Lansdown
HL,
-15.60%

tumbled 15% after the London-listed retail-investment platform reported a fall in profit for the first half of fiscal 2022 on lower share-dealing revenue, and said that it would announce a new growth strategy.

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