Banks and commodities drive UK FTSE 100 higher

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Signage is seen outside the entrance to the London Stock Exchange in London, Britain. August 23, 2018. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls/File Photo

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  • Serica Energy Rejects Kistos’ Revised $1.4 Billion Merger Offer
  • Recruiter STThrois on the rise as half-year operating profit increases
  • UK factory output slows, price pressures peak – CBI
  • FTSE 100 up 0.4%, FTSE 250 down 0.1%

July 25 (Reuters) – Britain’s FTSE 100 rose on Monday, supported by banks and commodities stocks during a choppy session, with data showing Britain’s industrial production slowing but tentative signs of pressures on prices coming from their peak.

The benchmark FTSE 100 index (.FTSE) climbed 0.4%, reversing earlier losses, while the national mid-cap index (.FTMC) fell 0.1%.

Banks (.FTNMX301010), which benefit from higher interest rates, gained 2.0% and were among the top performers in the blue-chip FTSE 100 ahead of their results and an expected US rate hike this week.

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Miners (.FTNMX551020) rose 2.1%, following higher copper prices, helped by a weaker dollar which made the metals cheaper for buyers with other currencies.

Oil stocks BP (BP.L) and Shell (SHEL.L) rebounded from early losses and gained 0.9% and 1.4% respectively, boosted by dollar weakness and supply concerns.

Energy (.FTNMX601010) has been the best performing sector so far this year, up almost 23% year-to-date, helping the FTSE 100 outperform its US and European peers.

However, volatility in oil prices has destabilized the index this month as traders weigh the impact of likely interest rate hikes which could reduce demand relative to tight supply due to the loss of Russian oil.

“The FTSE has been more resilient due to its number of large international companies, particularly the big oil and gas companies and miners who have really made hay,” said AJ Bell analyst Danni Hewson.

“But going forward, you really can’t guarantee that will hold.”

Meanwhile, data showed UK industrial production grew at the slowest pace in more than a year in the three months to July, but there were tentative signs that some inflation-related challenges and to investment were easing. Read more

Travel and leisure shares (.FTNMX405010) fell 1.5% after Irish Ryanair (RYA.I) said a return to pre-COVID profitability levels this year was not certain , although it exceeded first-quarter estimates. Read more

SThree (STEMS.L) rose 1.7% after posting a 58% rise in half-year operating profit, supported by strong hiring demand and as people change jobs in a competitive market . Read more

Serica Energy (SQZ.L) advanced 5.0% after rejecting a revised merger proposal from energy investment firm Kistos (KIST.L), which valued the British oil and gas group at nearly 1.2 billion pounds ($1.4 billion). Kistos fell 1.4%. Read more

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Reporting by Bansari Mayur Kamdar; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi and Mark Potter

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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