London close: FTSE finishes higher after positive China data

by | Sep 15, 2023

(Sharecast News) – London’s top-flight index managed a positive finish on Friday based on promising Chinese economic data.

The FTSE 100 climbed 0.5% to close at 7,711.38, while the FTSE 250 fell 0.58% to settle at 18,789.77.

In the currency space, sterling was last down 0.12% on the dollar at $1.2394, while it dropped 0.33% against the euro to change hands at €1.1621.

“Unlike their European counterparts, which added to yesterday’s strong post-ECB gains, US indices end the week under pressure,” said IG senior market analyst Axel Rudolph.

“The high oil price and US import prices, which rose the most in over a year, reignite inflationary worries.

“Coupled with a three-month low in the University of Michigan consumer sentiment, US car maker strikes and $4trn of simultaneous expiration of stock indices, index futures and options, all weigh on US markets ahead of next week’s eagerly awaited FOMC.”

US industrial production surges as consumer confidence dips; China shows signs of economic stabilisation

In economic news, the US saw a surge in industrial production last month, exceeding analysts’ expectations.

Data from the Department of Commerce highlighted a 0.4% month-on-month rise in output, surpassing the anticipated 0.1%.

A noteworthy element was the upward revision of figures from May and June.

Among the market groups, business equipment output led the pack with a growth of 0.8%, while materials output climbed by 0.7%, compensating for a decline in the production of motor vehicles and parts.

Manufacturing production experienced a modest rise of 0.1% but still lagged behind its performance from the previous year by 0.6%.

Mining and utilities output rose by 1.4% and 0.9%, respectively.

The overall industrial operating capacity in use saw a marginal increase, reaching 79.7%, slightly above the anticipated 79.5%.

Elsewhere, US consumer sentiment in early September remained relatively stable, as the University of Michigan’s consumer confidence index presented a slight dip to 67.7 from August’s 69.5, with the forecast set at 69.1.

When considering inflation expectations for the upcoming year, a decline of 0.4% was noted, positioning the metric at 3.1% – the lowest since March 2021.

Long-term price growth expectations also decreased to 2.7%, departing from the previously observed range over the last 26 months.

Joanne Hsu, the survey’s director, noted the “modest” improvement in measures of short and long-run expectations for the economy.

But she added that “on net consumers remain relatively tentative about the trajectory of the economy.”

She also highlighted the scant mention by survey respondents of the potential government shutdown, despite which views on the economy would likely “slide” if it came to pass.

Earlier in the day, China showed signs of stabilisation after several months of underwhelming economic metrics, as both retail sales and industrial output surpassed expectations in August.

Retail sales growth accelerated to 4.6%, a significant jump from July’s 2.5%, with analysts initially predicting a 3% increment.

That indicated a rebound in consumer discretionary spending, particularly in cosmetics, smartphones, and jewellery.

Furthermore, China’s industrial production in August recorded a 4.5% year-on-year increase, outperforming July’s 3.7% and surpassing economists’ 3.9% expectation.

However, a downward trend in fixed asset investment growth slowed property investment and infrastructure spending.

Equities show mixed results, with standout performances in fashion, mining, and gaming

On London’s equity markets, Burberry was one of the FTSE 100’s top performers, rising 2.51% by the close.

The positive data from China also played a pivotal role in uplifting miners, with Rio Tinto up 1.57%, Anglo American ahead 1.31%, and Antofagasta increasing 1.02%.

Games Workshop Group surged 11.16%, driven by strong quarterly results.

The company, known for its Warhammer brand, reported that trading from the quarter ended 27 August exceeded expectations, with all channels observing robust growth.

Its core revenue for the quarter was reported at £121m, a notable increment from last year’s £106m.

With the company’s licensing revenue doubling to £6m and an estimated pre-tax profit of around £57m, Games Workshop declared a dividend of 50p per share.

That brought the total dividend for the 2024 financial year to £1.95 per share, a rise from last year’s £1.20 per share.

Whitbread received a boost of 1.29% after Barclays named the Premier Inn owner its top choice within the leisure sector.

London Stock Exchange Group increased by 0.05% as JPMorgan added the group’s shares to its “positive catalyst watch”.

With an upcoming capital markets day in November, JPMorgan raised its price target for the stock from 9,867p to 9,920p.

Flutter Entertainment observed a rise of 2.23%, extending its gains from the previous day after HSBC raised its price target for the shares from 17,900p to 18,100p while maintaining a ‘buy’ recommendation.

On the downside, Hipgnosis Songs Fund declined 7.01% in the wake of the company’s announcement that it was planning to sell some song rights to manage debt and fund share buybacks.

Real estate firms Derwent London and Great Portland Estates experienced downturns of 0.05% and 1.22%, respectively, despite Goldman Sachs upgrading Derwent London to ‘buy’ and Great Portland Estates to ‘neutral’.

Reporting by Josh White for

Market Movers

FTSE 100 (UKX) 7,711.38 0.50%
FTSE 250 (MCX) 18,789.77 -0.58%
techMARK (TASX) 4,412.96 0.34%

FTSE 100 – Risers

Endeavour Mining (EDV) 1,658.00p 4.87%
Airtel Africa (AAF) 129.60p 2.61%
DCC (CDI) (DCC) 4,641.00p 2.29%
Flutter Entertainment (CDI) (FLTR) 14,930.00p 2.23%
Burberry Group (BRBY) 2,158.00p 2.18%
Barratt Developments (BDEV) 460.30p 2.06%
3i Group (III) 2,084.00p 1.81%
Anglo American (AAL) 2,302.50p 1.77%
Kingfisher (KGF) 236.00p 1.72%
Beazley (BEZ) 590.00p 1.64%

FTSE 100 – Fallers

BT Group (BT.A) 117.00p -1.47%
SEGRO (SGRO) 739.20p -1.36%
Land Securities Group (LAND) 592.80p -1.27%
Ocado Group (OCDO) 763.60p -1.14%
Sage Group (SGE) 1,028.50p -1.01%
Imperial Brands (IMB) 1,756.00p -0.82%
JD Sports Fashion (JD.) 139.65p -0.71%
Unite Group (UTG) 923.00p -0.59%
RS Group (RS1) 744.00p -0.56%
Severn Trent (SVT) 2,486.00p -0.40%

FTSE 250 – Risers

Games Workshop Group (GAW) 11,490.00p 10.59%
PureTech Health (PRTC) 232.00p 8.92%
Ferrexpo (FXPO) 83.75p 7.65%
NCC Group (NCC) 100.00p 3.73%
CMC Markets (CMCX) 105.00p 2.94%
Baltic Classifieds Group (BCG) 205.50p 2.85%
Ithaca Energy (ITH) 168.00p 2.56%
Petershill Partners (PHLL) 160.60p 2.55%
Bank of Georgia Group (BGEO) 3,705.00p 2.49%
AJ Bell (AJB) 298.80p 2.47%

FTSE 250 – Fallers

Drax Group (DRX) 497.60p -10.21%
Helios Towers (HTWS) 81.30p -8.65%
Hipgnosis Songs Fund Limited NPV (SONG) 80.90p -7.01%
Digital 9 Infrastructure NPV (DGI9) 59.60p -6.29%
Balanced Commercial Property Trust Limited (BCPT) 68.80p -4.84%
Shaftesbury Capital (SHC) 116.10p -4.84%
Safestore Holdings (SAFE) 794.00p -3.82%
Bakkavor Group (BAKK) 95.20p -3.45%
North Atlantic Smaller Companies Inv Trust (NAS) 3,660.00p -3.43%
Allianz Technology Trust (ATT) 265.00p -3.28%

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