London close: Stocks finish buoyant week in mixed state

by | Jul 21, 2023

(Sharecast News) – Stocks in London presented a mixed picture at the close of trading on Friday, with the FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 finishing in opposite territories, despite a slight uptick in Wall Street during early trading across the Atlantic.
The FTSE 100 ended the session up 0.23% at 7,663.73, while the FTSE 250 – more representative of the domestic economy – saw a decrease of 0.58% to finish at 19,200.45.

In currency markets, sterling was last down 0.16% on the dollar to trade at $1.2848, while it dipped by a marginal 0.03% against the common currency to change hands at €1.1557.

“As traders continue to digest fresh corporate earnings, the S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 rebound following their sharp losses from the day before,” said IG senior market analyst Axel Rudolph.

“The German DAX has been Friday’s underperformer as a 4% drop in SAP shares weighed on the index.

“In the UK the FTSE 100 has risen for a second consecutive week, buoyed by slowing inflation and stronger-than-expected retail sales.”

Public borrowing declines as retail sales surpass expectations; in-store sales surge

In economic news, the UK witnessed a decrease in public sector borrowing for June, albeit still at a record high, while retail sales experienced an uptick that exceeded expectations.

Public sector net borrowing, excluding banks, fell by £0.4bn to £18.5bn in June compared to the same period last year, marking the third-largest June borrowing since records were initiated in 1993.

That dip in borrowing undershot both the consensus of £22bn, and the Office for Budget Responsibility’s (OBR) projection of £21.1bn.

The ONS attributed the decrease to a surge in tax receipts, as well as a significant decline in the interest payable on debt.

Despite the gains, the cost of living and benefits payouts presented an upward trend.

Central government income in June totalled £77.4bn, marking a £5.6bn rise from June last year, of which tax receipts constituted £57.3bn, a surge of £4.6 billion.

However, central government expenditure also rose by £5.2bn to reach £96.7bn in June, surpassing the OBR’s forecast by £2.3bn.

In the retail sector, sales volumes exhibited a rise of 0.7% month-on-month in June, following a modest increase of 0.1% in May.

That surge surpassed the consensus, which had predicted a 0.2% rise for June.

The growth was observed across all main sectors, with the sole exception of automotive fuels, which saw a slight dip of 0.3%.

Non-food sales, buoyed by summer sales, increased by 1%, rebounding from a 0.5% drop in May, while food sales also increased by 0.7%, boosted by favourable weather conditions and supermarket promotions.

Additionally, despite cooler weather conditions, in-store retail sales saw a significant uptick last week, as per the latest BDO High Street Sales Tracker.

Total like-for-like sales rose by 2.72% year-on-year in the week ending 16th July.

Non-store sales fell slightly by 0.79%, but in-store sales witnessed a significant leap of 7.38%, marking the highest increase since the second week of April.

Lifestyle products enjoyed strong demand, with like-for-like sales climbing by 11.54%, and in-store lifestyle sales skyrocketing by 20.02%.

On the other hand, like-for-like fashion sales fell by 2.99% and homewares decreased by 1.38%.

HSBC rises on market buzz, Glencore reports mixed production, Liontrust offer declared final

On London’s equity markets, HSBC Holdings shares rose by 0.31%, as the bank’s stock remained a key point of discussion in recent market chatter.

Mining company Glencore’s shares edged up 0.01%, despite the firm reporting a 4% drop in own-sourced copper production for the first half of the year.

The reduction was primarily due to mining sequences at Collahuasi and Antamina, and lower copper by-products.

Despite this downturn, Glencore announced a 5% increase in cobalt production, while nickel production slipped by 20%.

Ferrochrome production was 9% lower compared to the first half of 2022 due to planned smelter offline days.

The company also reported steady coal production and reiterated its full-year production guidance.

Elsewhere, shares in passenger transport operator FirstGroup rallied by 3.1%, following the company’s announcement that its financial performance in the year-to-date aligned with its June expectations.

The FTSE 250 company also said it had completed £70.9m of its £75m on-market share buyback programme initiated last December.

On completion, FirstGroup said it was planning to initiate another buyback of up to £115m worth of shares.

On the downside, Liontrust Asset Management fell 2.44% after the UK asset manager declared its proposed offer for Swiss competitor GAM as “full and final”.

In justifying the offer, Liontrust emphasised it as “good and fair”, considering GAM’s current financial losses, future contractual liabilities, and the restructuring costs needed to return GAM to profitability.

Reporting by Josh White for

Market Movers

FTSE 100 (UKX) 7,663.73 0.23%
FTSE 250 (MCX) 19,198.45 -0.59%
techMARK (TASX) 4,468.01 -0.03%

FTSE 100 – Risers

Haleon (HLN) 337.85p 1.49%
Hargreaves Lansdown (HL.) 923.40p 1.47%
Ashtead Group (AHT) 5,574.00p 1.35%
Rentokil Initial (RTO) 639.00p 1.33%
Severn Trent (SVT) 2,581.00p 1.14%
Relx plc (REL) 2,608.00p 1.12%
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) 5,616.00p 1.08%
Halma (HLMA) 2,264.00p 1.07%
Smiths Group (SMIN) 1,677.00p 1.02%
Diageo (DGE) 3,434.00p 1.00%

FTSE 100 – Fallers

WPP (WPP) 828.00p -4.21%
Prudential (PRU) 1,043.50p -2.98%
Mondi (MNDI) 1,301.50p -2.18%
NATWEST GROUP (NWG) 251.40p -2.14%
BT Group (BT.A) 123.15p -2.11%
M&G (MNG) 201.90p -1.46%
London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) 8,306.00p -1.38%
Legal & General Group (LGEN) 231.70p -1.36%
Abrdn (ABDN) 233.50p -1.35%
Rightmove (RMV) 550.40p -1.04%

FTSE 250 – Risers

Ithaca Energy (ITH) 158.00p 5.33%
Babcock International Group (BAB) 377.40p 4.37%
FirstGroup (FGP) 149.80p 3.10%
Bakkavor Group (BAKK) 105.50p 2.43%
Hilton Food Group (HFG) 666.00p 1.68%
Redrow (RDW) 522.00p 1.36%
Ferrexpo (FXPO) 94.95p 1.33%
Ascential (ASCL) 212.60p 1.24%
Molten Ventures (GROW) 268.00p 1.21%
Playtech (PTEC) 600.00p 1.18%

FTSE 250 – Fallers

Trainline (TRN) 268.80p -4.00%
HarbourVest Global Private Equity Limited A Shs (HVPE) 2,250.00p -3.64%
Just Group (JUST) 83.20p -3.59%
Darktrace (DARK) 383.00p -3.28%
Kainos Group (KNOS) 1,286.00p -3.24%
Jupiter Fund Management (JUP) 105.20p -3.22%
International Distributions Services (IDS) 263.70p -3.19%
Future (FUTR) 776.50p -3.18%
Elementis (ELM) 103.80p -3.17%
GCP Infrastructure Investments Ltd (GCP) 79.90p -3.15%

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