London close: Stocks rise as US inflation meets expectations

by | Aug 10, 2023

(Sharecast News) – London’s stock markets closed with gains on Thursday, buoyed by a US inflation report that came broadly in line with market expectations.
The FTSE 100 climbed 0.41% to settle at 7,618.60 points by the close of trading, and the FTSE 250 finished 0.3% higher at 18,993.81 points.

In the currency sector, sterling was last up 0.02% on the dollar, with one pound fetching $1.2722, while it declined 0.35% against the common currency, changing hands at €1.1548.

“It’s been another positive session for markets in Europe, although the FTSE100 has underperformed against its European peers due to over 10% of the index going ex-dividend, including the likes of AstraZeneca, Rio Tinto, Shell, NatWest, Barclays, BP, and HSBC, which has served to knock over 30 points off the index,” said CMC Markets chief market analyst Michael Hewson.

“The announcement by China to end its ban on overseas travel groups to other countries has also helped boost travel, leisure, and the luxury sector, with LVMH, Hermes, and Kering, getting a lift along with Burberry in the UK.”

US inflation comes in as expected, jobless claims accelerate

In economic news, official government data revealed that the US consumer price index inflation in July increased by 0.2%, aligning with the predictions of many economists.

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics confirmed that the month-on-month growth rate for CPI was consistent with the rate observed in the previous month.

Furthermore, when excluding volatile elements like food and energy from the calculation, core inflation for July also recorded a growth of 0.2%, matching the June figure.

Year-on-year, the July CPI rate saw a modest rise to 3.2% from June’s 3%, whereas the annual core CPI reflected a slight deceleration to 4.7% from the 4.8% noted in June.

In a separate update, the US Department of Labor disclosed that jobless claims for the week ending on 5 August surged to 248,000, an uptick from the prior week’s figure of 227,000.

The rise exceeded the expectations of economists, who had projected a smaller surge to approximately 230,000.

Looking at the more consistent four-week moving average figure, the number climbed to 231,000 from an earlier 228,250.

However, there was a slight decrease in ongoing claims for the week ending 29 July, registering at 1.684 million, down from the 1.692 million reported the prior week.

Spirax-Sarco, miners take a hit; OSB Group gains

On London’s equity markets, Spirax-Sarco Engineering took a hit of -2.35% as investors reacted to the news of a 7% dip in its statutory operating profit for the first half.

The decline was attributed mainly to a slump in sales from its Watson-Marlow division.

Mining giants were also affected – Antofagasta shed 1.52% from its value, reversing its initial gains.

Despite announcing a 14.3% year-on-year revenue boost to $2.89bn, largely credited to increased copper sales volumes and prices, the stock couldn’t maintain its upward momentum.

Meanwhile, its industry counterpart, Rio Tinto, tumbled 3.27% as it traded ex-dividend.

The property sector reflected turbulence, with Savills plummeting a significant 10.74% after the real estate firm slashed its financial year forecasts.

A gruelling first half for the company showed a dramatic 72% drop in profits.

On the upside, housebuilder Persimmon swelled 2.23% in the wake of its assurance to stakeholders that it remains poised to meet full-year profit projections.

Despite obstacles like escalating mortgage rates and the end of the Help-to-Buy scheme, Persimmon reported “robust” top-line growth, increments in average private selling prices in its order book, and successful cost savings.

On the FTSE 250, luxury retailer Watches of Switzerland Group ascended 4.26%.

The company’s first-quarter sales matched projections, and it confidently reiterated its full-year guidance, pointing to a sturdy demand for luxury watches.

Lastly, OSB Group, a specialist in mortgage lending, saw a 4.04% surge by the end of trading.

While it confessed to a less-than-impressive performance in its first-half results, its share price still rose, especially when considering its 25% value loss since the year’s onset.

Broker Shore Capital hinted at potential revisions to its price prediction based on the day’s data, but maintained optimism about the shares’ fundamental upside.

Reporting by Josh White for

Market Movers

FTSE 100 (UKX) 7,618.60 0.41%
FTSE 250 (MCX) 18,993.81 0.30%
techMARK (TASX) 4,376.80 0.50%

FTSE 100 – Risers

Burberry Group (BRBY) 2,257.00p 2.78%
Hiscox Limited (DI) (HSX) 1,075.00p 2.77%
Croda International (CRDA) 5,640.00p 2.77%
Flutter Entertainment (CDI) (FLTR) 14,750.00p 2.47%
Haleon (HLN) 336.15p 2.28%
Prudential (PRU) 1,038.50p 2.26%
Persimmon (PSN) 1,148.50p 2.23%
Severn Trent (SVT) 2,444.00p 2.22%
Diageo (DGE) 3,406.50p 2.01%
Rightmove (RMV) 588.20p 1.98%

FTSE 100 – Fallers

Rio Tinto (RIO) 4,793.00p -3.27%
Spirax-Sarco Engineering (SPX) 10,580.00p -2.35%
Fresnillo (FRES) 539.60p -1.78%
Antofagasta (ANTO) 1,582.50p -1.52%
NATWEST GROUP (NWG) 235.50p -1.22%
Ashtead Group (AHT) 5,708.00p -0.70%
HSBC Holdings (HSBA) 632.00p -0.63%
Rolls-Royce Holdings (RR.) 207.80p -0.62%
Barclays (BARC) 148.00p -0.60%
BAE Systems (BA.) 1,022.00p -0.58%

FTSE 250 – Risers

Liontrust Asset Management (LIO) 652.00p 5.16%
Watches of Switzerland Group (WOSG) 709.50p 4.26%
OSB Group (OSB) 391.20p 4.04%
Capita (CPI) 20.30p 3.94%
Virgin Money UK (VMUK) 170.75p 3.30%
Hill and Smith (HILS) 1,734.00p 3.21%
Wetherspoon (J.D.) (JDW) 659.00p 3.21%
Baltic Classifieds Group (BCG) 211.00p 3.18%
Just Group (JUST) 86.30p 3.11%
Ashmore Group (ASHM) 203.60p 2.78%

FTSE 250 – Fallers

Savills (SVS) 885.00p -10.74%
AJ Bell (AJB) 296.60p -7.08%
Domino’s Pizza Group (DOM) 409.60p -3.53%
FDM Group (Holdings) (FDM) 518.00p -3.36%
Clarkson (CKN) 2,725.00p -3.20%
North Atlantic Smaller Companies Inv Trust (NAS) 3,700.00p -3.14%
Vanquis Banking Group 20 (VANQ) 114.00p -2.90%
4Imprint Group (FOUR) 4,925.00p -2.67%
CLS Holdings (CLI) 128.00p -2.44%
Wizz Air Holdings (WIZZ) 2,327.00p -2.43%

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