(Sharecast News) – Investors were keeping their powder dry on Thursday in London as stock markets chose to remain cautious ahead of a much-anticipated US inflation report later on.
At the midday mark, both the FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 were unchanged on the day at 7,587.39 and 18,938, respectively.
Investors were opting for a risk-off approach ahead of inflation figures from the world’s largest economy, due out at 1330 BST. Consensus estimates point to a slight pick-up in the annual rate of consumer price inflation, from 3% in June to 3.3% in July, now that so-called negative base effects had run their course. Compared with June prices, both headline and core consumer prices are expected to rise by just 0.2%.
The end of the Federal Reserve’s current interest rate-raising cycle is certainly nearly an end, and while economists are largely agreed that another hike in September is unlikely, and upside surprise from today’s data could prompt some concerns over additional monetary tightening.
Jobless claims data is also due for release on Thursday, while US producer price inflation figures are due out on Friday.
Spirax-Sarco drops, Persimmon builds
Shares in Spirax-Sarco Engineering dropped 5% after the group revealed a 7% decline in statutory operating profit for the first half on the back of a drop in sales from its Watson-Marlow division.
Housebuilder Persimmon gained after saying it was on track to meet expectations for full-year profit, despite higher mortgage rates, the removal of Help-to-Buy and “significant” market uncertainty. Top-line growth, excluding bulk sales, was described as “robust”, private average selling prices increased in its order book and costs savings were achieved, it said.
Antofagasta edged higher after announcing first-half revenue of $2.89bn – a 14.3% increase year-on-year, primarily due to higher copper and by-product sales volumes and prices. Sector peer Rio Tinto was lower after trading ex-dividend.
On the FTSE 250, Watches of Switzerland edged higher after it posted in-line first-quarter sales and reiterated its full-year guidance amid “robust” demand for luxury watches.
OSB Group, the specialist mortgage lender, admitted to a “disappointing” set of first-half results. But the stock was gaining ground on Thursday, rebounding after losing a quarter of its value since the start of the year. Broker Shore Capital said while it is likely to revise its price estimate on today’s figures, “we still think the shares offer significant fundamental upside from the current level”.
Real estate group Savills disappointed after cutting its forecasts for the financial year following a tough first half which saw profits sink 72%. Savills is the latest in a string of real estate and housebuilding companies to report challenging operating conditions, owing mainly to higher borrowing costs for mortgage holders, and the wider cost-of-living crisis.
FTSE 100 (UKX) 7,587.39 0.00%
FTSE 250 (MCX) 18,938.09 0.00%
techMARK (TASX) 4,347.48 -0.17%
FTSE 100 – Risers
Burberry Group (BRBY) 2,259.00p 2.87%
Persimmon (PSN) 1,155.50p 2.85%
Prudential (PRU) 1,043.50p 2.76%
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) 6,060.00p 2.12%
Legal & General Group (LGEN) 233.60p 2.05%
Croda International (CRDA) 5,596.00p 1.97%
St James’s Place (STJ) 922.60p 1.70%
Aviva (AV.) 389.50p 1.64%
Ocado Group (OCDO) 856.60p 1.59%
Rightmove (RMV) 584.80p 1.39%
FTSE 100 – Fallers
Spirax-Sarco Engineering (SPX) 10,305.00p -4.89%
Rio Tinto (RIO) 4,806.00p -3.01%
Ashtead Group (AHT) 5,644.00p -1.81%
Smurfit Kappa Group (CDI) (SKG) 3,160.00p -1.19%
BAE Systems (BA.) 1,016.00p -1.17%
HSBC Holdings (HSBA) 629.10p -1.08%
AstraZeneca (AZN) 11,062.00p -1.07%
Entain (ENT) 1,344.00p -1.03%
Fresnillo (FRES) 544.00p -0.98%
NATWEST GROUP (NWG) 236.10p -0.96%
FTSE 250 – Risers
OSB Group (OSB) 385.20p 2.45%
easyJet (EZJ) 456.30p 2.42%
Virgin Money UK (VMUK) 169.30p 2.42%
TUI AG Reg Shs (DI) (TUI) 575.50p 2.40%
Wetherspoon (J.D.) (JDW) 651.50p 2.04%
Safestore Holdings (SAFE) 877.00p 1.86%
IG Group Holdings (IGG) 707.00p 1.80%
Ashmore Group (ASHM) 201.20p 1.56%
Hill and Smith (HILS) 1,706.00p 1.55%
Essentra (ESNT) 158.40p 1.54%
FTSE 250 – Fallers
Savills (SVS) 905.00p -8.72%
W.A.G Payment Solutions (WPS) 92.00p -5.15%
Vanquis Banking Group 20 (VANQ) 112.80p -3.92%
HGCapital Trust (HGT) 403.00p -3.24%
FDM Group (Holdings) (FDM) 522.00p -2.61%
Domino’s Pizza Group (DOM) 413.60p -2.59%
4Imprint Group (FOUR) 4,930.00p -2.57%
CLS Holdings (CLI) 128.20p -2.29%
TI Fluid Systems (TIFS) 147.20p -1.87%
Chemring Group (CHG) 300.50p -1.80%