London midday: Stocks extend gains as investors mull retail sales

by | Nov 17, 2023

(Sharecast News) – London stocks had extended gains by midday on Friday as investors mulled weaker-than-expected UK retail sales figures.
The FTSE 100 was up 0.8% at 7,468.77.

Joshua Mahony, chief market analyst at Scope Markets, said: “The strength of the FTSE 100 highlights the hope that this weak spending environment helps drive down inflation, with the Bank of England undoubtedly happy to see consumers put pressure on businesses to compete on price once again.”

Data released earlier by the Office for National Statistics showed that retail sales unexpectedly fell in October as wet weather and the cost-of-living crisis squeeze took their toll.

Retail sales declined by 0.3% on the month following a revised 1.1% drop in September, missing expectations for a 0.3% increase.

The fall was due mainly to a 2% decline in automotive fuel sales volumes. Food store sales volumes were down 0.3%, while non-food store sales were 0.2% lower. Non-store retailing was the only main sector to report growth in sales volumes over the month, up 0.8%.

Over the three months to October, sales volumes fell by 1.1% when compared with the previous three months.

Heather Bovill, deputy director for surveys and economic indicators at the ONS, said: “Retail sales fell again in October to their lowest level since February 2021 when widespread lockdown restrictions were in place.

“After rebounding in September, fuel sales dipped with increasing prices discouraging customers, while food sales also dropped as consumers prioritised essential goods.

“It was another poor month for household goods and clothes stores with these retailers reporting that cost-of-living pressures, reduced footfall and poor weather hit them hard.

“However, it was a better month for online retailers, the only main sector to report growth in October.”

In equity markets, transport company FirstGroup rose after it signed a deal with Hitachi that will see it buy up to 1,000 electric bus batteries as it works towards is decarbonisation targets.

AstraZeneca nudged up as it said it has received US FDA approval for a new breast cancer treatment.

London Stock Exchange Group reversed earlier losses to trade up, having announced after the market close on Thursday that it was lifting its growth guidance and planning a new share buyback.

Market Movers

FTSE 100 (UKX) 7,468.77 0.78%
FTSE 250 (MCX) 18,557.38 1.12%
techMARK (TASX) 4,080.08 0.60%

FTSE 100 – Risers

Prudential (PRU) 943.40p 2.81%
Halma (HLMA) 2,085.00p 2.81%
NATWEST GROUP (NWG) 206.50p 2.79%
Standard Chartered (STAN) 647.60p 2.76%
Land Securities Group (LAND) 657.60p 2.72%
Flutter Entertainment (CDI) (FLTR) 12,665.00p 2.55%
Fresnillo (FRES) 550.00p 2.42%
DCC (CDI) (DCC) 5,290.00p 2.36%
Anglo American (AAL) 2,222.00p 2.11%
3i Group (III) 2,161.00p 2.08%

FTSE 100 – Fallers

Unilever (ULVR) 3,817.00p -0.48%
Compass Group (CPG) 2,073.00p -0.43%
Marks & Spencer Group (MKS) 254.10p -0.43%
B&M European Value Retail S.A. (DI) (BME) 530.80p -0.38%
BAE Systems (BA.) 1,059.00p -0.28%
Pearson (PSON) 946.80p -0.21%
Dechra Pharmaceuticals (DPH) 3,770.00p -0.16%
Sage Group (SGE) 984.20p -0.12%
Rolls-Royce Holdings (RR.) 244.40p -0.04%
Croda International (CRDA) 4,579.00p 0.00%

FTSE 250 – Risers

CAB Payments Holdings (CABP) 67.10p 5.67%
Liontrust Asset Management (LIO) 605.00p 5.13%
Aston Martin Lagonda Global Holdings (AML) 223.00p 4.99%
British Land Company (BLND) 368.50p 4.90%
Jupiter Fund Management (JUP) 87.90p 4.89%
Balanced Commercial Property Trust Limited (BCPT) 68.50p 4.58%
Paragon Banking Group (PAG) 497.60p 3.71%
Ninety One (N91) 182.70p 3.63%
Moonpig Group (MOON) 189.60p 3.61%
OSB Group (OSB) 382.80p 3.57%

FTSE 250 – Fallers

Bakkavor Group (BAKK) 87.00p -2.47%
ICG Enterprise Trust (ICGT) 1,226.00p -2.08%
Digital 9 Infrastructure NPV (DGI9) 49.75p -1.68%
Apax Global Alpha Limited (APAX) 165.00p -1.67%
Octopus Renewables Infrastructure Trust (ORIT) 92.80p -1.38%
Tate & Lyle (TATE) 632.00p -1.33%
Greencoat UK Wind (UKW) 146.10p -1.28%
Fidelity Emerging Markets Limited Ptg NPV (FEML) 605.30p -1.26%
W.A.G Payment Solutions (WPS) 91.00p -1.09%
Vietnam Enterprise Investments (DI) (VEIL) 569.00p -1.04%

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