(Sharecast News) – London stocks were still little changed by midday on Tuesday as investors eyed the latest US retail sales data and big earnings releases across the pond, as well as this week’s UK inflation figures.
The FTSE 100 was up just 0.1% at 7,413.89.
Susannah Streeter, head of money and markets at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “Caution is set to dominate trading in London ahead of tomorrow’s latest reading on consumer prices. Headline inflation is expected to limp downwards, but worries will be creeping back in about food prices staying sticky, with Russia exiting the Black Sea grain deal, and refusing to guarantee safe passage for ships exporting wheat and corn.
“After a spritely start to the week there is set to be a bit more wariness on Wall Street ahead of more corporate results, with financials in focus including Bank of America and Morgan Stanley. JP Morgan set a high bar on Friday with results beating expectations. Bank of America is expected to report some robust numbers given that the consumer banking business remains strong, and credit conditions haven’t markedly deteriorated. With inflation trotting down closer to target, and economic indicators showing resilience, there will be hopes less money will have to be set aside for bad loans. Although Morgan Stanley’s investment banking business is set to continue to show weakness, its wealth management business could once again be a bulwark, helping offset falling fees.”
On home shores, data out earlier from Kantar showed that grocery price inflation fell again in the four weeks to 9 July, at the steepest rate since the March peak.
Grocery price inflation declined to 14.9% from 16.5%. This marked the fourth consecutive decline and is down from a peak of 17.5% in March.
It came as supermarkets increased promotions, with over a quarter of groceries purchased on deal during the period.
Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar, said: “One of the biggest shifts we’ve seen in this area is retailers ramping up loyalty card deals like Tesco’s Clubcard Prices and Sainsbury’s Nectar Prices. This could signal a change in focus by the grocers who had been concentrating their efforts on everyday low pricing, particularly by offering more value own-label lines.
“The boost to promotional spending has contributed to bringing inflation down but this isn’t all that’s driving the change. Prices were rising quickly last summer so this latest slowdown is partially down to current figures being compared with those higher rates one year ago.”
The data showed that Sainsbury’s sales growth edged ahead, marking the first time since January that it has overtaken Asda and Tesco. It grew sales by 10.7%, with sales at Asda and Tesco up 10.5% and 10.2%, respectively.
Meanwhile, Aldi was again the fastest-growing grocer, with sales 24% higher, while Lidl sales rose 22.3%.
In equity markets, housebuilders were among the best performers, with Persimmon, Taylor Wimpey, Barratt and Berkeley all up.
Online supermarket Ocado surged to the top of the FTSE 100 as it held annual guidance after swinging to a core profit in its first half and said its retail earnings would be “marginally positive” for the full year.
Darktrace shot to the top of the FTSE 250 after the cybersecurity firm said an independent review by EY had not flagged any issues not already known to it and that the findings of the review would have no impact on previously-filed public financial statements. The company also said it expects year-over-year revenue growth of at least 31% for FY23, and 29.2% at constant currency.
Just Group rallied after it backed its expectations for the year as it reported a near doubling of its first-half retirement income sales, underpinned by a strong annuities market.
FTSE 100 (UKX) 7,413.89 0.10%
FTSE 250 (MCX) 18,519.70 0.63%
techMARK (TASX) 4,349.46 0.02%
FTSE 100 – Risers
Ocado Group (OCDO) 656.40p 12.98%
Persimmon (PSN) 1,083.00p 3.44%
Taylor Wimpey (TW.) 107.00p 2.79%
Barratt Developments (BDEV) 418.60p 2.50%
Melrose Industries (MRO) 510.40p 2.08%
Mondi (MNDI) 1,300.00p 1.88%
Berkeley Group Holdings (The) (BKG) 4,088.00p 1.74%
Johnson Matthey (JMAT) 1,792.50p 1.53%
Frasers Group (FRAS) 738.00p 1.44%
Ashtead Group (AHT) 5,438.00p 1.30%
FTSE 100 – Fallers
Vodafone Group (VOD) 70.53p -1.89%
BT Group (BT.A) 120.95p -1.67%
Airtel Africa (AAF) 103.10p -1.34%
Beazley (BEZ) 559.50p -0.97%
Rentokil Initial (RTO) 617.40p -0.93%
F&C Investment Trust (FCIT) 861.00p -0.69%
Prudential (PRU) 1,051.50p -0.66%
International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 153.60p -0.65%
Smith & Nephew (SN.) 1,174.50p -0.63%
Hiscox Limited (DI) (HSX) 1,078.00p -0.46%
FTSE 250 – Risers
Darktrace (DARK) 353.40p 20.20%
Digital 9 Infrastructure NPV (DGI9) 57.50p 7.68%
Just Group (JUST) 82.20p 6.48%
Vistry Group (VTY) 728.00p 4.00%
Ferrexpo (FXPO) 89.95p 3.04%
IntegraFin Holding (IHP) 253.40p 3.01%
Bellway (BWY) 2,064.00p 2.89%
International Distributions Services (IDS) 255.40p 2.78%
Dr. Martens (DOCS) 135.60p 2.73%
Marks & Spencer Group (MKS) 199.30p 2.47%
FTSE 250 – Fallers
Synthomer (SYNT) 75.90p -5.13%
Balanced Commercial Property Trust Limited (BCPT) 65.90p -2.08%
NB Private Equity Partners Ltd. (NBPE) 1,500.00p -1.96%
Abrdn Private Equity Opportunities Trust (APEO) 427.50p -1.61%
Renishaw (RSW) 3,948.00p -1.50%
Empiric Student Property (ESP) 86.40p -1.26%
Assura (AGR) 45.54p -1.17%
Cranswick (CWK) 3,260.00p -1.15%
Fidelity China Special Situations (FCSS) 206.50p -0.96%
Spire Healthcare Group (SPI) 212.50p -0.93%