(Sharecast News) – London stocks edged higher in early trade on Friday as investors turned their attention to the Jackson Hole symposium in Wyoming, in particular speeches by Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell and ECB president Christine Lagarde.
At 0820 BST, the FTSE 100 was up 0.2% at 7,344.58.
Sophie Lund-Yates, lead equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “The FTSE 100 has had a strong week and gains are expected to be retained as we head into the long weekend. The lack of big-hitting news means there’s little to rock the boat, but there is a sense of bated breath ahead of Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s speech later today.
“Comments from Fed president Susan Collins have already laid the ground for the fact rate increases may be needed to stifle inflation, with more work to be done to get it in line with targets within a reasonable timeframe.”
Market participants were also looking to a speech by European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde.
ING said in a note that Lagarde probably faces a harder task than her US counterpart. “The latest PMIs confirmed the eurozone economy is heading towards a period of sluggish growth, which now makes any hawkish statement a harder sell,” it said.
“At the same time, Lagarde and her ECB colleagues are probably aware that the window for one last hike to curb the still non-negligible service inflation is closing fast. In other words, if the ECB pauses in September, it may well not get a chance to hike any more given the deteriorating economic outlook.”
On home turf, investors mulled the latest survey from GfK, which showed that consumer confidence rebounded in August, although the index remained in negative territory.
The consumer confidence index jumped five points from July to -25.
“Against a backdrop of falling core inflation, higher interest rates and rising average weekly earnings, the consumer confidence index has regained momentum this month with a welcome five-point improvement,” said GfK client strategy director Joe Staton.
“Although the headline figure remains strongly negative at -25, hopes for our personal financial situation for the coming year are heading back towards positive territory, a metric that is key to indicating the future financial position of households.”
Corporate news was thin on the ground, but financial trading platform CMC Markets tumbled after it warned that annual net operating income would be lower than last year as revenues continued to fall in a “challenging” environment.
The company said subdued market conditions had continued through August with trading and investing net revenues trending 20% lower year-on-year.
“August in particular has seen a more challenging environment with markedly lower monetisation of client trading activity due to a higher proportion of lower margin institutional volume,” CMC said.
“Should year-to-date market conditions continue for the remainder of full-year 2024 then it is expected that net operating income will be between £250m and £280m,” it added, lower than the £288m reported last year.
FTSE 100 (UKX) 7,344.58 0.15%
FTSE 250 (MCX) 18,184.10 -0.06%
techMARK (TASX) 4,232.48 0.08%
FTSE 100 – Risers
Antofagasta (ANTO) 1,423.50p 1.10%
Airtel Africa (AAF) 110.70p 0.91%
Tesco (TSCO) 257.30p 0.82%
CRH (CDI) (CRH) 4,480.00p 0.74%
BP (BP.) 477.00p 0.72%
Barclays (BARC) 145.44p 0.62%
Glencore (GLEN) 430.95p 0.62%
Shell (SHEL) 2,381.00p 0.61%
NATWEST GROUP (NWG) 226.90p 0.58%
Smiths Group (SMIN) 1,580.00p 0.57%
FTSE 100 – Fallers
Scottish Mortgage Inv Trust (SMT) 655.00p -0.97%
JD Sports Fashion (JD.) 138.75p -0.82%
F&C Investment Trust (FCIT) 847.00p -0.70%
B&M European Value Retail S.A. (DI) (BME) 566.00p -0.63%
BT Group (BT.A) 112.10p -0.53%
Johnson Matthey (JMAT) 1,556.50p -0.48%
RS Group (RS1) 719.00p -0.47%
Diageo (DGE) 3,250.00p -0.44%
Entain (ENT) 1,155.50p -0.43%
Flutter Entertainment (CDI) (FLTR) 13,915.00p -0.43%
FTSE 250 – Risers
Aston Martin Lagonda Global Holdings (AML) 336.80p 4.99%
Trainline (TRN) 234.40p 4.74%
Kainos Group (KNOS) 1,221.00p 3.74%
Mitie Group (MTO) 95.00p 3.15%
Ascential (ASCL) 201.60p 2.75%
Redde Northgate (REDD) 341.50p 2.55%
Renishaw (RSW) 3,628.00p 2.31%
Babcock International Group (BAB) 385.60p 2.23%
LXI Reit (LXI) 93.00p 1.97%
Hammerson (HMSO) 25.20p 1.86%
FTSE 250 – Fallers
CMC Markets (CMCX) 107.00p -12.30%
Helios Towers (HTWS) 85.05p -2.52%
Synthomer (SYNT) 63.55p -2.31%
Dr. Martens (DOCS) 151.10p -2.01%
Primary Health Properties (PHP) 90.05p -1.75%
Harbour Energy (HBR) 227.40p -1.52%
Urban Logistics Reit (SHED) 113.60p -1.39%
Genuit Group (GEN) 307.50p -1.28%
Investec (INVP) 457.60p -1.25%
Supermarket Income Reit (SUPR) 73.60p -1.21%