(Sharecast News) – London stocks were little changed in early trade on Friday as investors continued to mull the prospect of further interest rate hikes from the Federal Reserve.
At 0855 BST, the FTSE 100 flat at 7,445.04.
Richard Hunter, head of markets at Interactive Investor, said: “The spectre of interest rate rises which may have further to run has stalled progress over the last few trading sessions, and the latest economic news from the US in particular has strengthened the possibility.
“Lower than expected jobless claims suggest that the labour market remains resilient despite the rate hikes so far. In addition, a further rise in labour costs and a recent spike in energy prices are increasing the difficulties of getting the inflation genie back into the bottle. As such, the Federal Reserve may consider that it has leeway to raise rates once more towards the end of the year. Its insistence that it will remain data dependent, when the data coming through is strong, has left investors who were hoping for imminent rate cuts high and dry.”
Hunter also pointed to renewed tensions between China and the US, “with the reported ban on iPhone use by state employees and wider protectionist fears in both directions weighing on sentiment”.
In equity markets, JD Sports jumped to the top of the FTSE 100 after Berenberg lifted its price target on the shares to 225p from 210p and said investors still underappreciate the strength of the company’s model, its positioning and the international opportunity.
Next was also in the black after an upgrade to ‘buy’ from ‘hold’ at Societe Generale.
Computacenter surged as its first-half revenues and pre-tax profit came in ahead of expectations.
Housebuilder Berkeley was little changed after it reaffirmed full-year earnings guidance but said private sales reservations were down 35% due to rising interest rates and political volatility.
On the downside, Petershill Partners slumped after the investment firm cut its full-year guidance.
FTSE 100 (UKX) 7,445.04 0.04%
FTSE 250 (MCX) 18,437.71 0.29%
techMARK (TASX) 4,293.66 0.74%
FTSE 100 – Risers
JD Sports Fashion (JD.) 137.90p 2.72%
Hiscox Limited (DI) (HSX) 1,004.00p 1.93%
Beazley (BEZ) 548.00p 1.76%
Next (NXT) 7,104.00p 1.60%
Spirax-Sarco Engineering (SPX) 10,040.00p 1.60%
Flutter Entertainment (CDI) (FLTR) 14,155.00p 1.51%
Ocado Group (OCDO) 833.00p 1.17%
Centrica (CNA) 160.80p 0.94%
Auto Trader Group (AUTO) 604.80p 0.90%
Compass Group (CPG) 2,019.00p 0.90%
FTSE 100 – Fallers
Melrose Industries (MRO) 521.40p -2.94%
Convatec Group (CTEC) 224.80p -2.60%
Smurfit Kappa Group (CDI) (SKG) 3,048.00p -1.55%
Smith (DS) (SMDS) 291.10p -0.99%
Vodafone Group (VOD) 73.28p -0.87%
Johnson Matthey (JMAT) 1,754.00p -0.76%
Rio Tinto (RIO) 4,810.00p -0.76%
Shell (SHEL) 2,484.00p -0.72%
Smith & Nephew (SN.) 1,054.00p -0.71%
Airtel Africa (AAF) 112.60p -0.62%
FTSE 250 – Risers
Hipgnosis Songs Fund Limited NPV (SONG) 91.00p 14.04%
Computacenter (CCC) 2,302.00p 6.77%
Oxford Instruments (OXIG) 2,300.00p 4.55%
Darktrace (DARK) 398.20p 3.86%
Digital 9 Infrastructure NPV (DGI9) 57.40p 3.42%
Genus (GNS) 2,114.00p 2.52%
Currys (CURY) 49.54p 2.23%
Synthomer (SYNT) 45.98p 2.18%
Playtech (PTEC) 533.00p 1.81%
Serco Group (SRP) 153.00p 1.73%
FTSE 250 – Fallers
Petershill Partners (PHLL) 166.40p -5.13%
Energean (ENOG) 1,068.00p -4.56%
Me Group International (MEGP) 150.00p -2.72%
TBC Bank Group (TBCG) 2,655.00p -1.67%
JPMorgan Emerging Markets Inv Trust (JMG) 105.00p -1.50%
Octopus Renewables Infrastructure Trust (ORIT) 84.90p -1.28%
JPMorgan Japanese Inv Trust (JFJ) 480.00p -1.13%
Mitchells & Butlers (MAB) 213.80p -1.11%
Baillie Gifford Japan Trust (BGFD) 728.00p -1.09%
Baltic Classifieds Group (BCG) 198.00p -1.00%