(Sharecast News) – London stocks were trading lower as investors waited on the Bank of England’s latest policy decision at noon.
Economists were divided among those anticipating a 25 basis point interest rate hike to 5.25% and those who thought it would raise by 50bp.

The latter was a possibility due to wage growth having accelerated past core CPI growth, but Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK, thought that would be a mistake.

“Such an aggressive move would be a mistake given that a lot of the pass-through effects of previous rate increases haven’t fully filtered down with some suggesting that the Bank of England should pause,” he said.

As of 0903 BST, the FTSE 100 was falling by 100.73 points to 7,459.11.

In the background, Wall Street equity futures had turned lower with Dow Jones mini futures off by 115.0 points to 35,288 and those for the S&P 500 down by 19 points at 4,518.25.

Asia Pacific stocks were trading mostly lower but the Shanghai Stock Exchange’s composite index was outperforming after it was reported that services sector activity in the Asian giant picked up unexpectedly last month.

Survey compiler Caixin’s services sector Purchasing Managers’ Index improved from 53.9 for June to 54.1 in July (consensus: 52.4).

Final readings for comparable services PMIs were also due out in the euro area and UK at 0900 BST and 0930 BST, respectively.

They would be followed by the US Institute for Supply Management’s services PMI at 1500 BST.

Also due out were weekly initial jobless claims figures in the U.S. at 1330 BST.

Wizz Air and LSE Group retreat

Low-cost carrier Wizz Air swung to a first-quarter profit on the back of soaring demand for travel and record passenger numbers. The company on Thursday reported an operating profit of €79.9m, compared with a loss of €284.5m. Revenue climbed 53% to €1.2bn, while passenger numbers were up by a quarter to 15.3 million. However, chief executive officer, Jozsef Varadi, said he downgraded first-half seat kilometre growth to 25% versus previously guided 30% due to continued infrastructure, supply chain limitations facing the industry and engine inspections.

Rolls Royce was firing on all cylinders during the front half of 2023. For the six months ending on 30 June, Rolls Royce delivered a 31% jump in underlying revenues to reach £6.95bn. Underlying operating profits more than quintupled to £673m and Rolls Royce turned cash flow positive to the tune of £356m after an outflow of -£68m in the year earlier period. Management attributed the improvement to continued growth in its end markets, commercial optimisation and cost efficiencies.

Paper and packaging group Mondi reported a sharp fall in interim earnings due to weaker demand, customer destocking and higher input costs. Pre-tax profit for the six months to June 30 more than halved to €418m from €933m a year ago. “So far in 2023, demand and prices have declined sequentially with the exception of containerboard prices which stabilised in the later part of the half year. We saw some benefit from lower input costs which continue to ease as we progress into the third quarter of the year,” said chief executive Andrew King.

Market Movers

FTSE 100 (UKX) 7,457.24 -1.38%
FTSE 250 (MCX) 18,726.55 -0.46%
techMARK (TASX) 4,327.23 -1.13%

FTSE 100 – Risers

Convatec Group (CTEC) 220.60p 0.82%
Admiral Group (ADM) 2,071.00p 0.63%
Entain (ENT) 1,357.50p 0.56%
Next (NXT) 6,874.00p 0.32%
Weir Group (WEIR) 1,842.00p 0.19%
Unite Group (UTG) 951.50p 0.11%
Legal & General Group (LGEN) 224.80p 0.04%
Spirax-Sarco Engineering (SPX) 11,000.00p -0.09%
Phoenix Group Holdings (PHNX) 532.40p -0.11%
Aviva (AV.) 378.40p -0.13%

FTSE 100 – Fallers

BT Group (BT.A) 112.70p -5.25%
International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 161.35p -3.64%
London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) 7,990.00p -3.57%
Mondi (MNDI) 1,289.50p -3.44%
Fresnillo (FRES) 564.00p -3.09%
Ocado Group (OCDO) 858.00p -3.05%
Rolls-Royce Holdings (RR.) 179.25p -2.53%
Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY) 42.24p -2.36%
AstraZeneca (AZN) 10,838.00p -2.33%
Reckitt Benckiser Group (RKT) 5,642.00p -2.01%

FTSE 250 – Risers

Helios Towers (HTWS) 89.80p 6.90%
FDM Group (Holdings) (FDM) 554.00p 4.92%
Pantheon International (PIN) 265.00p 2.71%
Serco Group (SRP) 158.00p 1.80%
Murray International Trust (MYI) 249.00p 1.63%
BH Macro Ltd. GBP Shares (BHMG) 354.00p 1.43%
Tritax Big Box Reit (BBOX) 137.20p 1.33%
Direct Line Insurance Group (DLG) 148.80p 1.19%
Lancashire Holdings Limited (LRE) 578.50p 1.05%
UK Commercial Property Reit Limited (UKCM) 52.40p 0.96%

FTSE 250 – Fallers

Jupiter Fund Management (JUP) 105.20p -5.73%
Wizz Air Holdings (WIZZ) 2,235.00p -5.38%
Ferrexpo (FXPO) 82.95p -4.49%
Synthomer (SYNT) 79.40p -4.11%
CMC Markets (CMCX) 131.60p -3.94%
TUI AG Reg Shs (DI) (TUI) 578.50p -3.74%
easyJet (EZJ) 433.10p -3.00%
Tyman (TYMN) 302.00p -2.74%
Moneysupermarket.com Group (MONY) 259.60p -2.70%
Mobico Group (MCG) 87.30p -2.57%

Related articles

Latest Articles

Time for Japan to act (II): State Street Global Markets

Time for Japan to act (II): State Street Global Markets

Written by Michael Metcalfe, Head of Macro Strategy, State Street Global Markets  Writing ahead of the September BoJ gathering in 2022, we argued in Time for Japan to act (first edition!) that the authorities should begin monetary tightening both through moving the...

Europe open: Shares slide on hawkish Fed as eyes turn to BoE

Europe open: Shares slide on hawkish Fed as eyes turn to BoE

(Sharecast News) - European stocks opened in the red on Thursday after hawkish comments from the US Federal Reserve on future rate rises dampened sentiment and investors turned their attention to the Bank of England's own policy meeting. The pan-European Stoxx 600...

Capita signs two new contracts worth £565m

Capita signs two new contracts worth £565m

(Sharecast News) - Outsourcing group Capita said it has signed two new contracts with the UK and Northern Ireland governments worth a combined £565m. Four months after Capita was selected as the preferred bidder, the group has now confirmed it has sealed the deal to...

Rise in UK borrowing limits Hunt’s scope for tax cuts

Rise in UK borrowing limits Hunt’s scope for tax cuts

(Sharecast News) - Britain's budget deficit in August was slightly higher than expected, according to official data published on Thursday, meaning Finance Minister Jeremy Hunt will have less scope for tax cuts ahead of the General Election. Public sector net borrowing...

Join our mailing list

Subscribe to our mailing list to receive regular updates!

No Fields Found.