(Sharecast News) – The FTSE 100 edged higher in morning trade on Thursday, rising for the second straight session, though gains were limited as investors showed caution ahead of some all-important inflation figures from the US.
London’s benchmark index was trading 7 points higher at 7,595.29, up just 0.1% on the day, at 0827 BST.
Overnight, Asian stocks ended the session mixed, with the Nikkei 225 up 0.9%, the Shanghai Composite flat and the Hang Seng Index down 0.7%. On Wall Street, the Dow Jones and S&P 500 closed 0.5% and 0.7% lower, respectively, while the Nasdaq dropped 1.2%.
Investors were opting for a risk-off approach ahead of inflation figures from the world’s largest economy, due out at 1330 BST. Consensus estimates point to a slight pick-up in the annual rate of consumer price inflation, from 3% in June to 3.3% in July, now that so-called negative base effects had run their course.
Jobless claims data is also due for release on Thursday, while US producer price inflation figures are due out on Friday.
“Any bad surprise on the inflation front could revive the Federal Reserve hawks, but we are far from pricing another hike in September just yet,” said Ipek Ozkardeskaya, senior analyst at Swissquote Bank. “Activity on Fed funds futures assesses more than 85% chance for pause in September FOMC meeting.”
Antofagasta leads miners higher, Spirax-Sarco drops
Antofagasta edged higher after announcing first-half revenue of $2.89bn – a 14.3% increase year-on-year, primarily due to higher copper and by-product sales volumes and prices. Sector peers Glencore and Anglo American were also putting in gains early on. Rio Tinto, however, was lower after trading ex-dividend.
Shares in Spirax-Sarco Engineering dropped 5% in early trade after the group revealed a 7% decline in statutory operating profit for the first half on the back of a drop in sales from its Watson-Marlow division.
Housebuilder Persimmon gained after saying it was on track to meet expectations for full-year profit, despite higher mortgage rates, the removal of Help-to-Buy and “significant” market uncertainty. Top-line growth, excluding bulk sales, was described as “robust”, private average selling prices increased in its order book and costs savings were achieved, it said.
On the FTSE 250, Watches of Switzerland posted in-line first-quarter sales and reiterated its full-year guidance amid “robust” demand for luxury watches.
Real estate group Savills disappointed after cutting its forecasts for the financial year following a tough first half which saw profits sink 72%. Savills is the latest in a string of real estate and housebuilding companies to report challenging operating conditions, owing mainly to higher borrowing costs for mortgage holders, and the wider cost-of-living crisis.
FTSE 100 (UKX) 7,596.05 0.12%
FTSE 250 (MCX) 18,982.32 0.24%
techMARK (TASX) 4,355.65 0.02%
FTSE 100 – Risers
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) 6,044.00p 1.85%
Beazley (BEZ) 541.00p 1.69%
Burberry Group (BRBY) 2,232.00p 1.64%
JD Sports Fashion (JD.) 146.00p 1.42%
Persimmon (PSN) 1,138.00p 1.29%
St James’s Place (STJ) 918.80p 1.28%
DCC (CDI) (DCC) 4,483.00p 1.24%
Croda International (CRDA) 5,552.00p 1.17%
Schroders (SDR) 441.90p 1.12%
Aviva (AV.) 387.30p 1.07%
FTSE 100 – Fallers
Spirax-Sarco Engineering (SPX) 10,265.00p -5.26%
Rio Tinto (RIO) 4,814.50p -2.84%
Entain (ENT) 1,331.50p -1.95%
NATWEST GROUP (NWG) 235.70p -1.13%
SEGRO (SGRO) 747.40p -1.06%
Ashtead Group (AHT) 5,704.00p -0.77%
BAE Systems (BA.) 1,021.00p -0.68%
HSBC Holdings (HSBA) 632.10p -0.61%
AstraZeneca (AZN) 11,122.00p -0.54%
Pearson (PSON) 844.40p -0.35%
FTSE 250 – Risers
Watches of Switzerland Group (WOSG) 712.00p 4.63%
Kainos Group (KNOS) 1,314.00p 2.50%
Quilter (QLT) 84.60p 2.24%
JPMorgan European Discovery Trust (JEDT) 399.50p 2.17%
Discoverie Group (DSCV) 800.00p 2.17%
Aston Martin Lagonda Global Holdings (AML) 359.20p 1.93%
Auction Technology Group (ATG) 718.00p 1.84%
Mitie Group (MTO) 103.00p 1.78%
Virgin Money UK (VMUK) 168.05p 1.66%
BH Macro Ltd. GBP Shares (BHMG) 353.50p 1.58%
FTSE 250 – Fallers
Me Group International (MEGP) 151.40p -4.66%
Vesuvius (VSVS) 418.80p -2.60%
Savills (SVS) 966.00p -2.57%
Vanquis Banking Group 20 (VANQ) 114.60p -2.39%
Softcat (SCT) 1,443.00p -2.17%
Big Yellow Group (BYG) 1,045.00p -1.88%
Man Group (EMG) 215.90p -1.86%
Domino’s Pizza Group (DOM) 417.80p -1.60%
Bodycote (BOY) 704.00p -1.54%
4Imprint Group (FOUR) 4,990.00p -1.38%