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London close: Stocks rise further as UK exits recession

By Josh White

Date: Friday 10 May 2024

London close: Stocks rise further as UK exits recession

(Sharecast News) - London stocks finished the trading week on a positive note on Friday, driven by gains in the mining sector, following the release of data indicating the UK's exit from recession.

The FTSE 100 index rose 0.63% to reach 8,433.76 points, while the FTSE 250 recorded an uptick of 0.56% to settle at 20,645.38 points.

In currency markets, sterling was last up 0.07% on the dollar to trade at $1.2533, while it increased 0.14% against the euro, changing hands at €1.1631.

David Morrison, senior market analyst at Trade Nation, said it was the FTSE 100 that had been outperforming global markets recently, which continued through Friday's trading.

"Yesterday the Bank of England kept interest rates unchanged at 5.25% as expected," Morrison noted.

"But the BoE signalled that it was preparing to pare rates back from 16-year highs, and the markets are split over whether the first cut comes in June or August.

"This will depend on how much of a drop there is in UK inflation, and how quickly it could fall back to the Bank's 2% target."

Morrison noted that there was a "small but significant shift" in Monetary Policy Committee votes, with members voting to hold rates steady by 7-2 votes, up from the 8-1 split at the last meeting.

"This morning also brought some good news for the UK's economy when GDP rose 0.6% for the first quarter.

"This was higher than expected and the best reading in two years; it also was a rejoinder following last year's dip into a technical recession."

UK emerges from recession, US consumer confidence plunges

In economic news, fresh data from the Office for National Statistics revealed that the UK had emerged from recession, with GDP expanding by 0.6% in the first quarter of the year.

That growth surpassed expectations of a 0.4% increase, and marked a significant turnaround from the previous two quarters, which saw declines of 0.1% in the third quarter and 0.3% in the fourth quarter of last year.

Notably, the services sector led the growth with a 0.7% expansion, while the production sector also saw a robust increase of 0.8%.

However, the construction sector experienced a 0.9% decline in output.

"After two quarters of contraction, the UK economy returned to positive growth in the first three months of this year," said ONS director of economic statistics Liz McKeown.

"There was broad-based strength across the service industries with retail, public transport and haulage, and health all performing well.

"Car manufacturers also had a good quarter. These were only a little offset by another weak quarter for construction."

In contrast, consumer sentiment in the United States took a sharp downturn in May, according to the latest survey of consumers conducted by the University of Michigan.

The consumer sentiment index plunged to 67.4 this month, marking a significant drop from April's reading of 77.2.

That decline to a six-month low caught economists off guard, as they had anticipated a more modest decrease.

Analysts had forecast a sentiment index of 76.0 for May, highlighting the severity of the unexpected decline in consumer optimism.

"Consumer sentiment retreated about 13% this May following three consecutive months of very little change," the survey said, adding that the 10 index-point decline was "statistically significant".

Miners in the green, Rightmove shares slide

On London's equity markets, heavily-weighted miners were among the gainers, buoyed by a surge in metals prices.

Glencore, Anglo American, and Antofagasta emerged among the top performers, each recording gains of 2.37%, 1.54%, and 1.17% respectively.

CRH also made headlines with a 5.21% jump following positive news about its performance in the first quarter of 2024.

The company reported increased revenues driven by favourable pricing, early-season activity, and favourable weather conditions in key markets.

TBC Bank Group saw a modest uptick of 0.17%, after reporting higher first-quarter profits attributed to a 21% increase in net interest income.

The bank's dynamic loan book and higher interest rates contributed to this growth, alongside a share buyback initiative.

On the downside, British Airways and Iberia owner IAG dipped 0.35% despite posting a significant rise in first-quarter profit.

The company cited strong leisure travel demand, particularly over the Easter holidays, as a contributing factor to its performance.

Property portal Rightmove faced a more substantial decline, down by 4.73%, after it reiterated its revenue and profit guidance for the year but revised its customer growth expectations upward following a strong start to the year.

Reporting by Josh White for

Market Movers

FTSE 100 (UKX) 8,433.76 0.63%
FTSE 250 (MCX) 20,645.38 0.56%
techMARK (TASX) 4,750.28 0.52%

FTSE 100 - Risers

CRH (CDI) (CRH) 6,780.00p 5.21%
St James's Place (STJ) 484.80p 3.15%
Spirax-Sarco Engineering (SPX) 9,350.00p 2.92%
Glencore (GLEN) 476.00p 2.69%
Standard Chartered (STAN) 775.00p 2.68%
B&M European Value Retail S.A. (DI) (BME) 548.20p 2.47%
Vodafone Group (VOD) 69.32p 1.94%
Prudential (PRU) 801.80p 1.78%
WPP (WPP) 845.60p 1.73%
IMI (IMI) 1,880.00p 1.62%

FTSE 100 - Fallers

Rightmove (RMV) 542.80p -5.52%
Rolls-Royce Holdings (RR.) 423.60p -2.37%
Land Securities Group (LAND) 668.50p -1.84%
Unite Group (UTG) 963.00p -1.58%
Ocado Group (OCDO) 348.10p -1.55%
Intertek Group (ITRK) 4,998.00p -1.09%
Scottish Mortgage Inv Trust (SMT) 884.40p -1.07%
SEGRO (SGRO) 881.20p -0.97%
International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 182.10p -0.88%
Severn Trent (SVT) 2,587.00p -0.73%

FTSE 250 - Risers

Future (FUTR) 830.00p 7.10%
Marshalls (MSLH) 310.00p 5.98%
W.A.G Payment Solutions (WPS) 71.80p 4.06%
TBC Bank Group (TBCG) 3,000.00p 3.63%
Wizz Air Holdings (WIZZ) 2,218.00p 3.55%
Kainos Group (KNOS) 1,030.00p 3.41%
Crest Nicholson Holdings (CRST) 206.20p 3.41%
Currys (CURY) 64.30p 3.38%
Pagegroup (PAGE) 464.20p 3.17%
Hargreaves Lansdown (HL.) 862.00p 3.16%

FTSE 250 - Fallers

Auction Technology Group (ATG) 490.00p -3.59%
BBGI Global Infrastructure S.A. NPV (DI) (BBGI) 137.40p -3.38%
Playtech (PTEC) 481.00p -2.63%
Carnival (CCL) 1,045.00p -1.83%
British Land Company (BLND) 407.60p -1.83%
Urban Logistics Reit (SHED) 118.20p -1.83%
Hammerson (HMSO) 28.70p -1.71%
Greencoat UK Wind (UKW) 143.60p -1.71%
Caledonia Investments (CLDN) 3,510.00p -1.68%
Balanced Commercial Property Trust Limited (BCPT) 78.90p -1.62%


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