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London open: Stocks gain ahead of US inflation; Experian surges

By Michele Maatouk

Date: Wednesday 15 May 2024

London open: Stocks gain ahead of US inflation; Experian surges

(Sharecast News) - London stocks rose in early trade on Wednesday, helped along by the likes of Experian and Imperial Brands, as investors eyed the latest US inflation reading.
At 0835 BST, the FTSE 100 was up 0.5% at 8,467.82, having hit a record high of 8,474.41 closer to the open.

Susannah Streeter, head of money and markets at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: "The feel-good factor is still washing through London markets as investors spy interest rate cuts on the horizon, despite signs prices are proving sticky. Although wage growth is staying stubborn in the UK and producer prices came in hotter than expected in the US, investors are staying pretty sanguine. Markets still expecting painful borrowing costs to ease this year, even though cuts are now expected to come later than hoped.

"The key CPI reading in the United States later will be crucial as far as sentiment is concerned, as it looks set to indicate that patience will be needed, before the Fed will feel comfortable about lowering rates. The risk is that if interest rates linger for a lot longer, it will push the economy into a much tougher position, with weaker growth prospects, which could erase some of the recent gains on markets."

US CPI for April is due out at 1330 BST, along with retail sales and the NY Empire State manufacturing index.

In equity markets, Experian surged after saying that FY24 growth was at the top end of expectations.

Tobacco giant Imperial Brands gained as it reiterated its full-year outlook despite a fall in interim profits and sales.

Engineering firm Spirax-Sarco was in the black as it maintained its guidance for organic sales growth this year despite ongoing weakness in the wider market, though foreign exchange headwinds will impact profits more than previously thought.

Keller Group rallied as the geotechnical engineer said its annual earnings would be "materially ahead" of expectations after a strong performance in the first four months of the year.

Britvic fizzed higher as the drinks company posted a jump in interim profit and revenue and announced a £75m share buyback, as it highlighted "strong" customer demand for its brands.

Hunting surged as it said full-year earnings would be at the upper end of expectations after winning a $145m order with the Kuwait Oil Company.

On the downside, Burberry slumped as it warned of a challenging first half after slowing demand hit annual sales and profits. The luxury fashion brand said revenues in the year to 30 March fell 4% to £2.97bn. On a constant currency basis, revenues were flat, while like-for-like store sales fell 1%.

Burberry said a "robust" first half, where comparable store sales had sparked 10%, had been offset by a more challenging second half, when they fell 8%.

Compass Group also fell even as the catering firm lifted its 2024 underlying operating profit growth guidance.

Market Movers

FTSE 100 (UKX) 8,467.82 0.47%
FTSE 250 (MCX) 20,681.94 0.31%
techMARK (TASX) 4,764.16 0.38%

FTSE 100 - Risers

Experian (EXPN) 3,727.00p 7.41%
Centrica (CNA) 142.50p 2.22%
Spirax-Sarco Engineering (SPX) 9,465.00p 2.21%
Vodafone Group (VOD) 74.76p 2.02%
Imperial Brands (IMB) 1,909.50p 1.65%
Diploma (DPLM) 4,144.00p 1.42%
Glencore (GLEN) 498.65p 1.25%
SEGRO (SGRO) 898.80p 1.24%
London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) 9,160.00p 1.24%
Beazley (BEZ) 679.50p 1.12%

FTSE 100 - Fallers

Burberry Group (BRBY) 1,146.00p -3.58%
B&M European Value Retail S.A. (DI) (BME) 530.40p -3.32%
Compass Group (CPG) 2,268.00p -2.28%
Ocado Group (OCDO) 363.50p -1.70%
JD Sports Fashion (JD.) 122.25p -0.73%
Frasers Group (FRAS) 821.00p -0.55%
Associated British Foods (ABF) 2,706.00p -0.48%
Tesco (TSCO) 312.50p -0.45%
Whitbread (WTB) 3,101.00p -0.42%
Pershing Square Holdings Ltd NPV (PSH) 4,118.00p -0.39%

FTSE 250 - Risers

Keller Group (KLR) 1,274.00p 12.15%
Britvic (BVIC) 988.50p 7.74%
QinetiQ Group (QQ.) 370.00p 2.44%
Kier Group (KIE) 147.00p 2.23%
Clarkson (CKN) 4,145.00p 1.72%
Redde Northgate (REDD) 415.00p 1.72%
Shaftesbury Capital (SHC) 142.30p 1.64%
Barr (A.G.) (BAG) 581.00p 1.57%
SThree (STEM) 439.00p 1.50%
Hochschild Mining (HOC) 160.20p 1.39%

FTSE 250 - Fallers

Hill and Smith (HILS) 1,884.00p -2.99%
Bank of Georgia Group (BGEO) 4,580.00p -2.97%
Kainos Group (KNOS) 1,018.00p -2.49%
Lancashire Holdings Limited (LRE) 611.00p -2.40%
Ferrexpo (FXPO) 47.05p -2.39%
AJ Bell (AJB) 350.00p -2.23%
Energean (ENOG) 1,178.00p -2.16%
Genus (GNS) 1,828.00p -1.72%
Dr. Martens (DOCS) 78.50p -1.38%
Baillie Gifford Japan Trust (BGFD) 725.00p -1.36%


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