WH Smith (SMWH)

Sector:

Retailers

Index:

FTSE 250

1,160.00p
   
  • Change Today:
    -19.00p
  • 52 Week High: 1,634.00
  • 52 Week Low: 1,083.00
  • Currency: UK Pounds
  • Shares Issued: 130.91m
  • Volume: 73,199
  • Market Cap: 1,518.58m
  • RiskGrade: 324

London close: Stocks buoyed by banking, mining positivity

By Josh White

Date: Friday 26 Apr 2024

LONDON (ShareCast) - (Sharecast News) - London's equity markets closed positively on Friday, buoyed by gains in the banking sector following better-than-expected results from NatWest.

The FTSE 100 rose 0.75% to 8,139.83 points, while the FTSE 250 saw an uptick of 1.13% to 19,824.16 points.

Investor sentiment was also bolstered by the performance of the heavyweight mining sector as commodity prices experienced an upward trend.

In currency markets, sterling was last down 0.34% against the dollar, trading at $1.2471, while it gained 0.06% on the euro, changing hands at €1.1669.

"The bidding bonanza for UK-listed firms goes on, and this is acting as a constant reminder to global investors that, even with the FTSE 100 at a record high, UK stocks look cheap compared to their US cousins," said IG chief market analyst Chris Beauchamp.

"At this point it almost seems like every major stock in the UK is up for grabs, so traders can hardly be blamed for piling in, in the hope that more big UK names are the subject of takeover offers."

Beauchamp added that US stocks had made more gains during the afternoon, mainly due to the "positive afterglow" from big tech earnings overnight.

"But the persistence of inflation and its refusal to keep heading lower will be a major headache for US markets, and will cast a long shadow over next week's Fed meeting."

UK consumer confidence rises, inflation tops expectations in the US

In economic news, consumer confidence in the UK saw a modest uptick in April, buoyed by easing inflationary pressures, according to fresh survey data.

The GfK consumer confidence index rose two points to -19, marking a slight improvement from March's stagnant score of -21 and a significant leap from April 2023, when the index stood at -30.

The sub-measure assessing personal finance expectations for the coming months remained unchanged at 2, while forward-looking indicators concerning the general economic outlook increased by 2 points to -21.

Additionally, the major purchase index strengthened by 2 points to -25, reflecting growing consumer optimism.

"While the overall index score remains negative, all of the underlying five measures this April are significantly better than they were last April," said Joe Staton, client strategy director at GfK.

"These improvements reflect the impact on household budgets of lower inflation, and the anticipation of further tax cuts.

"However, we are a long way from the much firmer sentiment last seen in the period before Brexit, Covid and the conflict in Ukraine."

Across the Atlantic, the US personal consumption expenditure (PCE) rate climbed to 2.7% in March, exceeding economists' expectations of 2.6% and indicating ongoing inflationary pressures, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

However, core PCE, which excludes volatile food and energy prices and serves as the Federal Reserve's preferred inflation gauge, remained steady at 2.8% annually.

Both the monthly PCE price index and core PCE price index saw a 0.3% increase in March, potentially influencing central bankers' decisions on interest rates.

The rise in consumer spending and income was accompanied by a decline in the personal saving rate to 3.2%, down 0.4 percentage points from February.

Personal spending increased by 0.8% month-on-month, while personal income saw a 0.5% rise.

On an annualised basis, service prices surged by 4%, contrasting with a modest 0.1% increase in goods prices.

Food prices rose by 1.5%, and energy prices saw a 2.6% uptick.

Banks and miners in the green, ConvaTec falls on broker comments

On London's equity markets, NatWest Group increased 6.07% after posting first-quarter earnings that surpassed analysts' expectations.

Despite a 27% decline in pre-tax operating profits, which fell to £1.3bn from £1.8bn a year earlier, the bank's results exceeded forecasts, buoying investor confidence.

Lloyds Banking Group, Standard Chartered, HSBC Holdings, and Barclays also registered gains, contributing to the positive sentiment in the banking sector.

Mining stocks were on the rise as well, fueled by increases in iron ore, copper, silver, and gold prices.

Rio Tinto, Glencore, and Antofagasta all saw gains, with Antofagasta leading the pack with a rise of 1.47%.

Even Anglo American, despite rejecting a £31bn bid from rival miner BHP, managed to reverse earlier losses and ended the day in positive territory.

In the technology sector, Darktrace emerged as a high riser on the FTSE 250, soaring by 15.92% after private equity firm Thoma Bravo announced its agreement to acquire the cybersecurity specialist for around $5bn in an all-cash deal.

On the downside, ConvaTec Group declined 5.67% following a downgrade from Peel Hunt, which cited "turmoil" in the wound care market as a reason for the downgrade.

Similarly, WH Smith experienced a drop of 3.55% despite reporting "good" first-half results, with total group revenue up 8% to £926 million.

Reporting by Josh White for Sharecast.com.

Market Movers

FTSE 100 (UKX) 8,139.83 0.75%
FTSE 250 (MCX) 19,824.16 1.13%
techMARK (TASX) 4,550.23 0.77%

FTSE 100 - Risers

NATWEST GROUP (NWG) 307.40p 6.07%
Ashtead Group (AHT) 6,064.00p 5.97%
Rolls-Royce Holdings (RR.) 421.10p 3.80%
Intermediate Capital Group (ICG) 2,044.00p 3.70%
RS Group (RS1) 732.50p 3.46%
St James's Place (STJ) 435.40p 3.42%
JD Sports Fashion (JD.) 119.55p 3.31%
Anglo American (AAL) 2,643.00p 3.24%
Hikma Pharmaceuticals (HIK) 1,913.00p 3.18%
Persimmon (PSN) 1,318.00p 2.77%

FTSE 100 - Fallers

Convatec Group (CTEC) 257.80p -6.46%
Beazley (BEZ) 638.00p -3.11%
Entain (ENT) 784.20p -3.09%
Ocado Group (OCDO) 353.10p -2.54%
Associated British Foods (ABF) 2,630.00p -1.90%
Imperial Brands (IMB) 1,813.00p -0.88%
British American Tobacco (BATS) 2,326.00p -0.47%
Pearson (PSON) 987.00p -0.46%
AstraZeneca (AZN) 11,988.00p -0.32%
Tesco (TSCO) 288.90p -0.31%

FTSE 250 - Risers

Darktrace (DARK) 602.00p 16.44%
Travis Perkins (TPK) 766.00p 6.46%
NCC Group (NCC) 134.40p 5.16%
Tritax Eurobox (GBP) (EBOX) 53.50p 4.87%
TBC Bank Group (TBCG) 3,425.00p 4.39%
Wizz Air Holdings (WIZZ) 2,198.00p 3.88%
Abrdn Private Equity Opportunities Trust (APEO) 578.00p 3.77%
Allianz Technology Trust (ATT) 346.00p 3.73%
Volution Group (FAN) 423.00p 3.68%
Abrdn (ABDN) 145.25p 3.47%

FTSE 250 - Fallers

WH Smith (SMWH) 1,126.00p -5.25%
Me Group International (MEGP) 162.80p -2.75%
Bakkavor Group (BAKK) 115.00p -2.13%
Oxford Instruments (OXIG) 2,180.00p -2.02%
NextEnergy Solar Fund Limited Red (NESF) 74.80p -1.58%
W.A.G Payment Solutions (WPS) 65.20p -1.51%
Drax Group (DRX) 523.00p -1.33%
SSP Group (SSPG) 196.70p -1.30%
Babcock International Group (BAB) 512.50p -1.16%
Auction Technology Group (ATG) 487.50p -1.12%

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Note 1: Prices and trades are provided by Digital Look Corporate Solutions and are delayed by at least 15 minutes.

Note 2: RiskGrade figures are provided by RiskMetrics.

 

WH Smith Market Data

Currency UK Pounds
Share Price 1,160.00p
Change Today -19.00p
% Change -1.61 %
52 Week High 1,634.00
52 Week Low 1,083.00
Volume 73,199
Shares Issued 130.91m
Market Cap 1,518.58m
RiskGrade 324

WH Smith Star Ratings

Compare performance with the sector and the market.
more star ratings
Key: vs Market vs Sector
Value
72.76% below the market average72.76% below the market average72.76% below the market average72.76% below the market average72.76% below the market average
64.1% below the sector average64.1% below the sector average64.1% below the sector average64.1% below the sector average64.1% below the sector average
Price Trend
51.34% below the market average51.34% below the market average51.34% below the market average51.34% below the market average51.34% below the market average
45% below the sector average45% below the sector average45% below the sector average45% below the sector average45% below the sector average
Income
2.02% below the market average2.02% below the market average2.02% below the market average2.02% below the market average2.02% below the market average
10% below the sector average10% below the sector average10% below the sector average10% below the sector average10% below the sector average
Growth
77.43% above the market average77.43% above the market average77.43% above the market average77.43% above the market average77.43% above the market average
100.00% above the sector average100.00% above the sector average100.00% above the sector average100.00% above the sector average100.00% above the sector average

What The Brokers Say

Strong Buy 2
Buy 7
Neutral 4
Sell 0
Strong Sell 0
Total 13
buy
Broker recommendations should not be taken as investment advice, and are provided by the authorised brokers listed on this page.

WH Smith Dividends

  Latest Previous
  Interim Final
Ex-Div 11-Jul-24 11-Jan-24
Paid 01-Aug-24 01-Feb-24
Amount 11.00p 20.80p

Trades for 14-Jun-2024

Time Volume / Share Price
15:43 69 @ 1,160.00p
15:43 9 @ 1,160.00p
15:43 118 @ 1,160.00p
15:43 2 @ 1,160.00p
15:43 121 @ 1,159.00p

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