London stocks were still up at midday on Friday, reflecting a solid session on Wall Street.
The FTSE 100 was 0.3% higher at 7,653.00, while the pound traded at its highest level against the dollar since April 2022 on expectations of further interest rate hikes.
Matt Britzman, equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “The FTSE 100 opened higher, taking cues from the US and Asian markets, which both made progress this week for a fourth consecutive session of gains as investors look to Dealing with mixed data from around the world.
“US markets continue to rise, bulls have been treated to economic data suggesting inflation is falling and the economy is still in good shape – raising hopes on the idea that the Fed’s hawkish tone at the start “The S&P 500 rose 1.2% for its sixth straight day of gains, and there was no prize for guessing some of the leading names as Microsoft closed at record highs.
“The fact that the strength is not just dominated by the technology sector continues to be positive for the markets as a whole, but it is still difficult for this trend to continue without a decline at some point. The S&P 500 trades at over 19 times forecast earnings, a multiple more reminiscent of times of expansion than of impending recessions.”
On domestic shores, previously released data showed retail sales rose last week as warm weather helped boost demand for clothing.
According to the latest BDO High Street Sales Tracker, total like-for-like sales rose 2.95% in the week to June 11, compared to a rise of 7.63% in the same week last year. After two weeks of negative data, it was the second consecutive week of sales growth.
In-store sales increased 5.39% while out-of-store sales increased 6.56%.
The fashion industry led the increase with like-for-like sales growth of 5.07%. Lifestyle sales also rose 1.7%, but home goods fell 2.27%, the eighteenth negative result in the category so far this year.
BDO said footfall was 4.2% higher compared to the same week in 2022, with high streets recording the best growth, up 5.4% year-on-year. Retail parks and shopping centers saw customer footfall increase by 2.1% and 3.8%, respectively.
Electronics retailers on the stock markets Currys rallied after it said it was considering putting its Greek business Kotsovolos up for sale as it launches a strategic review.
Supermarket giant Tesco declined despite first-quarter sales rising 8.8%, sticking to its full-year forecast and citing “encouraging” early signs that inflation is starting to ease for customers.
ITV fell slightly as the broadcaster confirmed it was in talks to potentially acquire All3Media, the independent production company behind The Traitors. In response to speculation in the press, the broadcaster said in a brief statement that it was “actively exploring” a possible deal.
Travis Perkins slumped after the building materials retailer issued a profit warning as higher interest rates and weaker consumer confidence weighed heavily on housing. The company said it had “not yet seen the expected easing of market conditions in the second quarter.”
Building materials dealer Grafton, Wickes and B&Q owner kingfisher also lost ground.
FTSE 100 (UKX) 7,653.00 0.32%
FTSE 250 (MCX) 19,110.52 0.37%
techMARK (TASX) 4,594.82 0.70%
FTSE 100 – Risers
Ocado Group (OCDO) 445.20p 3.53%
Entaine (ENT) 1,241.50p 3.29%
Frasers Group (FRAS) 704.00p 2.92%
Persimmon (PSN) 1,205.00 pence 1.95%
British Land Company (BLND) 340.40p 1.70%
Centric (CNA) 117.55p 1.69%
SSE (SSE) 1,867.50 pence 1.61%
National Network (NG) 1,050.00p 1.50%
RS group (RS1) 808.60p 1.48%
BT Group (BT.A) 136.55p 1.41%
FTSE 100 – Fallers
Anglo-American (AAL) 2,524.50p -2.15%
Airtel Africa (AAF) 127.50p -1.47%
Rio Tinto (RIO) 5,273.00p -1.31%
Tesco (TSCO) 261.10p -1.29%
Fresnillo (FRES) 660.20p -1.11%
Antofagasta (ANTO) 1,552.50 pence -1.08%
Sainsbury’s (J) (SBRY) 269.50p -1.06%
Ashtead Group (AHT) 5,432.00p -0.98%
Kingfisher (KGF) 233.70p -0.97%
Barratt Developments (BDEV) 445.10p -0.69%
FTSE 250 – Risers
Darktrace (DARK) 338.60p 10.37%
Digital 9 Infrastructure NPV (DGI9) 68.50p 3.79%
Carnival (CCL) 1,135.00p 3.23%
Aston Martin Lagonda Global Holdings (AML) 309.60p 3.20%
Bank of Georgia Group (BGEO) 3,005.00 pence 3.09%
Helios Towers (HTWS) 95.80p 3.01%
Auction Technology Group (ATG) 762.00p 2.83%
easyJet (EZJ) 505.60p 2.68%
Baltic Classifieds Group (BCG) 169.20p 2.67%
Abrdn Private Equity Opportunities Trust (APEO) 455.00p 2.48%
FTSE 250 – Fallers
Travis Perkins (TPK) 816.00p -5.86%
Grafton Group Ut (CDI) (GFTU) 823.90p -3.09%
Marshalls (MSLH) 269.60p -2.32%
Evolution Group (FAN) 394.80p -2.23%
Morgan Sindall Group (MGNS) 1,832.00p -1.82%
Genuit Group (GEN) 328.00p -1.65%
Redrow (RDW) 472.60p -1.54%
Ferrexpo (FXPO) 89.00p -1.49%
Ibstock (IBST) 157.50p -1.44%
Jupiter Fund Management (JUP) 109.50p -1.35%