Updated January 2nd, 2024 at 15:12 IST
FTSE 100 gains momentum on commodity boost; investors eye economic data
Energy shares spearheaded the upward movement with a 0.9% climb, influenced by a 1% surge in oil prices.
The UK's FTSE 100 initiated the new year on a positive trajectory, propelled by the strength in energy shares. As the market opened on Tuesday, investors kept a close watch on economic data scheduled for the week, with a particular focus on its potential implications for the Bank of England's interest rate decisions.
The benchmark FTSE 100 exhibited a 0.3 per cent increase by 0814 GMT, reaching a level not seen in over seven months. In contrast, the FTSE 250, representing midcap companies, experienced a marginal 0.1 per cent decline.
Energy shares spearheaded the upward movement with a 0.9 per cent climb, influenced by a 1 per cent surge in oil prices. The uptick in oil prices was attributed to concerns over potential supply disruptions in the Middle East and anticipation of economic stimulus measures from China, the world's leading crude importer.
Amid company-specific developments, Marks And Spencer witnessed a notable 1.7 per cent surge following a stock rating upgrade by Exane BNP Paribas, elevating it from "neutral" to "outperform."
Conversely, HSBC faced a 0.4 per cent dip as its subsidiary, HSBC Continental Europe, successfully concluded the sale of its retail banking business in France to Crédit Commercial de France.
AstraZeneca, despite securing approval in China for its respiratory syncytial virus immunization for infants developed in collaboration with Sanofi, experienced a 0.3 per cent decline in its shares.
Investors remain attentive to forthcoming data on manufacturing and services activity, as well as housing prices throughout the week. This scrutiny aims to gauge the overall strength of the British economy, which faces potential challenges, including the prospect of recession. The economic data will likely play a pivotal role in shaping market sentiment and influencing future policy decisions by the Bank of England.
(With Reuters inputs.)
Published January 2nd, 2024 at 15:12 IST