FTSE posts gains after briefly surpassing 8,000 mark for first time

London’s top index of firms surpassed the 8,000-point mark for the first time on Wednesday as the pound lost significant ground.

owever, the FTSE 100 finished just short after only briefly hitting the milestone peak.

The index made significant gains during the session as UK inflation slowed quicker than expected, offsetting the poor share performance of Barclays.

Chris Beauchamp, chief market analyst at IG, said: “UK investors have plenty of reasons to celebrate today, as the FTSE 100 touched the magic 8000 level for the first time.

“While Barclays is acting as a drag, the bank’s poor investment banking performance means that there has been only a muted reaction from its UK-focused peers.”

The improvement in CPI inflation helped lift London-listed housebuilders and retailers, amid hopes from traders that the cooldown might lead to reduced demand for further interest rate rises from the Bank of England.

The FTSE 100 moved 0.55%, or 43.98 points, higher to finish at 7,997.83.

Elsewhere in Europe, the German Dax rose by 0.89%, and the French Cac 40 increased by 1.35% at close.

Stateside, the US markets opened sharply lower after US retail sales surged by 3% in January, with analysts suggesting the activity could dampen hopes of a cooldown in recent rate rises.

Meanwhile, sterling came under pressure and gilt yields slipped back somewhat after UK CPI inflation for January dipped to 10.1% for the month, from 10.5% in December.

The pound was down by around 1.17% to 1.202 US dollars, and fell by 0.68% to 1.126 euros at market close in London.

In company news, Barclays was the FTSE 100’s heaviest faller after the banking group reported a 14% slide in profits as it set aside £1.2 billion to cover loan losses.

The banking giant said its pre-tax profits totalled £7 billion in 2022, down from £8 billion in 2021.

Shares in Barclays slid by 14.7p to 172.6p at the close of trading in London.

Hargreaves Lansdown also lost value after the online trading platform business warned that “low investor confidence” has hit savers’ demand for stocks.

The Bristol group revealed softer demand for funds and shares, blaming the economic backdrop.

It meant that shares finished down 64.2p at 883.6p despite posting higher profits and revenues.

Dunelm saw its share price increase on Wednesday after the home furnishings company revealed an improvement in sales for the latest quarter, despite also recording lower half-year profits.

The retailer closed 11p higher at 1,180p as it held firm on its trading outlook for the rest of the year.

The price of oil declined for the second consecutive day after the latest API inventory showed a big jump of 10.5 million barrels.

Brent crude oil decreased by 1.37% to 84.41 US dollars (£70.20) per barrel when the London markets closed.

The biggest risers on the FTSE 100 were Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust, up 29.8p to 768.8p, Entain, up 49p to 1,369p, Rolls-Royce, up 3.64p to 112p, CRH, up 126.5p to 3,979p, and Burberry, up 70p to 2,475p.

The biggest fallers on the FTSE 100 were Barclays, down 14.7p to 172.6p, Hargreaves Lansdown, down 64.2p to 883.6p, Lloyds, down 1.4p to 52.38p, Glencore, down 8.1p to 507.8p, and Natwest Group, down 4.2p to 300.8p.


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