London’s leading shares ticked up in Wednesday trading, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index up 13.08 points to 7288.72.
Standard Chartered shares made the biggest gains after profits nearly doubled.
Pharmaceutical stocks were the biggest drag on the FTSE, retreating from the previous session’s gains after fresh deal-making in Europe.
GlaxoSmithKline fell 2.06%, while Shire dropped 0.6%.
Standard Chartered shares rose 4% after its quarterly profit nearly doubled from a year ago as the bank brought loan losses under control.
Meanwhile, the pound fell 0.04% against the dollar to $1.2835. Sterling rose 0.6% against the euro to 1.1807 euros.
The pound hit a seven-month high against the dollar, pushing above the $1.29 mark, but shares fell.
Sterling hit $1.2917 at one point before falling back slightly. Analysts said the rise was partly due to polls putting Prime Minister Theresa May well ahead of the opposition.
The dollar also suffered from some disappointment over the lack of detail in Donald Trump’s tax reform plans.
Sterling also rose against the euro, climbing 0.5% to 1.1836 euros.
On the stock market, the FTSE 100 index, which often moves inversely to the direction of the pound, was down 42.19 points, or 0.6%, at 7,246.53 shortly after midday.
A number of shares were trading lower after turning ex-dividend – or trading without the right to the latest dividend – including Legal & General, ITV and Informa.
Share in private hospital group Mediclinic jumped 17% after the Abu Dhabi government dropped the need for a 20% co-payment for treatment at private facilities.
Last year, Mediclinic had bought Abu Dhabi private hospital group Al Noor for $1.7bn just before the government introduced the measure.
Lloyds Banking Group shares rose nearly 3% as investors welcomed its first-quarter results.
Pre-tax profits at the bank doubled to £1.3bn, while its underlying profit edged up 1% to £2.1bn, beating analysts’ forecasts.
UK stocks edged higher on Tuesday as a Europe-wide rally after the first round of the French election lost steam.
The blue-chip FTSE 100 index ended up 0.15%, with financials, energy and healthcare stocks supporting gains.
Among the top risers were Hikma Pharmaceuticals, up 3.42%, miner Glencore, up 2.19% and medical products maker Convatec Group, up 1.8%.
However, shares in Whitbread slumped 7.13% after it reported annual results.
Profits at the Costa Coffee-owner rose, but it said it remained “cautious” about prospects for the next 12 months.
London’s leading shares dipped in early Tuesday trading, with the FTSE 100 index down 6.2 points to 7,269.44.
Miner Fresnillo fared worst, down 1.7%, despite posting a 12.5% quarterly rise in silver production and saying it was on track to meet annual targets.
Speciality chemicals firm Croda was the biggest gainer, rising 5.2% on the strength of improved sales growth.
Meanwhile, the pound fell 0.16% against the dollar to $1.2820 and was flat against the euro at 1.1734 euros.
The FTSE 100 can be defined as a market-capitalization weighted index of blue chip companies in the United Kingdom. FTSE 100 components can be seen on the FTSE UK series that was created to measure the performance of 100 of the largest enterprises that are traded on the London Stock Exchange (that have also passed screening for liquidity and size).
The companies that make up the FTSE 100 constituents are all traded on the London Stock Exchange’s SETS trading system. The primary purpose of this index is to track funds and derivatives as a benchmark for performance.
If you keep an eye on FTSE 100 components, you’ll find stocks that are selected and weighted to make sure that the index is investable. Further, liquidity stocks will be screened to make sure that the index is also tradable.
If you take an in-depth look at the index, you’ll see that it’s calculated based on total return methodologies and price. This is conducted both at the end of the day and in real-time intra-second.
Further, the FTSE 100 constituents are categorized based on the global standard for industry sector analysis known as the Industry Classification Benchmark (ICB).
If you’re going to pump some money into the FTSE 100 index this year, you’ll have to consider some variables that will probably have an impact on the market. Global events such as the ongoing Brexit negotiations and the uncertainty surrounding Trump’s presidency has the potential to create a rollercoaster year for investors.
At the same time, volatility can also create opportunity, so veteran investors can easily take advantage of the situation like they did last June. So let’s take a look at what’s in store for the FTSE 100 index over the coming months.
1. When it Comes to Currencies, the Sterling Pound will Continue to be Volatile
The Sterling Pound hasn’t recovered since its collapse after the EU Referendum last year and could continue to get weaker as negotiations continue. But since a large part of the components that make up the Footsie get their revenue from overseas markets, there still could be an opportunity here to benefit.
But caution must be practiced as the tense political situation in Britain can across over to Europe and have a positive effect on the currency. With general elections scheduled in Germany and France, there’s a chance that the pound could reverse its losses against the Euro.
As far forex goes, it could also get interesting in the months to come as the US dollar has the potential to fluctuate with extra Federal Reserve interest rate hikes expected later this year.
2. The Commodities Market is Under Significant Pressure
The FTSE 100 index also has the potential feel the impact of the trouble brewing in the commodities market. It’s no secret that there are large imbalances in supply and demand across commodity markets, but it hasn’t affected the shares of mining giants on the Footsie. In fact, their share prices are on the rise.
This is probably the result of frenzied speculation over iron ore and copper values, so the Footsie is in danger of a sharp correction. Eight percent of the FTSE 100 index is made up of resources companies like Rio Tinto. Further, oil giants like Royal Dutch Shell and BP make up another 15% of the index.
As a result, what happens in the commodities market will affect almost a quarter of the Footsie. Further, there are no signs of market imbalances being eradicated anytime soon.
So when investing, it’s a good idea to conduct a risk analysis before putting your money in the index. Healthy investment habits always include a bit skill and speculation to the spread of risk.
the FTSE 100 (who are mostly based overseas), companies in the FTSE 350 list may have to face up to an economy that might deteriorate after Britain exists from Europe.
However, this doesn’t mean that companies in the FTSE 100 index won’t be affected as well. This is because they are geared more towards international trade and it remains to be seen if negotiations will have a favorable outcome.
Although there was a lot of confusion in the aftermath of the referendum, Brexit has now sunk in as the present reality. As a result, both investors and companies can be extra cautious as the country gets closer to leaving the European Union.
It’s not all doom and gloom when you consider the country’s macroeconomic prospects, but in the short-term, companies may be negatively impacted while trade negotiations are finalized.
Although a long-term negative impact on businesses isn’t expected, there will be a certain amount of uncertainty which will change the way some of the companies on the FTSE 350 list conduct their business.
London share prices slumbered as the UK general election got underway in earnest.
The FTSE 100 index of leading shares rose by a meagre four points to end the day at 7,119.
There was little corporate news to move share prices, though Unilever ended the day 0.3% higher at £39.50 after reporting a strong rise in quarterly sales.
The pound rose 0.5% against the dollar to $1.284.
Against the euro the pound was unchanged at 1.193 euros.
Department stores were the main talking point of the day after Debenhams announced the outcome of a strategic review which includes the possible closure of 10 underperforming stores.
Its shares fell 5% to 52.5p.
And Marks & Spencer fell 1.3% to £3.54p after updating investors on its big turnaround plan, which includes both store closures and new store openings.
Unilever, one of the world’s leading maker of groceries and household goods, said sales rose 3% in its first quarter, which was stronger growth than had been expected.
In February, Unilever rejected a takeover approach from its rival, the US firm Kraft Heinz.
The FTSE 100 index of leading shares was up by a meagre eight points at 7,126.44.
There was little corporate news to move share prices, though Reckitt Benckiser led the fallers and was down 2% after reporting flat first quarter sales.
Miners were represented among the major winners – who included Rio Tinto, Marks and Spencer, Ashtead Group, BHP Billiton, and Glencore.
Meanwhile, other fallers included Burberry, United Utilities, Centrica and Severn Trent.
The pound was unchanged against the dollar at $1.284. Against the euro the pound was down 0.08% at 1.1948 euros.
The pound rose strongly and share prices in London fell sharply after Theresa May announced plans to call a general election on 8 June.
Sterling had fallen before the statement, but it quickly recovered following Mrs May’s announcement.
The pound charged 2.2% higher at $1.2846 and rose 1.4% against the euro to 1.1968 euros.
On the stock market, the benchmark FTSE 100 share index fell 180 points, or 2.5%, to 7,148.
That left the blue-chip index at its lowest level for nearly 10 weeks and meant the FTSE 100 was just 0.2% higher than at the start of the year.
The FTSE 100 had already been lower ahead of Mrs May’s announcement, with shares in mining companies suffering some of the biggest falls due to lower iron ore prices.
But the increase in the pound hit the FTSE down further as many of the companies listed on the index make most of their revenues abroad.
A stronger pound cuts the value of these revenues when they are converted back into sterling, meaning lower profits.