London treads water as US stock markets close for Thanksgiving

London’s top index was as dull as its New York cousins ​​on Thursday, despite remaining open while US indexes closed for Thanksgiving.

The FTSE 100 closed down a paltry 0.02% on the day as a slight rise in the pound put pressure on companies that sell much of their output in dollars.

By the end of the day, the index had risen just 1.36 points to end at 7,466.6, the highest close since early September.

It fared better elsewhere in Europe, with the German Dax index up 0.8%, while the Cac 40 in Paris rose 0.4%.

“European markets have had a relatively positive day as Thanksgiving celebrations brought lower volumes and volatility,” said Joshua Mahony, senior market analyst at online trading platform IG.

“The latest German Ifo business climate survey released this morning gave cause for optimism just a day after the release of PMI surveys that eased fears of a sharp recession in the region.”

He said the survey had shown traders were more positive about the future, despite being down about the present.

In the energy markets, the price of Brent crude remained broadly unchanged, falling just 0.4% to $85.06.

In currency markets, the pound rose about 0.6%, pushing it to $1.21. Against the euro, it rose 0.5% to 1.16.

In corporate news, shares in fashion brand Dr Martens fell after the bootmaker gave investors a warning about its full-year profit margins.

It said consumer demand had weakened as sales were slower than expected in the latest quarter.

Shares in Dr Martens fell 22.7 per cent.

In better news, holiday company Jet2 told investors it swung to a profit in the first half as demand for summer holidays rose after pandemic restrictions were lifted.

It said its full-year earnings will be better than expected despite the group facing significant cost pressures such as fuel and staff wages.

The shares in Jet2 rose 2.9 per cent.

B&Q owner Kingfisher said its revenues had received a boost as more people sought to improve the energy efficiency of their homes, with sales of ceiling insulation roll doubling.

The DIY giant told investors it was managing cost inflation effectively, but that its profits could be lower than previously expected.

Nevertheless, Kingfisher sank towards the bottom of the FTSE 100 as its shares fell 1.6%.

The biggest gainers on the FTSE 100 were Intertek Group, up 176p to 4,036p, United Utilities Group, up 34p to 1,086p, Rolls-Royce Holdings, up 2.64p to 91.05p, Airtel Africa, up 3.3p to 120, 6p, and Segro, up 21.1p to 837.2p.

The biggest decliners on the FTSE 100 were Imperial Brands, down 85p to 2,100p, British Land, down 9p to 406p, Vodafone, down 1.99p to 92.67p, London Stock Exchange Group, down 152p to 8,080p, and RS Group, down 17.5p to 958p.

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *