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FTSE Rises Close To 2-Month High

By XTBStock MarketsApr 19, 2018 12:31
FTSE Rises Close To 2-Month High
By XTB   |  Apr 19, 2018 12:31
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There have been further gains seen in the FTSE today with the benchmark trading higher once more and at levels not seen since February. The recent pullback in the pound has provided an additional boost to stocks in London, that were already moving higher on an overall improvement in risk sentiment.

UK retail sales slump on cold weather

The latest figures on consumer spending have shown a sharp slowdown and provided another negative datapoint for the pound - the third in as many days. UK retail sales for March contracted more than expected in falling 1.2% compared to the previous month, and after the miss in wage growth on Tuesday and the below forecast CPI number yesterday, today’s release completes a hat-trick of negative news for the pound. However, it should be pointed out that there are some mitigating circumstances with the familiar 'blame it on the weather' excuses doing the rounds. There is arguably something in this with the snow no doubt contributing to the significant fall in petrol sales as consumers stayed at home with the accompanying rise in online spending telling.

Debenhams (LON:DEB) shares rebound in volatile trade

Looking at individual retailers there’s been some wild swings this morning in Debenhams, with shares opening sharply lower following a their latest earnings release, but buyers have stepped in and seen price recoup the majority of the 10% drop in a strong rebound. The department store reported underlying pre-tax profit of £42m for the 6 months to March, which was inline with analysts’ forecasts despite the figure representing a 50% drop on the previous period. A 14.4% rise in net debt and halving of the dividend to 0.5p provided further negative and shares began around 10% lower shortly after the open. The stock currently changes hands in the low 20s at level not seen since the depth of the last financial crisis, but the strong buying pressure seen in response to this morning’s drop will be a pleasing development for investors who will be hopeful that price is close to a bottom.

Metals soar on sanctions

There’s been an incredible surge higher in industrial metals in recent days as traders have scrambled to buy nickel and aluminium in particular, due to fears surrounding future supply due to US sanctions on Rusal (PA:RUSAL), a Russian aluminium producer. Nickel had its largest daily gain in a decade on Wednesday and has pushed higher once more today as concerns that metal from Russian producer Norilsk Nickel (MCX:GMKN) might be impacted if current sanctions are expanded.

The Kremlin accounts for approximately 10% of the global supply of nickel and the market received an additional boost after Brazilian producer VALE (NYSE:VALE) announced lower levels of production than expected.

FTSE Rises Close To 2-Month High

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FTSE Rises Close To 2-Month High

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