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FTSE finishes above 7,000, FX steady ahead of Fed

EconomyJul 28, 2021 16:35
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Key Points

  • FTSE 100 closing price of 7,019, +0.33%
  • Strong earnings lift FTSE
  • Wizz Air results, changing Covid restrictions supports travel sector
  • Meggitt higher on M&A rumours
  • FX markets steady ahead of Fed
  • Oil prices higher, inventory builds help
  • Bitcoin jumps, hits $40,000 again

By Samuel Indyk – The FTSE 100 closed back above 7,000 on Wednesday, supported by a slew of strong earnings results from companies across different sectors.

Silver and gold producer Fresnillo (LON:FRES) was the best performing stock in the blue-chip index after reporting a 17.9% quarter-on-quarter increase in silver production, while confirming they expect to meet 2021 full year guidance.

Financials were also performing well with St. James’s Place (LON:SJP) shares hitting a record high as funds under management climbed 11% to a record £143.77 billion. Barclays (LON:BARC) shares soared after the banking group posted a £5 billion profit and released £700 million of the money it put aside for provisions last year when Covid concerns were at their highest.

Wizz Air (LON:WIZZ) shares jumped after the budget airline said they expect capacity to hit 90% of 2019 levels in July and 100% in August. The whole sector was trading higher after England said they would allow fully vaccinated travellers from the US and EU to arrive without needing to quarantine from 2nd August.

“A big sigh of relief has rippled through the travel and aviation sector with the confirmation from the UK Transport Secretary that double jabbed arrivals from the US and the European Union will no longer have to isolate,” said Hargreaves Lansdown (LON:HRGV) Senior Investment and Markets Analyst Susannah Streeter.

IAG (LON:ICAG), EasyJet (LON:EZJ) and Rolls-Royce (LON:RR) were all among some of the biggest risers in the FTSE 350.

Shares in Aerospace & Defense company Meggitt (LON:MGGT) closed higher after a report in the Times highlighted rumours that a PE firm has made a bid for the company. The newspaper also reported that US-based engineering company Woodward (NASDAQ:WWD) was considering an offer.

FX markets were trading relatively steady ahead of the latest Fed interest rate decision at 19:00BST. GBP/USD was relatively flat after breaking above the 20DMA on Tuesday but still traded at its highest level since 15th July before finding resistance ahead of 1.3900.

WTI and Brent crude futures were eking out gains following the latest inventory report from the Energy Information Administration. The EIA said crude inventories fell 4.089 million barrels in the latest week, more than the expected drawdown of 2.928 million barrels. Distillate and gasoline stockpiles also fell in the latest week.

Bitcoin briefly traded back above $40,000 but again found resistance at the 100 day moving average around $40,500 before pulling back.

“Cryptos have had a hard time since the heights they reached in April but something tells me that's changed,” said OANDA Senior Market Analyst Craig Erlam in an emailed note.

“Elon saved the day, disclosing things that almost everyone would have assumed to be true anyway and now the floor at $30,000 looks more solid than ever.

“If Bitcoin can break the late May/mid June highs, it could take off once more.”


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FTSE finishes above 7,000, FX steady ahead of Fed

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