🚀 AI-picked stocks soar in May. PRFT is +55%—in just 16 days! Don’t miss June’s top picks.Unlock full list

UK's FTSE 100 hits record peak; Associated British Foods surges

Published 23/04/2024, 08:07
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Signage for the London Stock Exchange Group is seen outside of offices in Canary Wharf in London, Britain, August 3, 2023. REUTERS/Toby Melville/File photo

By Pranav Kashyap, Sruthi Shankar and Khushi Singh

(Reuters) -Britain's blue-chip share index cruised to record highs on Tuesday helped by a weaker pound and positive corporate updates, while Primark owner AB Food led gains on an upbeat profit outlook.

The FTSE 100 climbed to 8,076.52 points, surpassing its previous peak of 8,047.06 touched in February 2023. The index ended 0.3% higher at 1555 GMT, marking its fifth straight session of gains.

Surging commodity prices, a falling pound, gains in defence stocks as well as refreshed hopes of early interest rate cuts from the Bank of England have powered the FTSE 100 higher this year, with investors taking advantage of cheaper valuations in British equities compared to other global markets.

"It's obviously taken a long time to get to its all-time high compared to other markets. The FTSE 100 has underperformed for a very long time and when markets underperform it can mean undervalued," Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell, said.

Precious metal miners lost 1.8%, leading sectoral declines, while industrial metal miners followed with a 1.5% slip as metal prices retreated after recent highs.

In corporate updates, Associated British Foods (LON:ABF) jumped 9.0% to the top of the FTSE 100 after the Primark owner forecast "significant growth" in full-year profit as it reported a 39% jump in the first half.

"The company’s outperformance of a flatlining UK retail sector suggests it is taking market share from less robust rivals," Mould added.

Among other retailers, Ocado (LON:OCDO) led gains with a 5.4% spike after data showed it was the the UK's fastest growing grocer, while also showing that UK grocery price inflation fell for the 14th month in a row in April, partly driven by an increase in supermarkets' promotional activity.

JD Sports Fashion jumped 3.8% after the sportswear retailer proposed to buy U.S. athletic-fashion retailer Hibbett Inc for about $1.08 billion.

The mid-cap FTSE 250 was up 1.0%, hovering near the 20,000 mark.

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Signage for the London Stock Exchange Group is seen outside of offices in Canary Wharf in London, Britain, August 3, 2023. REUTERS/Toby Melville/File photo

Petershill Partners was the top performer on the index, climbing 11.3% after the investment firm proposed a tender offer to return up to $100 million to shareholders at a price per share of 2.14 pounds.

Jupiter Fund Management (LON:JUP) dipped 6.4%, as first-quarter outflows rose.

Latest comments

Risk Disclosure: Trading in financial instruments and/or cryptocurrencies involves high risks including the risk of losing some, or all, of your investment amount, and may not be suitable for all investors. Prices of cryptocurrencies are extremely volatile and may be affected by external factors such as financial, regulatory or political events. Trading on margin increases the financial risks.
Before deciding to trade in financial instrument or cryptocurrencies you should be fully informed of the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, carefully consider your investment objectives, level of experience, and risk appetite, and seek professional advice where needed.
Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. The data and prices on the website are not necessarily provided by any market or exchange, but may be provided by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual price at any given market, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Fusion Media and any provider of the data contained in this website will not accept liability for any loss or damage as a result of your trading, or your reliance on the information contained within this website.
It is prohibited to use, store, reproduce, display, modify, transmit or distribute the data contained in this website without the explicit prior written permission of Fusion Media and/or the data provider. All intellectual property rights are reserved by the providers and/or the exchange providing the data contained in this website.
Fusion Media may be compensated by the advertisers that appear on the website, based on your interaction with the advertisements or advertisers.
© 2007-2024 - Fusion Media Limited. All Rights Reserved.