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FTSE 100 live: London stocks climb as grocery inflation eases, Shein eyes London IPO

Published 27/02/2024, 10:28
Updated 27/02/2024, 10:28
© Reuters.  FTSE 100 live: London stocks climb as grocery inflation eases, Shein eyes London IPO

Proactive Investors -

  • FTSE 100 up 7 points
  • Supermarket price inflation eases
  • Smith & Nephew (LON:SN) tops leaderboard after results

Some potential good news for London and the City has emerged, with speculation that Chinese online retail rising star Shein might consider a UK stock market listing.

The e-commerce group is looking at the LSE for an IPO after concluding that a US application is not likely to be accepted by the SEC, according to a report by Bloomberg.

London is now seen as a frontrunner, as well as Hong Kong or Singapore.

“Having one of the most disruptive names in retail float in the UK would certainly do wonders to help fix the London Stock Exchange’s damaged reputation as a listing venue," said analyst Danni Hewson at AJ Bell.

“Investor interest could be huge, which bodes well for attracting other names to list in the UK after a patchy spell that has seen a growing number of big stocks turn to the US as their main stock location.

Meanwhile, the FTSE has climbed out of its hole and is up 7 points at just over 7,691.

Foostie flattened

The Footsie's small early gains have evaporated in the first hour, with the index dipping a toe into the red for a couple of minutes, down four points at 7,678.

Blue-chip housebuilders are acting as a drag again as investors mull yesterday's news of a new competition probe into several leading names.

However, this is being offset by gains for J Sainsbury PLC (LON:SBRY) and Tesco PLC (LON:TSCO), which are rising on the back of new supermarket price and sales data from Kantar.

The main headline for consumers and economists is that price inflation eased to almost a two-year low in February of 5.3%, from 6.9% a month earlier, the lowest rate since March 2022.

“Though there’s been lots of discussion about the impact the Red Sea shipping crisis might have on the cost of goods, supermarkets have been pulling out all the stops to keep prices down,” said Kantar strategic insight director Tom Steel.

Fastest growing was Lidl, for the sixth month running, but Sainsbury's was not that far behind, increasing its share of the market by 0.4 percentage points to 15.6% with a 7.6% increase in sales.

Tesco grew 6.2% and its market share swelled 0.3 to 27.6%.

FTSE starts higher

The FTSE 100 has surprisingly started on the front foot on Tuesday, led by a small mining rally and with Smith & Nephew (SN) topping the leaderboard.

In early trades a gain of 10 points has been added to the index, taking it to 7,694.

Mining companies are doing heavy lifting after China took steps to prop up confidence in its currency and economy.

SN shares rose 4.6% after its results impressed - "for once there were no nasty surprises", said analyst Seb Jantet at Liberum.

Fourth-quarter underlying revenue was a touch ahead of expectations at 6.4% versus consensus at 5.3%, as a stronger performance from Sports Medicine offset slightly weaker than forecast growth from Orthopaedics and Advanced Wound Management.

Mining heavyweights provided a boost, with Anglo American (JO:AGLJ), Rio Tinto (LON:RIO), Fresnillo (LON:FRES), Antofagasta (LON:ANTO) and Endeavour Mining all up more than 1%.

Biggest faller is chemicals group Croda , where the shares dropped 1.2% as profits tumbled on the back of destocking (see below).

The share price reaction will have surprised analyst Charlie Bentley at Jefferies, who expected a positive reaction after second-half adjusted profits were 7% ahead of the City consensus.

On the FTSE 250, Abrdn PLC (LON:ABDN) is top of the leaderboard, up 5.1% after posting its full-year results, where it confirmed that work has begun on its cutting 500 jobs and that it is maintaining the dividend.

Analyst Tom Mills at Jefferies said operating profits are 3% better than the consensus forecast "driven by modestly better fee-based revenues and costs" and the flat dividend was "as expected".

On the downside, he noted that the three-year investment performance of Abrdn's funds "deteriorated meaningfully" to 42% of AUM above benchmark from 65% in 2022.

Read more on Proactive Investors UK


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