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London open: Stocks edge lower in quiet trade; consumer confidence rebounds

Published Nov 24, 2023 08:37
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London open: Stocks edge lower in quiet trade; consumer confidence rebounds
 
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Sharecast - At 0830 GMT, the FTSE 100 was down 0.3% at 7,465.03. With US markets closed on Thursday for the Thanksgiving holiday and only due to reopen for a half day later, UK equities were lacking direction.

Richard Hunter, head of markets at Interactive Investor, said: "In the UK, markets were again on the back foot in the absence of any positive leads. The premier index drifted lower, with the latest fall in China spreading its wings to cover the likes of the miners, as well as those stocks with a particular exposure to the region, such as Burberry (LON:BRBY), Prudential (LON:PRU) and Standard Chartered (LON:STAN).

"Stocks gaining were few and far between, as traders sat on the sidelines amid lower volumes. The FTSE 100 is again approaching the flat line in the year to date, with the current gain of a marginal 0.2% constantly under threat."

Investors were digesting a survey released earlier by GfK, which showed that consumer confidence rebounded in November as people started to look towards the festive season.

The consumer confidence barometer was -24, a six-point increase following October’s surprise nine-point slump to -30.

Within that, all sub-measures improved as well. The gauge for the personal financial situation for the next 12 months rose five points to -3, while expectations for the economic situation in the coming year improved six points to -26.

The main purchase index also rose, by 10 points to -24.

Joe Staton, client strategy director at GfK, said: "Recent ups and downs in confidence have underlined the nation’s topsy-turvy economic mood, as encouraging news about falling inflation and wage growth is offset by high personal taxation, alongside costly fuel and energy bills.

"The dramatic 10-point jump in our major purchase sub-measure, reversing some of the worrying 14-point drop we saw last month, will be good news for retailers looking to benefit from Black Friday and Christmas.

"Despite the acute cost of living pressures, many would still like to loosen their purse strings just a little so they can enjoy that feel-good factor we all associate with the festive season."

In equity markets, Barclays (LON:BARC) was the top gainer on the FTSE 100 - albeit gains were small - following a Reuters report the bank is looking to save up to £1bn via cost cuts, which could result in 2,000 job losses.

Legal & General (LON:LGEN) ticked up after saying it had agreed to a full buy-in of the Boots pension scheme for £4.8bn.

The buy-in secures the benefits of all 53,000 retirees and deferred members of the scheme, making it the UK's largest single transaction of its kind by premium size and, for L&G, the largest single transaction by number of members.

JTC (LON:JTC) was also in the black as it agreed to buy Blackheath, a UK-based boutique asset management business, for an undisclosed sum.

Elsewhere, retailer Mothercare (LON:MTC) slumped as it reported a rise in first-half profit but said revenue had fallen due to ongoing challenges in the Middle East.

Market Movers

FTSE 100 (UKX) 7,465.03 -0.25%

FTSE 250 (MCX) 18,450.57 -0.16%

techMARK (TASX) 4,112.29 -0.35%

FTSE 100 - Risers

Barclays (BARC) 141.14p 0.64%

Vodafone Group (LON:VOD) 71.26p 0.55%

Kingfisher (LON:KGF) 215.70p 0.51%

Airtel Africa (AAF) 112.80p 0.45%

Hikma Pharmaceuticals (LON:HIK) 1,760.00p 0.40%

Barratt Developments (LON:BDEV) 494.10p 0.35%

AstraZeneca (NASDAQ:AZN) 10,206.00p 0.31%

Berkeley Group Holdings (The) (BKG) 4,579.00p 0.31%

Lloyds Banking Group (LON:LLOY) 42.47p 0.30%

Smurfit Kappa Group (CDI) (LON:SKG) 2,738.00p 0.29%

FTSE 100 - Fallers

Sage Group (LON:SGE) 1,106.50p -2.12%

Endeavour Mining (EDV (LON:EDV)) 1,711.00p -1.38%

Burberry Group (LON:BRBY) 1,515.50p -1.37%

Anglo American (JO:AGLJ) (AAL) 2,203.00p -1.28%

BT Group (LON:BT.A) 121.15p -1.22%

Antofagasta (LON:ANTO) 1,409.00p -1.09%

Standard Chartered (STAN) 659.60p -0.99%

Schroders (LON:SDR) 395.50p -0.95%

Glencore (LON:GLEN) 445.75p -0.90%

F&C Investment Trust (FCIT) 895.00p -0.89%

FTSE 250 - Risers

Helios Towers (HTWS) 78.75p 4.44%

IntegraFin Holding (IHP) 261.00p 2.43%

Workspace Group (LON:WKP) 555.00p 2.40%

Just Group (LON:JUSTJ) (JUST) 84.70p 2.29%

Impax (LON:IEM) Environmental Markets (IEM) 371.00p 1.78%

Ferrexpo (LON:FXPO) 81.40p 1.75%

CAB Payments Holdings (CABP) 64.90p 1.72%

Serco Group (LON:SRP) 158.90p 1.47%

Babcock International Group (LON:BAB) 410.80p 1.43%

PureTech Health (PRTC) 165.60p 1.35%

FTSE 250 - Fallers

Trainline (TRN) 282.60p -4.72%

FDM Group (Holdings) (LON:FDM) 388.00p -4.32%

Bridgepoint Group (Reg S) (BPT) 207.00p -3.45%

Dr. Martens (DOCS) 107.00p -3.17%

Supermarket Income Reit (SUPR) 81.20p -2.87%

OSB Group (OSB) 366.00p -2.66%

Essentra (LON:ESNT) 155.00p -2.27%

Volution Group (FAN) 382.00p -2.25%

NCC Group (NCC) 109.80p -1.96%

Abrdn (ABDN) 165.05p -1.79%

Read more on Sharecast.com

London open: Stocks edge lower in quiet trade; consumer confidence rebounds
 

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