London’s FTSE 100 index climbed on Wednesday, helped by gains from energy heavyweights and banking stocks, while Bloomsbury Publishing surged on a robust earnings report.
The blue chip index (.FTSE) rose 0.4%, with oil majors BP (BP.L) and Royal Dutch Shell climbing 1.9% and 2.2% respectively, as crude prices prolonged their earnings.
Banks including HSBC (HSBA.L), Prudential Plc (PRU.L), Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY.L) and Barclays (BARC.L) also provided the largest increases to the index.
The domestically-focused mid-cap FTSE 250 (.FTMC) index rose 0.3% to a record high.
Bloomsbury Publishing (BLPU.L) jumped 11.3% as publisher Harry Potter declared a special dividend and raised its targets for the current year as strong book sales during lockdowns led to a 22% increase in annual profits. [nL3N2NK1LT]
“An optimistic assessment of demand from the OPEC producer cartel and the declining prospect of a sharp surge in Iranian supply have helped prop up a rally in crude prices. Something that could make the market a little nervous if it did. holds up given current investor concern for inflation risks, ”said Danni Hewson, financial analyst at AJ Bell.
The FTSE 100 index has traded in a narrow range since April, as fears grew that central banks could reduce their support as economies reopen and inflation rises.
UK mortgages slumped in April as the government’s decision to extend tax relief on property sales came too late to sway buyers this month, but housing market activity appears to be on the cusp of rebound, according to Bank of England data. Read more
Global stock markets have hovered near record highs despite the suspicion of investors who are still not convinced by central bank assurances that the current inflationary surge is transitory.
Among other shares, Tate & Lyle (TATE.L) rose 2.5%, after Berenberg upgraded the food ingredients maker’s shares to “buy” on the prospect of a company split. [nL3N2NK1ZB]
Burberry Group (BRBY.L) jumped 3.5% to the top of the FTSE 100 after Exane BNP Paribas raised the stock to “outperform” it from “neutral”. [nL5N2NK1B6]
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