- Supermarkets, telecoms lift markets higher
- Fed in focus ahead of policy decision
- BoE minutes closely watch amid rate-hike speculation
techMARK 2,801.10 +0.23%
FTSE 100 6,787.81 +0.31%
FTSE 250 15,598.89 +0.09%
UK stocks markets were putting a decent performance on Wednesday, helped by gains in the supermarket and telecoms sectors, as investors adopted a positive attitude ahead of all-important Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) decision.
The FTSE 100 was trading 0.3% higher at 6,788 in early trading, as it continues to rebound after hitting a seven-week low of 6,754.64 on Monday.
"Equity markets continued to recover some of their lost equilibrium yesterday after last week's sell off, but it remains quite slow progress, with a cocktail of geopolitical concerns keeping investors cautious and oil prices
elevated," said Michael Hewson, Chief Market Analyst at CMC Markets UK.
The Fed is expected to announce a further tapering of quantitative easing when the central bank wraps up its policy meeting later this evening. Analysts predict the Fed will cut another $10bn off its monthly bond purchase programme to take the total to $35bn.
However, following Tuesday's release of the latest US inflation data, which showed prices rose more than forecast, some analysts now believe the Fed may consider raising interest rates sooner than it had been expecting. US consumer prices rose by 0.4% month-on-month and 2.1% year-on-year in May, surpassing analysts' estimates.
The minutes from the latest Bank of England policy meeting will also be closely watched in the aftermath of Governor Mark Carney's statement last week about the first increase in the Bank Rate coming in as soon as six months.
While the comments brought forwards expectations of a rate hike, yesterday's sharper-than-expected dip in UK inflation to a four-and-a-half year low of 1.5% will have clouded the outlook for monetary policy.
Supermarkets, telecoms on the rise
Wm Morrison continued to rise after the supermarket chain confirmed plans to slash 2,600 jobs as part of plans to re-organise and simplify its management structure. Grocery peers Tesco and J Sainsbury were also putting in decent gains.
Meanwhile, telecoms giants Vodafone and BT Group were also providing a lift on the top-tier index.
Babywear retailer Mothercare inched higher amid reports that it could cut up to 500 jobs. Restructuring plans leaked to The Times say that the positions to be axed would be among customer service advisers.
Housebuilder Berkeley declined despite saying that average selling prices were up almost 20% in the year to April 30th, helping annual revenues rise 18% and profits jump 40%.
Meanwhile, home-shopping business N Brown underwhelmed with 2.6% revenue growth in the 15 weeks to June 14th rose 2.6%, as shares
dropped sharply early on.
Heavyweight utilities groups Severn Trent and United Utilities were both trading lower this morning after going ex-dividend.
Land Securities, 3i Group, 3i Infrastructure and Restaurant Group were also automatically lower as they traded without the access to their latest dividend payments.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Tesco (TSCO) 295.70p +1.95%
Fresnillo (FRES) 833.00p +1.22%
Sainsbury (J) (SBRY) 325.50p +1.12%
Vodafone Group (VOD) 197.35p +1.08%
Morrison (Wm) Supermarkets (MRW) 194.60p +1.04%
Royal Dutch Shell 'B' (RDSB) 2,511.00p +0.88%
Pearson (PSON) 1,117.00p +0.81%
Imperial Tobacco Group (IMT) 2,660.00p +0.80%
Antofagasta (ANTO) 761.50p +0.79%
Royal Dutch Shell 'A' (RDSA) 2,390.00p +0.78%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
United Utilities Group (UU.) 852.50p -3.78%
Severn Trent (SVT) 1,921.00p -2.44%
Barratt Developments (BDEV) 344.30p -1.35%
Persimmon (PSN) 1,187.00p -1.08%
WPP (WPP) 1,275.00p -1.01%
Travis Perkins (TPK) 1,580.00p -0.94%
Land Securities Group (LAND) 1,012.00p -0.78%
Smith & Nephew (SN.) 1,063.00p -0.75%
Admiral Group (ADM) 1,550.00p -0.70%
Ashtead Group (AHT) 826.00p -0.66%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Kazakhmys (KAZ) 304.90p +3.32%
BH Global Ltd. USD Shares (BHGU) 11.89 +3.21%
Ferrexpo (FXPO) 130.20p +2.92%
Supergroup (SGP) 869.00p +1.82%
Booker Group (BOK) 130.00p +1.80%
Oxford Instruments (OXIG) 1,420.00p +1.79%
PayPoint (PAY) 1,105.00p +1.75%
Rightmove (RMV) 2,207.00p +1.75%
Perform Group (PER) 270.00p +1.69%
Dairy Crest Group (DCG) 460.90p +1.59%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Brown (N.) Group (BWNG) 420.20p -3.45%
Berkeley Group Holdings (The) (BKG) 2,189.00p -3.18%
3i Group (III) 399.40p -2.99%
Workspace Group (WKP) 556.00p -2.63%
3i Infrastructure (3IN) 135.10p -2.38%
Xaar (XAR) 525.00p -2.23%
Restaurant Group (RTN) 563.00p -1.83%
Centamin (DI) (CEY) 62.20p -1.35%
Alent (ALNT) 340.40p -1.33%
Bovis Homes Group (BVS) 723.00p -1.30%