FTSE racks up best day since October


After a dreadful start to 2024, the FTSE 100 finally appeared to pick up some steam this week and ended with its best one-day performance since October.

By the close in London the index had gained 105.36 points, or 1.40%, to finish the week at 7,635.09.

It came amid wins almost everywhere, only the supermarkets and electricity generators seemed to be struggling during the day.

Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Marks & Spencer, Centrica and SSE were all crowded towards the bottom of the UK’s main index.

“The FTSE 100 is … seeing a strong session, rising to two-week highs and its biggest weekly gain since last September, driven by a strong performance from its big caps of AstraZeneca, Shell, BP, HSBC, Unilever and Diageo in a broad-based rebound,” said CMC Markets analyst Michael Hewson.

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In Europe, a strong performance from LVMH – the company behind Louis Vuitton, Dior and Tiffany – helped make Paris’s luxury goods-heavy Cac 40 the standout performer. It ended the day up 2.28%.

That could be felt in London as well, Mr Hewson said.

“The rebound in LVMH shares, along with the positive outlook, has translated into a rebound in the wider sector with Hermes and Burberry shares also seeing solid gains, while Diageo is also higher on the back of the rebound in the likes of Remy Cointreau as well as other spirits makers across Europe,” he said.

Germany’s Dax index had a milder positive performance, up 0.32%, while in New York the S&P 500 had risen 0.11% shortly after European markets closed and the Dow Jones was up by 0.25%.

In company news, WH Smith said its revenues were up 8% in the last 20 weeks on Friday as it reported a strong performance from its travel arm. Shares in the company closed down 0.65%.

Despite obvious woes in its accounts, Superdry’s shares lost only 2.61%, in part likely because it had already warned investors of poor conditions last month.

The company said that its adjusted loss before tax nearly doubled to £25.3 million in the six months to the end of October, in part due to a warmer than usual autumn.

Even since then, revenue has been down significantly, the company revealed.

The biggest risers on the FTSE 100 were Croda, up 239p to 4,756p, Diageo, up 139p to 2,849p, Burberry, up 63p to 1,341.5p, Vodafone, up 2.64p to 70.76p, and St James’s Place, up 24.4p to 670.8p.

The biggest fallers on the FTSE 100 were Centrica, down 6.6p to 137.65p, SSE, down 41p to 1,698p, Sainsbury’s, down 5.4p to 276p, Tesco, down 5.3p to 293.5p, and Marks & Spencer, down 4.5p to 255.9p.



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