Another rollercoaster ride as turmoil grips markets
Investors endured another rollercoaster ride yesterday amid concerns about the banking sector and wider economy.
the FTSE 100 raced higher in early trading – rising 118 points or 1.6pc – in a relief rally sparked by a £45bn lifeline for troubled swiss bank Credit suisse.
But London’s blue- chip share index slipped back after the european Central Bank (eCB) pressed ahead with a bumper hike in interest rates despite the turmoil.
Many observers thought the eCB would raise rates by just 0.25 percentage points, from 2.5pc to 2.75pc, given the strain the hikes are putting on the financial markets and banking system.
But it was unbowed, raising rates 0.5 percentage points to 3pc, as it had suggested it would before the chaos of the past week.
With investors struggling to take it all in, the Ftse 100 finally closed up 0.9pc, or 65.58 points, at 7410.03 while the FTSE 250 climbed 0.7pc, or 132.73 points, to 18,758.58. the moves were echoed across europe with major benchmarks in Paris, Frankfurt and Milan whipsawing.
All eyes will now be on the Us Federal reserve and Bank of england when they make their latest interest rate decisions next week.
Just as the stock markets yoyoed throughout the day, so did the oil price, diving towards $70 a barrel before recovering to stand around $74. BP fell 0.9pc, or 4.35p, to 482.45p and Shell was down 2.2pc, or 50.5p, to 2209p.
the country’s bookmakers will today enjoy the biggest betting day of the year bar the Grand national as punters gamble on the Cheltenham Gold Cup.
It’s been a mixed week for the bookies, but Ladbrokes spokeswoman nicola McGeady says they ‘just about got our noses in front’ thanks to shock defeats for the heavily backed Mighty Potter in the opening race and shishkin in the ryanair Chase.
With attention now turning to the Gold Cup, Ladbrokes owner Entain rose 1.6pc, or 19.5p, to 1213.5p and Paddy Power parent Flutter was up by 3.6pc, or 480p, to 13,830p.
there was no stopping rat catcher Rentokil Initial after it posted a near-28pc rise in annual profits to £532m for 2022 and hiked its dividend 18.2pc to 7.55p a share. shares rocketed 10.1pc, or 50.6p, to 553.6p.
Heading firmly in the opposite direction was M&G as the asset manager continued its decline of recent days.
the stock, driven up by takeover speculation earlier this year, fell 8.4pc, or 16.75p, to 181.65p.
there was little to cheer for the former M&G parent company Prudential, which rose by 1.3pc, or 13.5p, to 1049.5p even though
Barclays cut its target price to 1700p from 1750p.
electronics retail chain Currys has trimmed its profit guidance for the second time in just over three months, as trading woes in scandinavia continue to affect it.
Its nordic troubles were offsetting strengthening trading in the UK and Ireland and set to leave profits sharply lower, at around £104m. shares fell 9.3pc, or 6.65p, to 64.95p. Currys downgraded its outlook in December to between £100m and £125m for the year to April 2023, from the £125m to £145m it had expected. It made £186m profit the previous year.
It was a similar story at furniture seller DFS, which now expects profits of £30m to £35m for the full year. that followed a 70pc slump in first-half profit to £6.8m. Its shares were flat at 133p.
Private equity group Bridgepoint, which owns Burger King in the UK and arts and crafts superstore Hobbycraft, rose 5pc, or 10.2p, to 215.4p after assets under management hit a better-thanexpected £33bn.