FTSE gains ahead of Budget as Europe cautious
THE FTSE 100 climbed past its rival markets as it finished the day higher on the back of strong performances by mining firms.
It started the session cautiously but pushed upwards amid speculation that Chancellor Rishi Sunak will extend the furlough scheme and announce further financial support in today’s Budget announcement.
London’s top flight closed 25.22 points higher at 6,613.75 on Tuesday.
Connor Campbell, financial analyst at Spreadex, said: “The FTSE was the outlier on an otherwise tepid Tuesday, pulling ahead of its Eurozone and US peers.
“The UK index does, admittedly, have a lot more room to expand. While the Dax and Dow Jones lurk near their respective all-time highs – the Dow might be 600 points adrift of those levels, but that’s just one or two good sessions for the index – the FTSE is a long way off.”
Europe’s other major indices closed the session higher amid an uptick in sentiment later in trading.
The German Dax increased by 0.21% and the French Cac moved 0.31% higher.
Across the Atlantic, the Dow Jones dipped slightly after its major rebound on Monday had moved it back towards record highs.
Meanwhile, sterling made gains against an uneasy dollar as it was also strengthened by optimism regarding the UK’S economic recovery out of lockdown measures.
The pound increased by 0.14% versus the US dollar to 1.394 and was down 0.05% against the euro at 1.155.
In company news, FTSE 250 engineering firm Renishaw soared higher after it was put up for sale by its octogenarian founders.
Shareholders welcomed news that executive chairman Sir David Mcmurty and non-executive director John Deer – who together own 53% of the business – said they want to cash in their majority stake. Shares were 1,100p higher at 6,900p.
French Connection finished lower after it confirmed one of its potential takeover suitors would not place an offer. Shares fell by 2.2p to 24.6p as it launched a formal sale process amid initial talks with four parties interested in the high street brand.
Investors drank up shares of Virgin Wines as the online retailer started trading on the London Stock Exchange’s AIM index. Shares were 228p at the end of the session, up from its 190p IPO price.
The price of oil inched higher after Mohammed Barkindo, the secretary general of Opec, said there had been a major “turnaround” in oil. The price of Brent crude oil rose by 0.06% to $63.73 per barrel.
The biggest risers on the FTSE 100 were Pershing Square, up 95p to 2,605p, Standard Chartered, up 12.4p to 482.4p, Admiral Group, up 73p to 3,200p, St James’s Place, up 28p to 1,230p, and Aveva Group, up 79p to 3,520p. The biggest fallers were JD Sports, down 24.2p to 813p, British Land, down 10.1p to 490.9p, Barratt Developments, down 13.8p to 684.2p, Intertek, down 94p to 5,386p, and Flutter Entertainment, down 245p to 14,110p.