London’s FTSE 100 makes gains as European markets rebound

Britain’s blue-chip index overtook France’s CAC40 on Monday as Europe’s biggest stock market.

Alex Daniel
Tuesday 18 June 2024 17:22 BST
The FTSE 100 ticked up on Tuesday (Nicholas T Ansell/PA)
The FTSE 100 ticked up on Tuesday (Nicholas T Ansell/PA) (PA Wire)

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Louise Thomas

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The FTSE 100 ticked up on Tuesday after overtaking France’s top index as Europe’s biggest stock market earlier this week.

The blue-chip index rose 49 points to 8,191 on Tuesday, a 0.6% rise, with Hargreaves Lansdown, SSE and Whitbread among the biggest risers.

Tuesday’s gains came ahead of official figures on consumer price inflation (CPI) tomorrow morning, which is expected to fall back to the Government’s target of 2%.

However, experts do not predict it will be enough to persuade Bank of England policymakers to cut the base interest rate from 5.25% on Thursday.

“Tomorrow could be a significant day for the UK market as we’ve got May’s inflation figures due,” said Dan Coatsworth, investment analyst at AJ Bell.

“The consensus is 2% which would put the cost of living bang on target for the Bank of England, thus strengthening the argument to cut rates. But the big unknown is when the Bank will cut.

“Thursday’s meeting might be too soon and markets certainly don’t expect it to budge.”

The FTSE overtook France’s CAC 40 on Monday as Europe’s biggest index after political divisions resulted in billions of euros being wiped off Paris’s top index in a matter of days.

The CAC 40 rebounded today to finish 0.73% up, while elsewhere in Europe, Germany’s Dax moved upwards 0.31%.

Stateside, the S&P 500 was up 0.14% as markets closed in London, while the Dow Jones was 0.04% up.

In company news, Hargreaves Lansdown said it is in talks with a consortium led by private equity firm CVC Capital and Abu Dhabi’s wealth fund over a £5.4 billion takeover approach.

Bosses at the financial services firm have told investors they would “be willing to recommend” such a deal if the suitors lay down a firm offer.

Shares in Hargreaves Lansdown rose 4.9% on the news.

Hotel and pub firm Whitbread has said trading improved across its UK Premier Inn hotels in recent weeks, pushing shares up 1.8%.

Nevertheless, the London-listed firm said demand was “slightly softer” during the weekend in some areas, such as London, which had performed particularly well last year.

The price of a barrel of Brent crude oil was 0.85% up to 82.24 US dollars as markets were closing in London.

The biggest risers on the FTSE 100 were Hargreaves Lansdown, up 56.5p to 1130p, RS Group, up 26p to 731p, SSE, up 61p to 1800p, Bunzl, up 100p to 2998p, and St James’s Place, up 15.5p to 545.5p.

The biggest fallers on the FTSE 100 were JD Sports, down 2.65p to 117.85p, Ashtead, down 110p to 5400p, Persimmon, down 17.5p to 1404.5p, Barratt Developments, down 5.8p to 481.9p, and Taylor Wimpey, down 1.25p to 147.4p.

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