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UK’s FTSE 100 ends marginally higher, notches monthly gains


UK’s FTSE 100 ends marginally higher, notches monthly gains By Reuters

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Published Jul 31, 2023 08:21
Updated Jul 31, 2023 17:32

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The London Stock Exchange Group offices are seen in the City of London, Britain, December 29, 2017. REUTERS/Toby Melville/File Photo

By Shashwat Chauhan and Khushi Singh

(Reuters) – British stocks edged higher on Monday as firmer commodity prices supported the energy and mining sectors, but beverage-related shares fell on Dutch firm Heineken’s dour outlook.

The exporter-heavy FTSE 100 closed up 0.1%, logging a monthly gain of over 2% in July as risk sentiment flourished after data earlier this month showed domestic inflation eased more than expected.

Heavyweight energy stocks gained 1.3% on higher oil prices and after the UK government announced plans to grant more than 100 new oil and gas licences in North Sea. [O/R]

Industrial metal miners rose 0.9% as prices of most base metals advanced. [MET/L]

UK’s beverages index fell 1.2% after Heineken, the world’s second-largest brewer by volume, cut its 2023 profit growth forecast.

The Bank of England is widely expected to raise rates by a quarter-point to 5.25% on Thursday, though economists and markets see a risk of a repeat of June’s surprise half-point hike.

“In our view, the BoE is in a more difficult place as inflation is likely to stay higher for longer in the UK. A number of UK specific factors (Brexit, open economy, tightness of the labour market) bode negatively for UK inflation,” Jefferies economist Mohit Kumar wrote in a note.

British Airways-owner ICAG was the biggest gainer on the FTSE 100 index, up 3.6%, after two brokerages raised their price target.

Telecom company BT Group (LON:BT) slipped 1.7% after naming Allison Kirkby, a board member and president and CEO of Sweden’s Telia Company, as its next CEO.

The more domestically focussed FTSE 250 midcap index added 0.1%.

Dr Martens (LON:DOCS) advanced 4.4% on a report that activist investor Sparta Capital has accumulated stock worth tens of millions of pounds in the British bootmaker.

Marshalls slipped 2.8% after flagging that a recovery in market conditions was unlikely in the second half of the year.

UK’s FTSE 100 ends marginally higher, notches monthly gains

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