Bank of England
Stock prices in London closed higher ahead of the latest UK rates decision and inflation data / Image source: Adobe

Stock prices in London closed higher on Tuesday, as markets wait for the latest Bank of England interest rate decision and UK inflation data.

The FTSE 100 index closed up 49.14 points, 0.6%, at 8,191.29. The FTSE 250 ended up 250.21 points, 1.2%, at 20,409.93, and the AIM All-Share closed up 3.39 points, 0.4%, at 778.32.

The Cboe UK 100 ended up 0.6% at 815.73, the Cboe UK 250 closed up 1.1% at 17,770.20, and the Cboe Small Companies ended up 0.4% at 16,622.86.

In European equities on Tuesday, the CAC 40 in Paris ended up 0.8%, while the DAX 40 in Frankfurt ended up 0.3%.

Eyes are on UK economic data, as well as latest monetary policy decisions. This is especially important in the wake of the UK election.

UK inflation data is due out at 0700 BST on Wednesday.

According to FXStreet, CPI is expected to cool to 2%, the BoE’s target, in May from 2.3% a month earlier.

The data comes ahead of the latest interest rate decision from the Bank of England. Markets are expecting the central bank to leave rates unchanged.

This morning, figures from Eurostat showed that annual consumer price inflation in the eurozone accelerated to 2.6% in May, from 2.4% in April. The reading was in-line with an earlier estimate.

Consumer prices increased 0.2% in May from April, also in line with the prior estimate. In April from March, prices rose by 0.6%. Core inflation, which strips out energy, food, alcohol & tobacco prices from the calculation, picked up to 2.9% in May, from 2.7% previously.

Stocks in New York were mixed at the London equities close, with the DJIA down 0.1% and Nasdaq Composite lost 0.2%, whilst the S&P 500 index up 0.1%.

US retail sales edged up by less than anticipated, US Census Bureau data showed.

US advance monthly sales for retail and food services grew by just 0.1% monthly to $703.1 billion in May, from $702.5 billion in April, the latter which was downwardly revised from $705.2 billion reported a month ago. May’s growth was slower than the 0.2% climb expected by the FXStreet-cited consensus.

Notably, retail & food services sales excluding motor vehicles & parts contracted by 0.1% in May, counter to FXStreet-cited expectations which had pencilled in growth of 0.2%.

The pound was quoted at $1.2693 at the London equities close Tuesday, higher compared to $1.2685 at the close on Monday. The euro stood at $1.0736 at the European equities close Tuesday, up against $1.0723 at the same time on Monday. Against the yen, the dollar was trading at JP¥157.97, up compared to JP¥157.84 late Monday.

In the FTSE 100, Hargreaves Lansdown closed up 4.9%.

Hargreaves Lansdown confirmed it received a revised takeover proposal, and extended the deadline for an interested consortium to announce its intention to make an offer.

The Bristol, England-based wealth management platform confirmed it has decided to engage with the consortium, led by CVC Capital Partners, about a revised offer that would incorporate a final dividend worth more than 30 pence per share. That figure is 25% below a 40p figure reported earlier on Tuesday by Sky News.

The proposed offer prices the company at 1,140 pence per share, which is 8.6% higher than Sky’s earlier reported figure of around 1,050p.

Ashtead Group fell 2.0%.

In the financial year that ended April 30, the London-based provider of equipment hire said pretax profit fell 2.1% to $2.11 billion from $2.16 billion. This came despite a 12% increase in revenue to $10.86 billion from $9.67 billion.

Ashtead proposed a final dividend of 89.25 US cents per share, up 5.0% from 85.0 cents. Its annual dividend totalled 105.0 cents, also rising 5.0% from 100.0 cents.

Amongst London’s small caps, XP Power, the maker of power control systems, lost 14%.

XP Power said that Advanced Energy Industries does not intend to make an offer.

AEI said it had sought to engage with the XP Power board of directors, but the lack of any progress has prevented it from accessing the due diligence materials necessary to make a firm offer.

On AIM, Crossword Cybersecurity jumped 40%.

The cyber security and risk technology firm leapt, after it signed a three-year exclusive partnership to jointly market Rizikon, Crossword’s supply-chain cyber platform.

Brent oil was quoted at $85.02 a barrel at the London equities close Tuesday from $83.45 late Monday. Gold was quoted at $2,324.20 an ounce at the London equities close Tuesday against $2,321.50 at the close on Monday.

In Wednesday’s UK corporate calendar, there are full year results from housebuilder Berkeley Group.

The economic calendar for Wednesday has a current account reading for the eurozone, as well as construction output data.

Markets in the US will be closed on Wednesday for the Juneteenth holiday.

Copyright 2024 Alliance News Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

Find out how to deal online from £1.50 in a SIPP, ISA or Dealing account. AJ Bell logo

Issue Date: 18 Jun 2024