FTSE 100 concept
Consumer and producer price data is out on Wednesday with the BoE rate decision due on Thursday / Image source: Adobe

Stock prices in London closed mixed on Monday ahead of UK inflation data and a rate decision from the Bank of England, and as investors digested the latest house price reading.

The FTSE 100 index closed down 4.71 points, 0.1%, at 8,142.15. The FTSE 250 ended up 39.36 points, 0.2%, at 20,159.72, and the AIM All-Share closed up 1.11 points, 0.2%, at 774.93.

The Cboe UK 100 ended down slightly at 810.95, the Cboe UK 250 closed up 0.4% at 17,583.99, and the Cboe Small Companies ended up 0.7% at 16,561.66.

In European equities on Monday, the CAC 40 in Paris ended up 0.9%, while the DAX 40 in Frankfurt ended up 0.4%.

So far this week, the UK has had house price data to digest.

The reading showed that UK house prices snapped at the heels of May’s record high this month, despite robust mortgage rates and the threat of election uncertainty.

Rightmove said the average UK house asking price was largely flat on-month at £375,110 in June, compared to May’s record high of £375,131.

On-year, house prices grew 0.6% in June, the same pace of growth in May.

Rightmove analyst Tim Bannister commented: ‘It’s always difficult to predict how home-movers will react to sudden uncertainty, but looking back through our data, we can see that during previous election campaigns, market activity has remained largely steady.

‘This election has followed a similar pattern so far, and the responses from our poll of over 14,000 people also supports the data, with the vast majority of respondents saying they will carry on with their home-moving plans.’

It is a big week in terms of monetary policy decisions and economic data for the UK, especially ahead of the general election.

However, AJ Bell’s Russ Mould said the latest Bank of England meeting and reading of inflation mid-week will have ‘a greater influence.’

‘The focus will be on the commentary which accompanies another anticipated hold on rates and there will be hopes that the rate of growth in prices might retreat to the magic 2% to warrant rate cuts soon,” Mould added.

On Wednesday, UK consumer and producer price data is out. The BoE interest rate decision will be announced the day after.

In France, markets rebounded somewhat on Monday, following a rocky period last week. French stocks fell last week, amid President Emmanuel Macron’s snap election gamble.

The pound was quoted at $1.2685 at the London equities close Monday, up slightly compared to $1.2683 at the close on Friday. The euro stood at $1.0723 at the European equities close Monday, higher against $1.0698 at the same time on Friday. Against the yen, the dollar was trading at JP¥15.84, up compared to JP¥157.36 late Friday.

In London, the FTSE 100’s Kingfisher lost 1.1%. In the FTSE 250, British Land edged up 0.3%.

Kingfisher has hired the chief financial officer of British Land to be its own CFO, the two companies said.

Kingfisher operates do-it-yourself home improvement stores in the UK and France under the Screwfix, B&Q, Castorama, Brico Depot brands. British Land is a commercial property developer. Both are based in London.

Kingfisher said it has hired Bhavesh Mistry as its new CFO. He will succeed Bernard Bot, whose leaving date is yet to be confirmed but will be ’no earlier‘ than January 2025.

British Land said Mistry will stay in his current role until a replacement is found, noting that he has a 12-month notice period.

On AIM, Mind Gym lost 12%.

In the 12 months that ended March 31, the London-based personal and business coaching service reported a pretax loss of £12.1 million, swinging from a £3.0 million profit the year prior, as revenue fell 18% to £44.9 million from £55.0 million.

Macroeconomic headwinds affected confidence in key sectors including tech, especially in the US, and consumer and manufacturing companies dependent on global supply chains, Mind Gym said.

Stocks in New York were higher at the London equities close, with the DJIA up 0.1%, the S&P 500 index up 0.2%, and the Nasdaq Composite up 0.3%.

Brent oil was quoted at $83.45 a barrel at the London equities close Monday, up from $82.51 late Friday. Gold was quoted at $2,321.50 an ounce at the London equities close Monday, lower against $2,327.27 at the close on Friday.

In Tuesday’s UK corporate calendar, there are full year results from Ashtead Group, a London-based provider of equipment hire.

The economic calendar for Tuesday has an interest rate decision from the Reserve Bank of Australia overnight.

After that, at 1000 BST, there is consumer price data from the eurozone, as well as the ZEW economic sentiment survey. In the afternoon, there is US retail sales and industrial production data.

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Issue Date: 17 Jun 2024