Signs of an improving global economy helped the London market make gains despite disappointing corporate newsflow.
Kingfisher and EasyJet both missed expectations and were duly punished on the trading floor, but the FTSE 100 still added 23.31 points to 6,821.46 with a late US-inspired rally.
Jasper Lawler, market analyst at CMC, said: “Shares in Europe meandered higher after a modest turnaround in PMIs and Spanish unemployment in a sign that ECB stimulus efforts might be starting to have an effect. In the UK the data wasn’t too supportive with missed earnings and retail sales expectations but the FTSE 100 recovered early losses as sentiment returned particularly after a multi-year low in US jobless claims.”
The Footsie’s gains came despite shares in B&Q-owner Kingfisher slumping more than 8 per cent, down 27.5p to 308.5p, after it revealed like-for-like sales were 1.8 per cent lower in the ten weeks to 12 July.
The update prompted Cantor Fitzgerald to cut his “top end of the range” forecast for profits this year from £805 million to £780m.
Wickes-owner Travis Perkins, which is a rival of Kingfisher, brushed off the downgrade as it slipped by just 8p to 1,620p, while Homebase-owner Home Retail Group was down by 2p at 172.3p.
There was also disappointment for investors in EasyJet after the Luton-based carrier said annual profits would grow to between £545m and £570m, below the City’s current consensus. It has been hit by a rising fuel bill, while unrest in Israel and Egypt has also impacted on its performance.
Shares were 5 per cent lower, off 70p to 1,333p as the recent disappointing performance by the stock continued.