Wednesday market close: Footsie edges higher ahead of US meeting

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The FTSE crept higher as investors turned their attention to the release of minutes from the latest US Federal Reserve meeting.

Jasper Lawler, a senior market analyst at London Capital Group, said that details of the Federal Open Market Committee’s (FOMC) May meeting had stolen the attention of global investors.

“Dollar strength over the last 24 hours is likely a consequence of the consensus expectation that FOMC minutes will come down on the hawkish side and aid the expectation that there will be two more hikes this year and more talk of balance sheet shrinkage thereafter,” he said. The FTSE 100 ended the day up 29.61 points at 7514.9.

Marks and Spencer Group shares rose 5.7p to 393.4p, having recovered from a drop in early trading after posting a 63.5 per cent fall in annual bottom line pre-tax profits to £176.4 million. It also revealed that sales in its clothing business dropped 5.9 per cent in the last three months. Kingfisher shares slumped 25.2p to 334p, ending the day as the worst performing stock on the FTSE 100 after the B&Q owner posted a 0.6 per cent decline in like-for-like sales in the three months to 30 April.

Dixons Carphone shares topped the FTSE 250, rising 15.4p to 342p after reporting a 9 per cent rise in annual sales.

Hollywood Bowl jumped 8.25p to 175.25p as it cheered an 18.5 per cent surge in half-year earnings to £13 million after growing sales and revamping sites across the UK. Shares in ZPG rose 9.8p to 367.9p as the company behind Zoopla and PrimeLocation reported a 22 per cent rise in half-year revenue.

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