Skip Header
Important information: The value of investments can go down as well as up so you may get back less than you invest. Investors should note that the views expressed may no longer be current and may have already been acted upon. This is a third-party news feed and may not reflect Fidelity’s views.

London midday: Stocks tick up in muted trade; Flutter surges

(Sharecast News) - London stocks were a touch firmer by midday on Thursday in muted trade, as investors waded through a deluge of corporate news. The FTSE 100 was up 0.1% at 7,455.99, having been a smidgen weaker earlier, as market participants continued to mull recent comments from central bankers and the potential for rate cuts to come later than expected.

Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell, said: "The FTSE 100 stabilised after falling on yesterday's nasty inflation surprise and weak Chinese growth figures.

"When you add in a tight jobs market, strong US retail sales and hawkish central bank commentary it's no surprise markets are becoming less confident about the narrative of near-term rate cuts."

On home shores, the latest survey from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors showed the housing market stabilised in December, as mortgage rates continued to ease.

The net balance of respondents reporting a rise in house prices over the three months to December was -30.

Although still firmly in negative territory, it was a notable improvement on November's -41 and above consensus expectations of -38.

The new buyer enquiries balance also strengthened, to -3 from -13, the highest since April 2022, while the new instructions balance edged into positive territory, up from -4 at 1.

The agreed sales balance was -6 - the highest since March 2022.

However, unsold stock remained high, with the average number of properties on an estate agent's books ticking up to 38.9, a 30-month high.

Tarrant Parsons, senior economist at Rics, said: "Supported by an easing in mortgage rates of late, buyer demand has now stabilised, and this is expected to translate into a slight recovery in residential sales volumes over the coming months."

In equity markets, Flutter Entertainment surged to the top of the FTSE 100 despite fourth-quarter revenues coming in below guidance, as investors reacted positively to the company's planned listing on Wall Street, with significant potential for growth in the key US market. Ladbrokes owner Entain also advanced.

Currys racked up strong gains as the electricals retailer said full-year profit was set to be ahead of consensus expectations despite reporting a drop in sales.

Travis Perkins advanced after the builders' merchant and home improvement retailer reported a stabilisation of pricing in the fourth quarter and announced plans to ramp-up its cost-savings programme.

Specialty chemicals company Elementis rose as it said that 2023 profit would be slightly ahead of expectations after a "resilient" fourth-quarter performance.

Cranswick was a high riser as the meat producer said that adjusted pre-tax profit for the year to the end of March 2024 was set to be ahead of the board's previous expectations after stronger-than-expected trading in the third quarter.

On the downside, B&M and Compass were among the worst performers as they traded without entitlement to the dividend.

Watches of Switzerland tanked after it slashed its annual revenue guidance as demand for its luxury products fell amid the cost-of-living crisis, particularly in the UK, and said it expected volatile trading conditions to remain for the rest of its fiscal year.

Harbour Energy and Energean both slid after trading and operations updates.

Market Movers

FTSE 100 (UKX) 7,455.99 0.13% FTSE 250 (MCX) 19,011.20 0.78% techMARK (TASX) 4,308.83 0.94%

FTSE 100 - Risers

Flutter Entertainment (CDI) (FLTR) 14,825.00p 12.31% Entain (ENT) 934.00p 4.38% St James's Place (STJ) 636.60p 2.64% Rolls-Royce Holdings (RR.) 303.50p 2.33% Anglo American (AAL) 1,789.20p 2.24% BT Group (BT.A) 115.60p 1.85% Legal & General Group (LGEN) 244.80p 1.75% Persimmon (PSN) 1,419.00p 1.68% Airtel Africa (AAF) 128.70p 1.58% Rio Tinto (RIO) 5,464.00p 1.52%

FTSE 100 - Fallers

B&M European Value Retail S.A. (DI) (BME) 524.00p -3.50% Hikma Pharmaceuticals (HIK) 1,920.50p -2.26% JD Sports Fashion (JD.) 106.50p -2.11% Admiral Group (ADM) 2,510.00p -1.99% Pearson (PSON) 940.60p -1.96% Compass Group (CPG) 2,163.00p -1.32% Severn Trent (SVT) 2,506.00p -1.26% United Utilities Group (UU.) 1,017.00p -1.21% BAE Systems (BA.) 1,178.00p -1.17% Centrica (CNA) 141.30p -1.12%

FTSE 250 - Risers

Ferrexpo (FXPO) 79.70p 10.08% Currys (CURY) 48.98p 7.74% Travis Perkins (TPK) 787.40p 6.43% Elementis (ELM) 125.00p 6.29% AJ Bell (AJB) 314.40p 5.79% TUI AG Reg Shs (DI) (TUI) 547.00p 4.39% Helios Towers (HTWS) 87.20p 3.87% Trainline (TRN) 318.00p 3.58% Grafton Group Ut (CDI) (GFTU) 934.20p 3.41% Bridgepoint Group (Reg S) (BPT) 267.80p 3.32%

FTSE 250 - Fallers

Watches of Switzerland Group (WOSG) 401.40p -31.62% Harbour Energy (HBR) 291.80p -7.89% Drax Group (DRX) 465.70p -6.41% Future (FUTR) 735.00p -3.67% NB Private Equity Partners Ltd. (NBPE) 1,590.00p -2.45% Mobico Group (MCG) 83.00p -1.66% Energean (ENOG) 927.50p -1.33% Diversified Energy Company (DEC) 967.00p -1.18% Big Yellow Group (BYG) 1,094.00p -1.17% Hochschild Mining (HOC) 85.75p -1.15%

Share this article

Related Sharecast Articles

Directors deals: Ashtead Technology finance director adds to holdings
(Sharecast News) - Ashtead Technology's finance director sold some shares to cover her obligations with HMRC after exercising options under the company's incentive plan.
Broker tips: DS Smith, Man Group
(Sharecast News) - Numis downgraded its stance on packaging group DS Smith on Friday to 'hold' from 'buy' as it said there was insufficient upside to retain a buy rating.
FTSE 250 movers: Miners benefit from Israel attack on Iran; Man Group disappoints
(Sharecast News) - FTSE 250 (MCX) 19,323.96 -0.65%
FTSE 100 movers: Mondi, retailers under the cosh
(Sharecast News) - London's FTSE 100 was down 0.5% at 7,840.05 in afternoon trade on Friday.

Important information: This information is not a personal recommendation for any particular investment. If you are unsure about the suitability of an investment you should speak to one of Fidelity’s advisers or an authorised financial adviser of your choice. When you are thinking about investing in shares, it’s generally a good idea to consider holding them alongside other investments in a diversified portfolio of assets. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future returns.

Award-winning online share dealing

Search, compare and select from thousands of shares.

Expert insights into investing your money

Our team of experts explore the world of share dealing.