© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A man wearing a protective face mask walks past the London Stock Exchange Group building in the City of London financial district, whilst British stocks tumble as investors fear that the coronavirus outbreak could stall the global economy, in
By Devik Jain
(Reuters) -London’s climbed on Wednesday, helped by gains in heavyweight energy and consumer staples stocks, while Bloomsbury Publishing jumped following a strong earnings update.
The blue-chip index rose 0.4%, with oil majors BP (LON:) and Royal Dutch Shell (LON:) climbing 1.8% and 1.9% respectively, as crude prices extended gains. [O/R]
Large dollar-earning consumer staples companies including Reckitt Benckiser Group, Diageo (LON:) and Unilever (LON:) provided the biggest boost to the index.
The domestically focused mid-cap advanced 0.2%, touching a record high.
Bloomsbury Publishing advanced 5.8% as the Harry Potter publisher declared a special dividend and lifted its targets for the current year, after strong book sales during lockdowns drove a 22% surge in its annual earnings.
“What you have is a sense of confidence in the longer run, there’s a divergence between an equity market which believes long-term growth expectations have shifted upwards, and the fixed income market which doesn’t expect the Fed or the ECB to do very much in the short term at least,” said Sebastien Galy, a senior macro strategist at Nordea Asset Management.
“It’s quite important to focus on the Beige Book, which is very unusual because it’s a lot of information that we need is anecdotal.”
Asian stocks chopped around record peaks as markets awaited U.S. jobs data due on Friday and the Federal Reserve’s “beige book” economic snapshot. [MKTS/GLOB]
The FTSE 100 index has traded in a tight range since April as concerns grew that central banks might pare support early as economies reopen and inflation climbs.
Among other stocks, Tate & Lyle (LON:) rose 2.4%, after Berenberg upgraded the food ingredients maker’s stock to “buy” on prospects of business split.
Burberry Group (LON:) jumped 2.6% to the top of the FTSE 100 index after Exane BNP Paribas (PA:) upgraded the stock to “outperform” from “neutral”.
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