UK's FTSE 100 at fresh 20-month highs after Reckitt forecast lift

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen outside the entrance of the London Stock Exchange in London, Britain. Aug 23, 2018. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls

By Bansari Mayur Kamdar

(Reuters) – London’s FTSE 100 rose for a third straight session on Tuesday, boosted by consumer goods company Reckitt Benckiser after it lifted its sales forecast, while the global mood was buoyed by record highs on Wall Street indexes.

The blue-chip rose 0.7% to hit a fresh highs since February 2020 after notched a record high at the start of a heavy week of earnings. [.N]

Lysol cleaning products maker Reckitt Benckiser jumped 5.7% to the top of FTSE 100 after it raised its full-year forecast as higher sales of cold and flu remedies and price hikes helped it beat analysts’ estimates for third-quarter sales.

Premier Inn-owner Whitbread (LON:) climbed 3.1% after reporting a much smaller half-year loss and saying that it expected a full recovery by 2022.

While record-low interest rates and easing of pandemic restrictions have aided FTSE 100’s 12.4% recovery this year, the index has underperformed its European and U.S. peers due to a large presence of volatile commodity stocks.

“With the FTSE 100, what you’ve got is an unusual mix of unpredictable stocks like oils and commodity prices which are showing some signs of life,” said Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell. “What it hasn’t got are the growth stocks that have been so powerful in the U.S.”

With expectations of an interest rate hike next month running high, a Bank of England rate-setter Silvana Tenreyro said on Monday she saw no urgency to raise rates, adopting a different approach than Governor Andrew Bailey who signalled last week that the BoE would act to contain inflation risks. [L8N2RL4BP]

The domestically focussed mid-cap index advanced 0.5%, helped by a rebound in travel companies.

IT services and consulting firm Softcat Plc slid 5.8% after reporting full-year earnings, while e-commerce group THG fell 9.3% after saying it had appointed an executive from backer SoftBank to its board and is looking for an independent chair.

Graphic: FTSE 100 at 20-month highs –

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