|Day's range||6,165.05 - 6,238.25|
|52-week range||4,898.80 - 7,727.50|
The blue-chip FTSE 100 <.FTSE> and the domestically-focused mid-cap FTSE 250 <.FTMC> each added 0.9%, with both indexes ending at their highest levels since early-March. A report suggesting further fiscal relief for local businesses increased optimism, while investors continued to watch for the British economy gradually emerging from the coronavirus lockdown. The FTSE 100 was propped up by resource heavyweights BP PLC <BP.L> and BHP Group <BHPB.L> as commodity prices rose on the prospect of increased demand and - in the case of oil- more OPEC production cuts.
Alan Stewart, finance director of Tesco for nearly six years, is the latest FTSE 100 executive to quit. Broker AJ Bell reckons that for the past two decades, on average about 12 FTSE 100 chief executives have jumped ship a year. FD changes average about 15 a year in the FTSE 100, but so far 16 have been announced.
Associated British Foods <ABF.L> jumped 8% after its fashion brand Primark outlined plans to reopen all 153 of its stores in England on June 15. The stock was among the best performers on the blue-chip FTSE 100 index <.FTSE>, which added about 1.5% for the day. The domestically-sensitive mid-cap index <.FTMC> was up 1.4%, propped up by consumer discretionary stocks on hopes that the UK economy would rebound.
The purchasing managers’ indices are among the world’s most closely watched economic indicators, moving markets and provoking policymakers to act. The polls — most of which are compiled by data firm IHS Markit — offer an early sign of how well, or badly, the economy is faring. While GDP data are only available with a lag of, at best, four weeks after the end of each quarter, the PMIs offer a near-instantaneous insight into how well activity has fared over the past month.
EasyJet <EZJ.L> and cruise operator Carnival <CCL.L> are set to lose their seat at the top table of British blue chips after the COVID-19 crisis knocked the value of their shares to below the threshold of London's prestigious FTSE 100 <.FTSE> index. Hard-hit by travel bans, the low-cost airline lost as much as two thirds of its market value during the peak of the pandemic crisis and despite a vigorous bounce-back, its market capitalisation was only ranked 125th based on Monday's stock market close in London. FTSE Russell, which will announce its quarterly shuffle of the FTSE 100 index on Wednesday, requires companies to be ranked at least 110th to be part of the blue-chip index.
During the coronavirus crisis, democratic governments have discovered — again — that businesses act in their own interest, not in the interests of the country where they happen to be based. Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary wants to relaunch 40 per cent of flights in July, whether or not it suits Ireland, the UK or any other government. The issue predates the pandemic: UK entrepreneur James Dyson, a vocal supporter of Brexit Britain’s economic potential, has moved his company’s headquarters to Singapore.
The FTSE 100 is set for its biggest shake-up in more than four years after the impact of coronavirus wiped out revenues for companies in travel and aviation but boosted others in emergency services and technology. EasyJet and Carnival, the cruise ship operator, are expected to fall into the FTSE 250, according to share prices on Friday that have more than halved since the onset of the pandemic. Dropping out of the FTSE 100 is significant for companies given the access to tracker or exchange traded funds that only follow the index of the UK’s top companies.
Wall Street turned higher late in Friday’s session after Donald Trump’s latest salvo aimed at China did not deliver the harsh sanctions traders had feared. The S&P 500 closed up 0.5 per cent and the Dow Jones Industrial Average ended little changed, recovering from a fall of more than 1 per cent, after the US president said in a scheduled address that his administration would revoke special trade privileges for Hong Kong. Analysts had been predicting a much more aggressive US response to Beijing’s approval of a national security law for Hong Kong.
The blue-chip FTSE 100 <.FTSE> was down 2.3% with travel <.FTNMX5750> stocks serving as the top decliners, while the mid-cap FTSE 250 <.FTMC> shed 1.7% to snap a nine-day winning streak. Optimism over the reopening of a bulk of the British economy next month saw the domestically inclined FTSE 250 marking its best two-month rise since 2009. For the day, bank stocks <.FTNMX8350> tracked a decline in gilt yields as investors fled to perceived safe havens ahead of U.S. President Donald Trump's news conference on China's move to impose a national security law on Hong Kong that has raised concerns over its function as a global finance hub.
The bumper run in the US stock market is beginning to turn its doubters into believers, adding fresh thrust to a rally that has wrongfooted veteran investors, lured in retail traders, and defied the dire economic outlook caused by the global pandemic. The rally has built a legion of sceptics who worry the market is being driven entirely by Federal Reserve stimulus and that bullish investors are too confident a vaccine will emerge to rekindle corporate profits. “There’s an element of fear of missing out — FOMO — as investors start to look at the momentum,” said Emily Roland, co-chief investment strategist for John Hancock Investment Management in Boston.
The number of UK organisations reporting on their gender pay gap has halved during the past year, adding to concerns that the coronavirus pandemic could set back equality in the workplace. The average pay gap increased from 11.9 per cent to 12.9 per cent in the year to April, according to Financial Times analysis of government figures — but only half of the 10,000 eligible UK employers submitted data to the government in the period. The UK government removed the requirement for companies to report their pay gaps this year at the onset of the coronavirus crisis in March in an attempt to help companies that were struggling to cope.
Rolls-Royce has lost its investment-grade rating — held for the past 20 years — after Standard & Poor’s on Thursday downgraded the company to junk status because of “prolonged weak profitability” and expectations of materially lower cash flow from its engine service contracts. The downgrade is a severe blow to the aero-engine company, which only last week announced plans to cut 9,000 jobs, mainly from its civil aerospace division. It could also hit profitability of future long-term service contracts, as the perceived risk for customers of striking multiyear deals would increase.
The blue-chip FTSE 100 <.FTSE> rose another 1.2% after ending Wednesday at an 11-week high, with AstraZeneca <AZN.L> the biggest boost. The group, which is developing a leading coronavirus vaccine with Oxford University, said it may have to consider introducing vaccine trial participants to the virus. GSK <GSK.L> was the second biggest boost to the index as it laid out plans to produce 1 billion doses of vaccine efficacy boosters for COVID-19 shots next year.
The recovery from the coronavirus financial crash will take time for European stocks which are expected to end 2021 around 10% below this February's record high, a Reuters poll of about 30 fund managers, strategists and brokers showed. Taken over the past two weeks the survey showed the pan-European STOXX 600 <.STOXX> would reach 347 points, 368 points and 390 points by end-2020, mid-2021 and at the end of 2021 respectively. The index hit a record high of 433.9 points on Feb. 19 but the coronavirus pandemic and lockdowns imposed across the world to limit its spread triggered a global sell-off in anticipation of recessions caused by entire countries closing down.
The sun’s out, school holidays aren’t far off, and Dominic Cummings has made it clear that those rules weren’t meant to be interpreted too strictly anyway. From the size of the rally in travel and leisure stocks, though, you’d be forgiven for thinking the pub gardens were already full of punters quaffing Pimm’s and pints. The pan-European Stoxx travel and leisure index had risen more than 10 per cent for the week to date by midday on Thursday.
Euro Zone stocks were supported as the European Commission (EC) prepares to unveil a plan to help the EU economy recover.
US stocks staged a late rally on Wednesday as hopes of a faster economic recovery overcame concerns over the relationship between the US and China. Wall Street’s S&P 500 finished the day 1.5 per cent higher, closing above 3,000 for the first time in 12 weeks. Other global equity benchmarks also rose, with London’s FTSE 100 gaining 1.3 per cent and the benchmark Euro Stoxx 600 closing 0.2 per cent higher.
Upheaval in the retail sector, accelerated by coronavirus, has wiped more than £1bn off the value of British Land’s portfolio. The FTSE 100 property company owns about £11bn worth of property, including key sites in Broadgate, east London, and Paddington in west London. Just over a third of that — £3.9bn — is made up of retail parks, stores and shopping centres, which have shed more than a quarter of their value over the year.
Yes, a weakening renminbi is worrying, particularly when the US dollar is broadly lower, but fiscal and monetary stimulus is a nice comfort blanket. Japan is rolling out a ¥117tn ($1.1tn) package of easing, equal to 6 per cent of gross domestic product a month, after announcing the previous round of stimulus. The European Commission fired up appetite for regional shares and sovereign bonds with plans to seek approval to borrow as much as €750bn in debt in order to fund the eurozone’s recovery from Covid-19.
The blue-chip FTSE 100 <.FTSE> added 1.3%, while the domestically focussed FTSE 250 <.FTMC> rose 1.2% in anticipation of thousands of retailers emerging from lockdowns next month, while reports of a bigger-than-expected euro zone stimulus package also helped sentiment.
Hopes of a quick economic recovery gave a lift to global stocks on Tuesday, taking them to their highest levels since the coronavirus pandemic first took hold in early March. In the US the S&P 500 moved above the 3,000 point level for the first time in nearly three months, though the index pared gains late in the session on renewed concerns about new US tariffs against China. Investors were switching into riskier assets, with travel and leisure stocks leading the gains in response to moves by Germany and Spain to lift their travel restrictions.