The FTSE 100 index closed on a positive note today, boosted by NatWest’s upgrade and expectations of stable or reduced central bank interest rates in the coming year. The broader European equity markets also experienced significant gains.
NatWest’s upgrade to ‘overweight’ by Barclays was based on the bank’s effective management of deposit migration and funding risks. This is anticipated to result in increased net interest margins and profits. The positive adjustment made NatWest stand out among other performers in the market.
The FTSE 100 concluded at 7,498.66 points, supported by key players such as mining companies Anglo-American and Fresnillo, insurer Prudential, and banks like Standard Chartered. These companies contributed to the overall rise, with their shares climbing by over 3%. Other notable gainers included Glencore, Land Securities Group, DCC, Halma, and Hargreaves Lansdown.
However, retailers Marks & Spencer and B&M saw a decline in their shares following an unexpected drop in October retail sales. This contradicted earlier predictions of an increase and was reported by the Office for National Statistics.
Across Europe, the Stoxx 600 rose by 1.01%, Germany’s DAX advanced by 0.84%, France’s CAC 40 grew by 0.91%, and Switzerland’s SMI increased by 0.89%. In the UK market, British Land Company and Standard Chartered saw jumps of 3% to 4.5%, while other stocks like TUI and Flutter Entertainment also finished higher. Germany’s Siemens Energy led the gains with nearly an 8% increase.
Volvo Cars faced a significant drop of 11% after its shareholder Geely initiated a discounted share sale. Alstom’s stock also decreased by approximately 1.7%.
Eurostat confirmed that the Eurozone inflation rate stood at 2.9%, the lowest point in over two years. This suggests easing inflationary pressures. The euro area current account surplus held steady at EUR 31 billion, despite a reduction in the goods trade surplus for September.
Today’s market movements were influenced by a combination of corporate developments and macroeconomic data, which impacted investor sentiment across Europe.
More detail via Investing.com India here… ( Image via Investing.com India )