FTSE 100 hits 10-month high as sterling weakens; Telford soars

The FTSE 100 rose 0.6 per cent scaling its highest level since August 29.. — Reuters pic
The FTSE 100 rose 0.6 per cent scaling its highest level since August 29.. — Reuters pic

LONDON, July 3 —  Britain’s main index hit a 10-month high today as comments from the Bank of England raised hopes of an interest rate cut and hurt the pound, while AIM-listed Telford Homes surged after a buyout offer.

The FTSE 100 rose 0.6 per cent, scaling its highest level since August 29, boosted by shares of companies that book a major chunk of their revenue overseas. The FTSE 250 added 0.4 per cent by 0810 GMT.

The pound struggled for traction after Bank of England Governor Mark Carney said yesterday that the global trade war and a ‘no-deal’ Brexit may warrant a near-term policy response, which markets interpreted as a dovish signal.

The currency had been hit in the previous session after data showed Britain’s construction industry suffered its worst month in more than 10 years last month amid persisting Brexit uncertainty.

BAT, Imperial Brands and AstraZeneca were among the biggest boosts to the main index.

Appetite for policy easing was stoked last month when investors bet the U.S. Federal Reserve would cut interest rates in response to slowing global economic growth, which helped the FTSE 100 enjoy its best month since January.

In news-driven moves today, Britain’s biggest sportswear retailer, JD Sports, led the blue-chip gainers with a 4 per cent rise after it said its annual profit would at least be equal to the market view.

“It would appear that despite a tough retail environment management have stumbled on a formula that is expected to more than triple revenues,” CMC Markets analyst Michael Hewson said.

Telford Homes climbed 12.4 per cent to 354 pence after US real estate firm CBRE said it would buy the British residential property developer for 350 pence a share in cash.

Telford shares were on course for their best day in more than three years.

Supporting the mid-cap index was cyber security firm Sophos , which advanced almost 7 per cent, and peer Avast, up 3 per cent, after sources said chipmaker Broadcom was in advanced talks to buy Symantec.

Drinks makers fizzed as Boris Johnson was expected to announce a review into the so-called “sin taxes” on products high in salt, fat and sugar if he becomes the Prime Minister.

Shares of Fevertree, Britvic and sweetener maker Tate & Lyle rose 2 per cent. — Reuters

Related Articles