FTSE Skids Lower On Sticky Inflation

On Wednesday, Britain's FTSE 100 stock index reached its lowest point(-0.79%) in two weeks due to slower-than-anticipated deceleration in Britain's inflation, which dashed hopes of a June interest rate reduction by the Bank of England. However, Marks & Spencer's saw an increase in annual profit, leading to gains. The blue-chip FTSE 100 index dropped by 0.3%, marking its largest decline in over a month. Additionally, the pound strengthened against the dollar and reached a two-month high. In April, consumer prices in Britain increased by 2.3%, which was a slowdown from the 3.2% rise in March. Economists surveyed by Reuters had anticipated a 2.1% increase. The two-year gilt yield, which is closely linked to interest rate expectations, reached its highest level in three weeks at 4.462%.

UK homebuilders are experiencing a decline as inflation in Britain fell less than expected in April. This has led to a 1.2% drop in shares of UK housebuilders, with a key core measure barely decreasing. Investors are reacting by pulling back on bets for a rate cut next month. Consumer prices rose by an annual 2.3% last month, a significant decrease from the 3.2% increase in March. This is the lowest inflation rate since July 2021, compared to the forecasted drop to 2.1% by economists polled by Reuters. The Bank of England's rate cuts have filtered down to lower mortgage rates, which has boosted demand for homes. As a result, FTSE 100 homebuilders Persimmon, Barratt, and Taylor Wimpey have all experienced falls between 1.2% and 1.8%.

RS Group experienced the largest one-day percentage drop in a year, with its shares falling 7.5%,, making it the top loser on the FTSE 100 index. The company reported a 30% decrease in annual adjusted profit before tax to 281 million pounds ($358.08 million), attributing the decline to global industrial production weakness and the normalisation of post-pandemic trading conditions. Additionally, the company's revenue for the year decreased by 1%, with an 8% like-for-like decline. RS Group also stated its intention to pursue further cost and efficiency benefits over time, although it anticipates some short-term dilution to its operating profit margin. This resulted in a 9% year-to-date decrease in RS Group's shares.

On the positive side of the ledger Marks & Spencer has seen a significant increase in annual profits, leading to a 7.1% rise in its stock price to 293.44p, the highest level since November 2018. The company's stock is currently the top gainer on the FTSE 100. This boost in profits is attributed to a 58% jump in annual profit before tax and adjusting items, driven by strong sales growth in both the food and clothing segments. Additionally, Marks & Spencer has raised its 5-year cost savings objective to 500 million pounds from 400 million pounds. The company has proposed a final dividend of 2p and a full-year dividend of 3p. Over the past year, MKS shares have surged by 68%.

FTSE Bias: Bullish Above Bearish below 8389

  • Below 8300 opens 8280
  • Primary support 8200
  • Primary objective 8573
  • 5 Day VWAP bullish
  • 20 Day VWAP bullish

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