FTSE Ends Week In The Green. Hunt Election Budget Eyed Next Week

Cutout paper illustration representing scheme and Stocks inscription

Image Source: Pexels

UK stocks are set to end the week with an increase on Friday, following the positive trend in global markets. This was due to investors being optimistic about the signs of inflation slowing down in the United States. Additionally, ITV's shares were the top performers in the mid-cap index after selling its stake in BritBoxInternational to BBC. The FTSE 100 index, which is focused on international markets, saw a 0.31% rise. Investors in the UK are shifting their focus to Finance Minister Jeremy Hunt's upcoming pre-election budget, slated for next week. Expectations are high that there will be tax reductions as part of the budget strategy, particularly in light of the substantial 2.5 trillion-pound debt.

On the positive side of the ledger UK-based company Pearson is experiencing a positive trend as it gains 3.3% on the London Stock Exchange, reaching 993.1p per share. The education firm has announced optimistic forecasts for 2024, expecting sales growth and profit to align with current market expectations. Pearson anticipates a 3.7% increase in revenue and an adjusted operating profit of 621 million pounds. The company has met market expectations by reporting an operating profit of 573 million pounds ($724 million) for 2023, representing a 31% increase on an underlying basis. Pearson attributes these results to the high demand for English language courses. Despite a nearly 3% increase in stock value in 2023, the company's outlook for 2024 has further boosted investor confidence.

Rightmove, a UK-based company, is the top loser on the FTSE 100 index, with its shares down 4.7% at 539.6p. The property portal anticipates a decline in customer numbers in 2024 due to economic uncertainties. According to Jefferies, Rightmove is undergoing a period of transition as it faces increased competition and macro pressures in its core business, while also increasing investment in adjacent areas. The company reported an operating profit of 258 million pounds ($326 million) for FY 2023, marking a 7% increase from the previous year. Rightmove forecasts a 7%-9% revenue growth for the current financial year. Despite this, the stock has seen a modest increase of approximately 1.1% over the last twelve months.

UK's IMI, a specialised engineering firm, saw its shares drop by 1.7% to 1,702p, making it one of the top losers on the FTSE 100 index. The company reported a full-year adjusted operating profit of 411 million pounds, falling short of the consensus estimate of 413 million pounds. For 2024, IMI expects an adjusted basic EPS of 120p-126p, compared to the analyst consensus range of 121p-129.4p. Despite this, Jefferies commented positively on IMI's performance. The stock is on track for its fifth straight session of losses, but it had a fourth consecutive monthly gain in February. Over the last 12 months, the stock has seen an 11.3% increase.

FTSE Bias: Bullish Above Bearish below 7650

  • Below7590 opens 7550
  • Primary support 7450
  • Primary objective 7768
  • 5 Day VWAP bearish
  • 20 Day VWAP bearish

(Click on image to enlarge)

More By This Author:

Daily Market Outlook - Friday, March 1
The FTSE Finish Line: Earnings Uptick Leads Blue Chips Marginally Higher Into Month End
Daily Market Outlook - Thursday, Feb. 29
How did you like this article? Let us know so we can better customize your reading experience.


Leave a comment to automatically be entered into our contest to win a free Echo Show.