FTSE Heading For A Weekly Gain On BoE Optimism

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UK stocks rose on Friday, led by base metal miners, as investors remained hopeful about potential interest rate cuts from the Bank of England following recent economic data. The FTSE 100, a leading index, gained 1.1% and reached its highest level in over a week, with weekly gains in sight. The industrial metal mining sector saw a 2.0% increase, following the rise in base metal prices due to expectations of rate cuts from the U.S. Federal Reserve. On Friday, data revealed that retail sales in the UK had surged by a stronger-than-expected 3.4% in January, but this had little impact on market optimism.

Economic data from the domestic market during the week indicated lower inflation and the economy entering a recession, which has boosted market sentiment with hopes that the Bank of England would lower interest rates from their nearly 16-year high levels. According to money markets, there is an expectation of a cut of about 72 basis points from the central bank this year. Among individual stocks, NatWest's shares rose 2% after confirming Paul Thwaite as permanent CEO and reporting a profit for 2023 that beat forecasts leaving the baking group at the top of the blue chip index. The bank set aside £578 million for potential bad loans, below analysts' expectations, and announced a share buyback of £300 million. The bank adjusted its 2024 returns target to around 12%, down from the earlier goal of 14%-16%. The CEO confirmation is seen as removing uncertainty and potentially opening the door to a retail share sale. Impairment charges were better than expected, and low default rates are expected to continue in 2024. Deposit migration slowed in the fourth quarter, indicating the peak has passed. The stock lost around 17% in 2023. Segro is experiencing a rise in its stock value due to an increase in dividends, positive financial results, and a promising forecast. The company's shares are up 2.1% at 850.8p, making it one of the top percentage gainers on the FTSE 100. Segro has raised its dividend by 5.7% to 27.8p per share and has expressed optimism about its investment market business in 2024. The company has also reported a better-than-expected annual profit, driven by strong rental growth, and its shares have seen a 16% increase in 2023.

FTSE Bias: Bullish Above Bearish below 7650

  • Below7450 opens 7360
  • Primary support 7450
  • Primary objective 7825
  • 5 Day VWAP bullish
  • 20 Day VWAP bullish

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