FTSE Pauses Record Run On A Mixed Read From Financial Firms

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On Tuesday, Britain's primary stock indexes experienced an increase and were on track for their second straight month of growth, however a pullback in US markets saw a late day return to the flatline for the UK benchmark closing down 0.05% on the final trading day of April. This was driven by positive expectations about corporate earnings. Additionally, HSBC saw a rise in its stock value following positive financial results and a share repurchase program, which helped offset the news of its CEO's departure. This month, the British Retail Consortium reported that prices in British shops increased at the slowest rate in over two years. This is a positive sign of decreasing inflation pressures, which will be good news for the Bank of England.

HSBC's shares in London reach a 5-year high after the company's positive financial results and announcement of $3 billion in new share buybacks. The CEO's surprise retirement and the reported quarterly pretax profit of $12.7 billion, slightly exceeding expectations, contributed to the stock's 2.5% increase to 684.90 pence, making it the top gainer on the FTSE 100. The company's struggles with rising costs from its expansion in Asia were also noted. Analysts welcomed the lack of significant write-downs or impairments related to Chinese commercial real estate, which had caused issues in previous quarters. In addition to the $2 billion in share purchases announced in February, HSBC also revealed plans for $3 billion in share buybacks. The company's Hong Kong-listed shares also rose to a 9-month peak, while its London-listed shares have increased by 7.8% year-to-date.

St. James's Place saw a 2.3% increase in its shares, reaching 455.2p, making it the top gainer on London's blue-chip index. The British wealth manager reported higher Q1 assets under management (AUM) compared to both the previous quarter and the previous year. At the end of the quarter, the company's AUM stood at 179.04 billion pounds, up from 153.62 billion pounds last year and 168.20 billion pounds last quarter. However, there was a slower inflow of client cash in Q1. The stock has decreased by approximately 35% so far this year.

Prudential Plc's stock takes a hit, dropping 4.7% to 706.8p and becoming the top percentage loser on the FTSE 100 index due to lacklustre performance from its Chinese Mainland JV, CITICPrudential Life. The insurer's annual premium equivalent sales for the JV declined by 17% in Q1. However, new business profit increased by 11% in the same period, excluding economic impacts across all markets. After factoring in economic impacts, new business profit remained largely unchanged at $726 million. If the current trend continues, the stock is on track to have its worst day since May 2023. Including today's losses, the stock is down over 20% year-to-date.

FTSE Bias: Bullish Above Bearish below 8050

  • Below 7900 opens 7800
  • Primary support 7775
  • Primary objective 8120 - TARGET HIT NEW PATTERN EMERGING
  • 5 Day VWAP bullish
  • 20 Day VWAP bullish

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