FTSE 100 Reaches New All-Time High, Powered by BP and Shell Earnings
The FTSE 100 index has hit a record peak of 7934.3, thanks to positive earnings reports and the hope of a prompt Fed reversal. After BP and Shell reported record profits for the fourth quarter of 2022, the UK blue-chip index began the day higher and quickly surpassed the 7900 level, which was previously seen as a psychological resistance.
Victoria Scholar, who is the head of investment at Interactive Investor, reported that the FTSE 100 reached a new record high, surpassing the peak set on Friday. The FTSE 100 index has regained its bullish momentum after a shaky beginning to the week, when global stocks were affected by worries about a more aggressive stance from the Federal Reserve after the positive US jobs report and increased US-Sino tensions.
Jerome Powell, the Chair of the Federal Reserve, declared yesterday that inflation is starting to abate, giving rise to the expectation that the apex of interest rates in the US is drawing near. The Nasdaq closing up by 1.9% on Wall Street gave the European session a positive start.
Susannah Streeter, senior investment and markets analyst, Hargreaves Lansdown commented: “The FTSE 100 has hit a record high again, surpassing Friday’s peak. Following a wobbly start to the week in which global equities were hit by concerns about a more hawkish path from the Fed after a strong US jobs report as well as heightened US-Sino tensions, the UK large-cap index has restored its bullish momentum.
Yesterday Fed Chair Jerome Powell said inflation is easing, raising hopes that the US could be approaching the peak for interest rates. A strong close on Wall Street with the Nasdaq closing up by 1.9% has helped drive a positive start to the European session.
Susannah Streeter, senior investment and markets analyst, Hargreaves Lansdown commented: “The FTSE 100 powered up in early trade, gaining more ground back towards the record high, as winds of worry over how far interest rates will go are blown away again. The defensive, international nature of the index has provided the seeds of growth, but an improved forecast for the UK economy this week is also adding fresh nutrients. There are hopes the forecasts could see fresh confidence emerge from consumers and limit the expected belt-tightening.
But British American Tobacco PLC (LSE:BATS) tumbled 4.2% after the cigarette maker forecast a fall of around 2% in global tobacco industry volumes in 2023 and predicted mid-single figure constant currency adjusted EPS growth.
AstraZeneca PLC (LSE:AZN) rose 1.4% after posting double-digit annual sales growth in 2022, despite a weaker fourth quarter, and a pre-tax profit of US$2.50bn compared to a loss of US$265mln a year ago. Sales growth came from all therapy areas, as well as the addition of Alexion, the pharma giant said.
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