FTSE ends flat after weak US data but Mondi moves on up - London Report

THE FTSE was broadly flat but outperformed Europe yesterday after weak US retail data erased gains on the back of the Bank of England saying it will raise rates in about a year’s time.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 closed up 0.2 per cent at 6,949.63 points by 1625 London time after falling 1.4 per cent in the previous session. It is up about six per cent so far this year.

The Bank cut growth forecasts for UK economic growth over the next three years, which hit sterling but gave equities a lift, with investors betting on the low interest rate environment that has sent the FTSE 100 index to record highs this year.

Mondi shares rose 8.9 per cent, to be the top FTSE 100 gainer, after it said first quarter underlying operating profit was 29 per cent above the comparable 2014 period.

“Average paper selling prices holding up and comparable sales growth across most business, both sequentially and annually, is also welcome news at this stage of the year,” Accendo Markets’ head of research, Mike van Dulken, said.