British Gas profits and Heathrow’s growth keeps FTSE 100 stable
A strong April for Heathrow and British Gas’s owner Centrica expecting higher profits has helped the FTSE 100 remain steady, up 0.8 per cent at the open this morning.
London rose 63 points despite fears about rising inflation, as the UK’s biggest airport lifted its forecast for passenger growth after a spike in travel over Easter.
The London hub reported that 5 million passengers travelled through its terminals in April, with outbound leisure travel driving demand and prompting the airport to increase its passenger forecast for the year by 16 per cent.
The index of the UK’s top 100 companies recovered some of Mondays’s 171 point slide, as Europe and France’s indexes were about one per cent higher.
There is turbulence on the horizon however, with Tesco’s chairman John Allan saying there is an “overwhelming case for a windfall tax on profits from those energy producers, fed back to those most in need of help with energy prices.”
He warned about food poverty, after Centrica, which owns British Gas, announced the firm expects to make earnings between 6.7 and 10.8 per cent per share in 2022, up from 4.1 per cent last year, according to the Financial Times.
London was also muted at the open after a slump in the US, with heavy selling as the DOW fell more than 600 points overnight.
CMC Markets analyst Michael Hewson said: “Having come off five successive weekly declines for markets in Europe, yesterday’s sell off doesn’t bode well for the prospect of a pause in the recent weakness, as we saw both the DAX and FTSE 100 fall sharply below their April lows.
“While investors have spent most of the last few months fretting about events in Europe and the war between Ukraine and Russia, there had been the hope that the Chinese economy might be able to pick up the slack, as far as global growth is concerned.”
Continued lockdowns due to coronavirus has however dampened that.
“US markets also fell like a stone for the third day in succession, with the Nasdaq 100 and S&P 500 falling through key support levels, with the S&P 500 falling and closing below the 4,000 level for the first time since April last year.”