FTSE 100 close: BP propels London index to record high as UK set to swerve recession
London’s FTSE 100 pumped to a record intraday high today led higher by oil giant BP and investors globally cheering signs that central banks are nearing the end of their interest rate rises.
The premier index hit its record intraday high of a shade over 7,925 points at the open in the City today.
It then pared back some of those gains, closing up 0.26 per cent at 7,885.18 points. Its domestically-focused mid-cap peer, the FTSE 250 index, which tends to respond to sentiment toward the UK economy, was lifted in its slip stream, up 0.68 per cent to 20,325.87 points.
The top index had actually closed at its highest level ever last Friday.
FTSE 100 has hit another record high
Oil giant BP climbed to near the top of the FTSE 100, advancing around three per cent, driven by investors piling into the stock after it posted record profits of £23bn yesterday and ramped up shareholder giveaways.
Central banks are beginning to near peak interest rates after they tightened aggressively, strengthening market sentiment toward sticks.
Speaking yesterday, US Federal Reserve chief Jerome Powell said the central bank will have to keep raising interest rates to prevent high inflation from being embedded into the world’s largest economy by cooling the jobs markets.
“It was clear from Jerome Powell’s speech that policymakers at the US central bank were taken aback by the strength of the jobs market, despite the ramping up of rates. The Fed is on its toes, waiting for any other data shocks before it can judge that it’s getting the upper hand in its inflation fight,” Susannah Streeter, senior investment and markets analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said.
However investors do not think the Fed will keep rates at their likely peak of more than five per cent for long.
“Jay Powell is still giving bulls enough rope to hang themselves by as he is not sounding hawkish enough,” Neil Wilson, chief market analyst at Finalto, said.
Retailers supported the FTSE 100, likely boosted by new forecasts out today from the National Institute of Economic and Social Research that project the UK will not tip into a recession this year.
High street fashion giant Next climbed more than one per cent, while Mike Ashley’s Frasers Group added nearly the same amount.
The pound strengthened more than 0.2 per cent against the US dollar.