London’s premier FTSE 100 index kicked off a fresh week in positive style today after registering its first five day loss of 2023 last week.
The capital’s top index jumped 0.18 per cent to 7,784.68 points, while the domestically-focused mid-cap FTSE 250 index, which is more aligned with the health of the UK economy, rose 0.52 per cent to 19,805.09 points.
The FTSE 100’s strong start to the new year lost some steam last week, with losses gathering pace as traders headed into the weekend.
It closed the week in the red for the first time this year. Its recent rally had pushed it to near its record high of just over 7,900 set in May 2018.
Today’s gains were led by online supermarket and middle class favourite Ocado continuing its own new year surge.
FTSE 100 pared back last week’s losses today
The firm climbed nearly four per cent in London today. The online food provider tumbled in 2022 driven by investors ditching the stock after they piled into it during the pandemic when people flocked to digital supermarkets to get food during lockdowns.
Victoria Scholar, head of investment at interactive investor said: “After the first weekly loss of 2023 for the FTSE 100, the UK index has opened higher with Ocado, which is a typically more volatile stock at the top of the basket.”
Financials also weighed down the FTSE 100 index, with insurer Hiscox and wealth manager St James’s Place dropping to near the bottom of the table.
UK PMIs out tomorrow are expected to show both the services and manufacturing sectors still shrinking.
US Federal Reserve officials are now in their pre-meeting blackout period meaning they will not be doing media interviews. Rate setters signalled they could slow down to a 25 basis point rise at their meeting on 1 February.
The pound weakened just over 0.2 per cent against the US dollar today.