London’s FTSE 100 kicked off the week in busy fashion today ahead of a busy week of data that will provide more clues on the health of the UK economy.
The capital’s premier index closed 0.83 per cent higher today at 7,947.60 points, while the domestically-focused mid-cap FTSE 250 index, which is more aligned with the health of the UK economy, advanced 0.47 per cent to 20,124.52 points.
Investors were seemingly sitting on their hands and waiting for new figures from the Office for National Statistics this week unveiling whether inflation is still falling and wage growth is racing ahead.
Fresh jobs numbers tomorrow are expected to reveal pay is rising at the fastest pace since the ONS started tracking the data over two decades ago, but still lagging inflation.
Inflation numbers, out on Wednesday, are likely to show the rate of price growth stayed in the double digits last month. It is expected to decline rapidly this year to somewhere around four per cent by Christmas.
The FTSE 100 has surged to new record highs this year despite economists warning the UK is on track for a recession this year. Figures out last week revealed the country narrowly avoided a technical slump at the end of 2022.
FTSE 100 edged higher last week
Britain’s biggest high street banks begin posting full year results for 2022 this year and are expected to have collectively raked in record profits of nearly £40bn, driven by the sector reaping in windfalls from the Bank of England’s 10 successive interest rate hikes.
John Moore, senior investment manager at RBC Brewin Dolphin, said: “Results from the UK’s major listed banks over the next couple of weeks should confirm a definitive break from 14 years of low interest rates and quantitative easing. However, the return of windfall taxes could be a forthcoming risk.”
Consumer goods giant and Marmite maker Unilever came second in the FTSE 100, climbing over three per cent.
Housebuilders tamed the premier index’s gains, with Persimmon, Taylor Wimpey and Barratt all anchoring the FTSE 100.
The pound was strengthened around 0.6 per cent against the US dollar.