FTSE 100 live: London’s blue chip stocks end the week in the black as March bows out ‘like a lamb’ with bulls ‘licking their wounds’
London’s premier index ended the week in the black, just. The FTSE 100 was last up at 7,631.74 just 11.31 points or 0.15 per cent.
The FTSE 250, which is more UK focused ended the week slightly in the black up at 18,928.30 or 20.56 points higher.
Today was the final trading day in a month which has seen trader spooked by recession fears, rising inflation and higher interest rates, as well as tremors in the banking sector.
Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK said: “There’s a saying that March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb, and the last few weeks have certainly felt like that for investors who have had to endure a month of whiplash-inducing volatility.”d
“The bulls got a huge bite taken out of them in the early part of the month, and to some extent, are still licking their wounds now. The last few days have seen a lot of those losses slowly chipped away at, as the month bows out like a lamb, and with slightly less fanfare and optimism than when it started it.
Hewson said the FTSE100 has underperformed, giving back a good proportion of its quarterly gains this month, largely due to weakness in the banking sector which has seen the likes of Barclays underperform, finishing the month down over 14 per cent while Standard Chartered has lost over 20 per cent.
“Combined with weakness in basic resources and commercial real estate the FTSE100 looks set to finish the quarter, just over 2.5 per cent higher.”
The German DAX on the other hand looks set to finish the quarter over 11.5 per cent higher, as it looks to eke out a monthly gain after headline inflation in the EU fell by more than expected in March.
Another monthly decline in the Nationwide House price index for March of -0.8 pr cent weighed on the house builders today as, on an annualized basis, house prices declined by -3.1 per cent, their worst fall since 2009. The kneejerk reaction has been to see some weakness in the likes of Persimmon, Barratt Developments, and Taylor Wimpey, who have all underperformed.
Hewson added: “On the plus side, Beazley and British Airways owner IAG are both higher after being on the receiving end of positive broker comments. UBS has gone full reverse ferret on Beazley from “sell” to “buy” citing a strong balance sheet.”