London markets kicked the week off in mixed style yesterday despite investors taking kindly to news that telecoms giant Vodafone is being targeted by an activist investor.
The capital’s premier FTSE 100 index edged down 0.02 per cent to 7,464.37 points, while the mid-cap FTSE 250 index, which is more aligned with the health of the UK economy, climbed 1.31 per cent to hit 21,926.62 points.
News broke over the weekend that Swedish activist fund, Cevian, is holding Vodafone’s feet to the fire, prompting investors to speculate over whether the telecoms giant will speed up transforming the business in response.
Vodafone was the top performer on the FTSE 100 for most of the morning session, before giving up some gains to finish up 1.88 per cent.
Financials were among the best performing stocks in the City yesterday, driven by the prospect of looming rate hikes boosting sentiment toward the sector.
Wealth manager St. James’s Place and Pershing Square threatened the summit of the FTSE 100, each gaining 2.81 per cent and 3.94 per cent.
Supermarkets weighed heavily on the premier index due to concerns over a weakening in consumer spending triggered by tax hikes and inflation souring sentiment on the sector.
Sainsbury’s and Tesco slid 2.81 per cent and 2.11 per cent respectively.
Meanwhile, on the FTSE 250, financials also led the day’s gains.
The pound gained ground on the greenback, strengthening 0.18 per cent to buy $1.3428. European shares closed up.