FTSE 100 Adds to Gains After Wall Street’s Positive Open But Is Overshadowed By Bitcoin Blast


In the cryptocurrency markets, Bitcoin has passed the US $ 60,000 level on expectations that the US stock market regulator will give the green light for an exchange-traded fund tied to cryptocurrency prices.

  • The FTSE 100 closes 26 points
  • The blue chip index reaches its highest level since 2/21/20
  • US benchmarks are higher

5.15 p.m .: closing of the FTSE

The FTSE 100 index finished positively on Friday, while Wall Street surged as buyers once again returned to the table.

The UK’s largest stocks index closed up about 26 points, or 0.37%, at 7,234. The session peak was 7,243, while the low was 7,206.

In New York, the Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped more than 291 points to stand at 35,294, while the S&P 500 gained 25 points and the Nasdaq added nearly 49 points. been boosted by big business profits.

“This is a solidly positive weekend for markets, which relied on yesterday’s rebound to make further inroads into September’s losses,” noted Chris Beauchamp, chief market analyst at IG.

“Once again, sellers were able to push the markets down, but not hold them back, and like a bullet escaping the water, US indices have skyrocketed in the past 48 hours,” he said. -he adds.

“At first glance, we are on the right track for the medium term, and while the FTSE 8000 and the Dow 40,000 are still a long way off, both are now achievable targets for next year.”

3:25 p.m .: Half-hearted flight

The FTSE 100 saw a tentative rise after a positive opening on Wall Street.

The London heavy equity index rose 32 points (0.5%) to 7,240.

US stocks got off to a strong start on Friday, seeking to end a choppy week positively following resilient retail sales figures and other corporate earnings news.

After half an hour of trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was 307 points, up 0.9% to 35,221, while the S&P 500 Index gained 0.6%, although the Nasdaq Composite, charged in technology, only increased by 0.2%.

Retail sales in September rose 0.7% seasonally adjusted from the previous month, as households ignored supply constraints, the Delta variant and the end of improved unemployment benefits. August retail sales were revised to 0.9% from 0.7%.

The increase in sales partly reflects higher consumer prices, which rose 0.4% in September from August and 5.4% from the previous year. Retail sales increased 13.9% in September from the previous year.

Responding quickly to the numbers, ING economists said: “A strong performance in retail sales coupled with increased travel and leisure spending suggests the economy is re-accelerating after the recent Covid-related slowdown. cement expectations for a Nov. 3 QE cut announcement from the Federal Reserve.

In the cryptocurrency markets, Bitcoin has surpassed the US $ 60,000 level on expectations that the US stock market regulator will give the green light for an exchange traded fund tied to cryptocurrency prices.

Bitcoin is currently trading at US $ 60,098, up from US $ 2,607.

2:20 p.m .: Defensive actions in disgrace

Nothing has changed much among the London blue chips during the midday session.

Defensive stocks, such as utilities () PLC, United Utilities PLC and consumer goods giant Unilever are in disgrace (down 1.5-2.3%), which could suggest that the market is falling. speeds up, but it does not.

The FTSE 100 is up 21 points to 7,228, hovering around the 7,230 level as it has for most of the day.

Banks kicked miners out of the upper echelon of Footsie after a bullish note on the Barclays industry.

“Reflecting the rise in rate expectations, we are increasing EPS [earnings per share] and PT [price targets] in several of our banks. We are 15% ahead of co-consensus EPS on major revenue-driven OW Lloyds, NatWest and HSBC, and see a further rise in higher rates and lower deposit betas. Valuations are attractive, ”said Barclays.

HSBC Holdings PLC, up 2.0% to 434.7p, is the best p[erformer, closely followed by () itself, which is up 1.9% at 198.18p. () is 1.9% firmer at 494.4p.

1.15pm: Footsie back at pre-pandemic levels

The FTSE 100 is at its highest level since 21 February 2020. On that particular day, the index plunged 247 points as the City got the first serious inkling of the crisis heading its way.

As one might expect, the recovery has seen winners and losers.

Gambling firms and miners figure prominently among the winners while anything to do with aeroplanes has got it in the neck and so, perhaps surprisingly, have housebuilders.

The good fortunes of the gambling firms has been more to do with mergers & acquisitions activity than any great surge in punters doing their cojones out of lockdown boredom.

(), which owns the Ladbroke and Coral brands, has risen 142% since the Footsie was last at this level, largely because of bid interest from US outfit (), which has indicated it is willing to pay 2,800p a share to get its hands on the British firm’s online gaming expertise.

Entain is trading just below 2,100p so the market is expecting the bid to fail.

Meanwhile, sector peer Flutter Entertainment, which owns Paddy Power and Betfair, is up 60% since February 2020. It has not received a bid approach but it is regarded as being “in play”, thanks to its stake in FanDuel, a US fantasy sports company valued at around £13bn.

The US was incredibly late to the legalised gambling scene and its operators are looking to make up for lost time by buying British and Irish bookies.

As for the miners, () and (), both up 74% since 21 February 2020 battle it out to be the biggest beneficiary of the commodities boom.

Other big winners have been Royal Mail Group PLC, despite its recent fall from favour, and perennial stock market star, (), the investor in rising disruptive technology and biotech companies. The former is up 138% and the latter 122%.

As for the hard-hit aerospace sector, it is little surprise that British Airways owner, International Consolidated Airlines SA is the worst performer, down 56%.

Over the same period, Melrose Industries, which owns automotive and aerospace engineer (), has fallen 39% while sector peer Rolls-Royce Group PLC has shed 35%.

Thanks to the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s generosity, Britain’s housing market has remained on fire like a bonfire of insanity throughout the pandemic but that has not stopped the likes of () and Berkeley group Holdings PLC from taking a bath.

Taylor Wimpey is down by a third over the last 18 months and Berkeley is off by 27%.

A bit further down the list of doom – or further up, depending on which direction you are coming from – is (), which is down 20% since February 2020. That’s impressive (in a bad way) given how much the oil price has shot up. Over the same period, Royal Dutch Shell has slipped just 5%.

Both oil giants are doing OK today, however, with () up 1.4% at 362.65p and Shell 1.6% firmer at 1,788.8p.

11.55am: The FTSE 100 is up 15 points (0.2%) at 7,223.

Across the pond, US stocks look set for modest gains at the open on Friday ending a choppy week positively, as investors await another batch of major corporate earnings.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average were around 0.3% higher, while those for the broader S&P 500 index also added 0.3%, and tech-focused Nasdaq-100 futures rose 0.2%.

The Footsie spins its wheels

After a bright start, the Footsie has spent much of the morning marking time.

The index of blue-chip shares was up 17 points (0.2%) at 7,224, around the sort of level it was at in March 2020 when the word Covid-19 made the jump from the science pages to the front pages.

If the Footsie does at least maintain its station it will register its best week since May of this year.

Banks and oils feature prominently among the best performers; the former on expectations that interest rates will rise soon and the latter in line with rising oil prices.

The Footsie is making progress despite the strength of sterling, the mounting supply chain difficulties and the continued effect of the Covid-19 epidemic in the UK.

As regards the latter, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed today that the first half of 2021 saw almost 100,000 more deaths in England and Wales than would be expected in a non-pandemic period.

The ONS said “excess deaths” due to dementia and Alzheimer’s disease since the beginning of 2020 were 4.3% above expected; this reduced to 7.7% below average by 2 July 2021.

Diabetes was the most common underlying cause of death that also mentioned Covid-19 on the death certificate (3.7% of deaths due to cause).

“There have been suggestions that the coronavirus pandemic has led to the deaths of many ‘vulnerable’ people who would have otherwise been expected to die in the following days, weeks or months,” said an ONS statistician, addressing the top of “mortality displacement” – the phenomenon by which a period of high mortality can be followed by below-average mortality.

“However, today’s analysis shows that while there is some evidence of this so-called ‘mortality displacement’ among older age groups – it does not account for the significant excess mortality seen since the beginning of the pandemic.

“In fact, we are yet to see any evidence that deaths in those aged under 65 or in private homes would have likely occurred over the following weeks or months, as deaths in these age groups and settings continue to be well above normal levels,” the statistician added.

10.30am: Oil price surge continues

Some markets have recovered more quickly from the shock of the pandemic than others.

The dear old Footsie, for instance, has only just recovered to levels seen in March of last year, just before the coronavirus effluent hit the stock market fan.

The FTSE 100 is up 17 points (-.2%) at 7,224, already below its highs for the day.

On the plus side, progress has been made despite sterling rising more than half a cent against the US dollar; a strong exchange rate is normally a millstone around the Footsie’s neck.

“ The FTSE 100 has broken out to a new post-pandemic high, stretching its recent range by a few more points on the upside to hit a high of 7,242 this morning. This marks a roughly 400pt reversal from the Sep 20th intraday low. It’s been a very tight range of that size since April but there are encouraging signs the FTSE can yet end the year at its pre-pandemic level of 7,700,” said Neil Wilson at Markets.com.

“Why the rally? Key is energy – BP and Shell among the top performers of the last month and have a big index weighting. That’s BP and Shell, which are both up more than 20% in the last month as oil and natural gas prices have soared. WTI [the US oil benchmark] is back above $ 82 this morning, ”he added.

() and () are both about 1.5% firmer this morning.

9:15 am: Miners (with one exception) lead the market higher

Resource stocks, with one notable exception, are pushing the FTSE 100 higher this morning.

The London index of major stocks – a disproportionate number of which are mining stocks – rose 21 points to 7,229.

The recalcitrant miner is (), which is down 1.3% to 5,044%. replacement project due to the tight labor market in Western Australia.

The minor, however, is not the worst first-rate performer; this unwanted headline goes to () after its nine month commercial update.

READ Pearson sales up 10% but Covid effects continue

Pearson chief executive Andy Bird said college and school enrollments continue to be affected by the disruptions from the coronavirus.

Shares fell 2.4%.

8:30 a.m .: Travel stocks bid well from the start

The FTSE 100 opened 24 points in the green at 7,231.95, representing an almost 2% rise in the value of the blue chip index over the past five trading days.

Still, traders remain nervous with contagion, inflation, stagnation, interest rates and the decline in each, posing a threat to the newfound stability (complacency?) In London.

Wall Street closed firmly in positive territory after office hours on Thursday, as major Asian markets followed suit.

Back here in the UK, it was a rare ‘up day’ for travel-related stocks, with British Airways owner IAG posting a 2.1% rise at the start of trading. Whitbread, owner of the Premier Inn budget hotel chain, rose 2%.

Evraz, up 2.1%, led the mining and metals recovery which also included Anglo American and Glencore. Rio Tinto, at 2%, appeared to be on the other side of this trade.

With crude oil prices rising nearly 3% during the trading week, it was hardly surprising to see BP among the hikes with a gain of 1.7%.

6:50 am: The story of Boxer the cart horse (O English Lit level students will be the only ones to remember this one)

The markets are exploding openly – except in London, where the FTSE 100 makes its impression of Boxer, the willful but hardworking workhorse of Animal Farm.

Spread betting quotes suggest the London major equity index will open around 27 points higher at 7,235; not bad but not a patch on the performance of the American indices yesterday or the Asian indices this morning.

Still, as CMC’s Michael Hewson points out, that would represent an 18-month high for Footsie.

“There still seems to be an element of convenience among investors that higher energy prices will not cause a wave of demand destruction, especially if increases in the supply chain also fuel higher prices,” that consumers cannot then absorb, ”Hewson said. .

“American PPI of yesterday [producer] September prices were still at an all time high, but there was evidence that the trend was starting to slow; however, in recent months we have seen evidence that retail sales in the US have slowed, while consumer confidence has also fallen sharply from highs recorded at the start and throughout the second quarter.

With that in mind, the US retail sales figures for September and the University of Michigan confidence figures could be key indicators as to whether we have seen a bottom after the Delta-related slowdowns seen over the course of the year. of the third quarter, ”Hewson said.

The Dow Jones rose 535 points to close at 34,913 yesterday as the S&P 500 posted its best one-day gain since March, jumping 75 points to 4,438.

Asian markets took over this morning with Tokyo Nikkei 225,388 points at 28,939 and Hong Kong Hang Seng 221 points heavier at 25,184.

There is a small sigh of relief in Asia today and China has passed MLF’s CNY 500 billion maturing. [medium-term lending facilities] at an unchanged rate of 2.95% and injected 10 CNY bio into short-term cash through pensions today. China announces its one- and five-year prime lending rates next week, but I expect any easing will come via a RRR cut for banks, rather than a direct rate cut, ”said Jeffrey Halley of OANDA.

Confirming the suspicion that all the excitement is going elsewhere, the London business calendar is a bit worn out today, with the exception of an update on financial transactions for the first quarter (July-September) of the operator of the investment platform ().

Around the markets

  • Sterling: $ 1.3686, up 0.12 cent
  • 10-year Gilt: 1.044%, down 4.86 basis points
  • Gold: US $ 1,794.90 per ounce, down from US $ 3.00
  • Brent crude: US $ 84.62 per ounce, up 62 cents
  • Bitcoin: $ 59,898, up from $ 2,407

6:50 a.m .: Early Markets – Asia / Australia

Stocks in Asia-Pacific rose on Friday with the Taiex index (+ 2.4%) in Taiwan leading the gains among the region’s major markets.

Shares of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) rose more than 4.7% after its earnings were released a day earlier.

TSMC reported third-quarter net profit of 156.3 billion Taiwan dollars (about 5.57 billion dollars), exceeding expectations of 149 billion Taiwan dollars.

China’s Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.46% while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index jumped 1.07%

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 jumped 1.56% and South Korea’s Kospi jumped 0.84%.

The Australian S & P / ASX200 gained 0.69% to 7,362 even as the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) said it recently observed “blatant” attempts to pump up stock prices using posts on social networks.

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