FTSE 100 at the close, all you need to know

London saw another day of cautious trading as investors traded lightly in anticipation of the upcoming UK inflation data scheduled for release on Wednesday morning.

The FTSE 100 index closed down by 0.3% or 19.17 points, settling at 7,569.31 on Tuesday. Similarly, the FTSE 250 dropped by 0.6%, ending the day at 18,746.16, down by 108.13 points. The AIM All-Share also experienced a 0.6% decline, closing at 785.18, down by 4.35 points.

Analyst consensus indicates that the UK’s annual inflation rate is expected to cool to 8.4% in May from the previous 8.7% in April. Core inflation is predicted to hold steady at 6.8%.

These figures become particularly significant as they precede the Bank of England’s interest rate decision on Thursday. With inflation persistently high, the central bank is widely expected to implement a 25 basis points rate hike.

Abrdn’s shares dipped by 0.6% after the company announced the sale of its stake in HDFC Asset Management. The firm’s subsidiary, sold 21.8 million HDFC AMC shares on the National Stock Exchange of India and the Bombay Stock Exchange at an average price of ₹1,873, approximately £17.85. The sale is expected to generate around ₹35.47 billion, roughly £337 million, for Abrdn.

Frasers Group closed flat. The retail conglomerate continues its spree of acquiring shares in UK retail companies, as confirmed by regulatory filings. Frasers now holds a 5.0% ownership stake in the online fashion retailer Boohoo, along with an 8.9% stake in Currys. In the previous week, Frasers increased its stake in the online electrical retailer AO World from 19% to 21%, and also raised its stake in Asos from 9.9% to 10.6%.

Shares in Boohoo and Asos closed down by 1.9% and 3.5% respectively, while Currys and AO World saw gains of 2.9% and 1.2% respectively.

FTSE All-Share listed Lookers saw a surge of 34%, closing at 118.55 pence, following news of a £465 million buyout offer from Canadian motor dealer Alpha Auto Group. Under the proposed deal, Alpha Auto Group will pay 120p per Lookers share, representing a 35% premium over Monday’s closing price of 88.7p.

Meanwhile, on AIM, Best of the Best (BOTB) saw a decline of 6.8%, closing at 517.55p, after announcing a takeover offer from Globe Invest. The offer values BOTB at around £45.3 million. Globe Invest, the single-family office and investment holding company of Teddy Sagi, currently holds a 30% stake in BOTB. Globe Invest aims to acquire the remaining stake it does not already own in BOTB for 535p per share.

The offer represents a 34% premium compared to Globe Invest’s initial acquisition price for its 30% stake in BOTB back in September. However, it presents a 3.6% discount to BOTB’s closing price of 555p on Monday.