FTSE at the open, what's the latest?

The mood across global stock markets has been dampened by a “hawkish hold” from the US Federal Reserve, leading to an initial decline in the FTSE at the London open. Investor attention now shifts to the European Central Bank (ECB) as expectations mount for an interest rate hike later today. In Asia, the Bank of Japan is anticipated to maintain its loose policy, while China’s central bank implemented rate cuts earlier this week.

As trading commenced in London, the FTSE 100 index opened lower by 10.67 points, or 0.1%, at 7,592.07. On the other hand, the FTSE 250 showed a marginal increase, up 3.93 points at 19,179.43. Meanwhile, the AIM All-Share experienced a decrease of 2.52 points, or 0.3%, settling at 791.67.

Among the blue-chip companies, Informa stood out as the top performer during early morning trade, witnessing a significant increase of 3.7%. Informa reported a robust underlying revenue growth of 25% compared to the previous year, with consistent expansion in both Academic and Business-to-Business markets.

However, Halma experienced a decline of 4.7%, making it the worst performer in the FTSE 100 on Thursday morning. The safety equipment manufacturer posted a pretax profit of £291.5 million, which represented a sharp decrease from £304.4 million in the previous year. Halma attributed the drop in profitability to the absence of a £34.0 million gain on a disposal recorded in the previous year. Excluding this gain, the company reported an 8% year-on-year increase in pretax profit.

In the FTSE 250, Asos saw a significant jump of 14%. The online fashion retailer announced its return to profitability, achieving “P3” adjusted earnings before interest and tax during the three months ending on May 31, despite a decline in revenue. Asos reported a year-on-year improvement of over £20 million in P3 adjusted EBIT, positioning the company on track to deliver adjusted EBIT guidance of £40 million to £60 million in the second half of the financial year. However, Asos is scheduled to be demoted from the FTSE 250 on Monday next week.

Fuller, Smith & Turner shares experienced a moderate increase of 1.7%. The UK pub and hotel chain disclosed a 10% decline in annual profit, but a noteworthy 33% surge in revenue as its business rebounded from the impact of Covid-related restrictions on trade. Pretax profit for Fuller, Smith & Turner amounted to £10.3 million, down from £11.5 million in the previous year, while revenue climbed to £336.6 million from £253.8 million.

This morning‘s FTSE 100 risers and fallers

Ocado +3.62%
Informa +3.35%
Relx +1.01%

Halma -5.02%
Melrose Industries -2.71%
Bunzl -2.45%