FTSE Close: Inflation holds steady as UK stocks rise

UK stocks climbed on Wednesday, led by strong earnings reports, as the latest inflation data matched expectations. The FTSE 100 rose 0.8% to 7,568.40, the FTSE 250 added 0.4% to 19,003.89, and the AIM All-Share index gained 0.4% to 750.45.

Consumer price inflation held at 4.0% in January, steady from December and in line with forecasts. The data eased worries about more aggressive interest rate hikes from the Bank of England.

Coca-Cola HBC jumped 8.0% to lead the FTSE 100 higher. The bottling company posted a 46% surge in 2022 pretax profit to €910.3 million, shy of estimates. Net sales increased 11% to €10.18 billion, missing consensus.

Meanwhile, TUI tumbled 6.0% as shareholders approved plans to delist from the London Stock Exchange and upgrade to a prime standard listing in Frankfurt. The holiday firm is seeking to centralise trading liquidity in Germany.

Dunelm fell 2.6% as the homeware retailer said pretax profit was up 4.8% in the first half to £123.0 million. Revenue rose 4.5% to £872.5 million over the period.

Among small-caps, Bloomsbury Publishing leapt 6.6% after projecting annual earnings “significantly ahead of upgraded market expectations”, citing continued momentum.

FTSE All-Share Gainers

Superdry 12.78%, Xaar 8.75%, Coca-Cola HBC 7.98%, Synthomer 6.63%, Bloomsbury 5.39%, Hostelworld 3.55%, Ricardo 3.47%, City Lon Inv 3.43%, Alfa Fin 3.37%, Dominos 3.27%.

FTSE All-Share Fallers

Petra Diamonds -8.05%, Foresight Sust -7.69%, Invesco Sel. Uk -7.2%, Phoenix Spree D -6.34%, TUI AG -6.31%, Residential Sec -6.23%, Schroders Cap -5.34%, Middlefield Prf -5.22%, Vipera -5.15%, Regional Reit -4.95%.