FTSE Close: London stocks close off lows as Fed signal end of hikes

London stocks rebounded from early losses on Tuesday, closing with a modest decline of just 0.1%. The day’s uncertainty shifted with statements from Federal Reserve officials, reinforcing the belief that the US central bank has concluded its interest rate hikes for the ongoing economic cycle.

The FTSE 100, which had dipped 0.8% earlier in the day, recovered to close with a minor decline. Notably, Rolls-Royce surged over 6%, unveiling financial targets, including an operating profit between £2.5 billion and £2.8 billion by 2027. EasyJet, the budget carrier, saw a nearly 5% increase following the announcement of an annual profit and the reinstatement of dividends.

Despite a 0.3% fall of 51.55 points in the FTSE 250, closing at 18,387.00, the index concluded the day at its session high. Simultaneously, the AIM All-Share experienced a 0.3% dip, closing at 712.57.

British Airways owner IAG witnessed a 0.9% rise, contributing to the overall positive sentiment.

Pets at Home shares closed 2.3% higher, despite reporting lower profits during a half-year period focused on transitioning stores to its new distribution centre in Stafford. The pet supplies retailer disclosed a 35% decline in pre-tax profit to £34.7 million for the 28 weeks ending October 12, compared to £53.4 million in the preceding year. However, the company noted a 6.5% increase in revenue, reaching £774.2 million. Cost of sales and administrative expenses rose by 9.7% and 9.6%, respectively.

Maintaining stability, Pets at Home upheld its interim dividend at 4.5 pence per share. Additionally, the company highlighted the completion of the first £25 million of its £50 million buyback programme, with the second tranche set to commence shortly.