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FTSE Close: London stocks inch up ahead of key rate decisions

London shares closed moderately higher on Friday ahead of interest rate decisions next week from the Federal Reserve, European Central Bank and Bank of England aiming to rein in inflation. The blue-chip FTSE 100 index …

London shares closed moderately higher on Friday ahead of interest rate decisions next week from the Federal Reserve, European Central Bank and Bank of England aiming to rein in inflation.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 index rose 0.5% to finish at 7,554.47. The midcap FTSE 250 index climbed 0.5% to end at 18,701.99. On the AIM All-Share, the index gained 0.4% to close at 723.45.

In the FTSE 100, shares in J Sainsbury rallied 3% after Goldman Sachs upgraded the supermarket chain to ‘buy’ from ‘neutral’. The US bank also increased its price target to 350p from 305p.

Anglo American plunged 19% after the mining titan targeted $1 billion in extra annual cost savings by 2024. On the AIM, explorer Landore Resources nosedived 38% after shelving listing plans amid “turbulent markets.”

Housebuilder Berkeley slipped 4.1% despite reporting a 4.6% increase in half-year profits to £298 million. It hiked its interim dividend by over two-fold.

In the FTSE 250, watches retailer Watches of Switzerland jumped 2.8% following a price target boost from Societe Generale.

Ocado rose 2.0% as JPMorgan upgraded the online grocer to “neutral.” Housebuilder Berkeley slipped 4.1% despite a 4.6% half-year profit rise.

On the AIM, explorer Landore Resources nosedived 38%. The company has shelved its planned C$5 million (£2.9 million) private placement and dual listing on the TSX Venture Exchange, citing “turbulent market conditions.” Landore has postponed the proposed listing and is enacting cost cuts to preserve cash.

Markets now look ahead to policy meeting decisions next week from the Fed, ECB and BoE. The latest US jobs data topped economist forecasts. Central banks worldwide are rapidly hiking rates to curb high inflation.

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