FTSE Close: Stocks surge on Fed pivot

The Bank of England maintained interest rates at 5.25% on Thursday, but a split vote suggests further tightening could be ahead. This marks the third straight hold following 14 consecutive hikes since December 2021. The FTSE 100 index jumped 1.3% to 7,648.98, fueled by the Federal Reserve’s more dovish tone.

The BoE vote split indicates investors may need to sit tight longer for rate cuts despite mounting recession fears. Still, interest rate sensitive stocks like Land Securities, Taylor Wimpey and Bridgepoint rallied strongly.

Currys shares surged 10% as it reported a £46 million half-year loss, an improvement from £568 million last year. It cited margin growth in the Nordics and “solid” overall performance despite sales declines.

MusicMagpie jumped 22% as a record Black Friday helped offset first-half weakness. It expects a 4.7% revenue decline but said second-half sales rose 7.5%.

The BoE caution demonstrates lingering inflation fears even as markets celebrated the Fed’s pivot. Further volatility is likely as central banks navigate growth-inflation tradeoffs. But companies like Currys and musicMagpie continue to show resilience amid challenges.