FTSE Close: UK stocks close lower as BoE holds rates

Stocks in London end mixed as BoE holds rates steady despite recession worries. Shell surges on buybacks while AG Barr gains on CEO pick and forecast raise.

Mark Rogers

Mark Rogers

The FTSE 100 closed down -0.1% at 7,622.16 on Thursday after the Bank of England held interest rates at 5.25% in a split decision, dashing hopes for rate cuts in the near future. The more domestically-focused FTSE 250 index fell -1.2% to 19,131.16 while the AIM All-Share declined -0.3% to 752.70.

Shell was a standout gainer in the FTSE 100, rising 2.4% after the oil major reported a nearly 50% plunge in 2023 pretax profit to $32.63 billion. However, Shell announced a new $3.5 billion share buyback program on the heels of completing its previous $3.5 billion buyback.

In the FTSE 250, AG Barr jumped 1.1% after naming Euan Sutherland as its next CEO. The Irn-Bru maker also posted a 26% increase in revenue for its recently-ended financial year.

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Among small-caps, Superdry closed up 7.7% as its former CEO was named as the new chief of AG Barr. Meanwhile, Rank Group surged 7.2% after swinging to a first-half profit and expressing optimism about meeting full-year expectations despite the challenging economy.

The mixed close came as the BoE’s decision dampened hopes that rate cuts could come sooner to provide relief from the stringent monetary policy.

FTSE All-Share Gainers

Superdry 7.7%, Rank 7.2%, Marshalls 4.1%, Lsl Prop 3.8%, Ocean Wilsons 3.7%, De La Rue 3.5%, Croda International 3.4%, Norcros 2.6%, Ct Priv. Ord 2.6%, Xaar 2.6%

FTSE All-Share Fallers

Ceres Power -12.3%, Synthomer -7.8%, Paragon Group -7.7%, Molten Ventures -7.1%, Bytes Tech -6.6%, Pets at Home -6.0%, Paypoint -5.8%, Trustpilot -5.7%, Ocado -5.6%, 3i Group -5.2%

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