FTSE flat ahead of BoE rate decision

London stocks flat ahead of BoE rate decision. Energy stocks support FTSE 100.

London’s stock market remained cautious on Thursday as investors awaited the Bank of England’s (BoE) interest rate decision later in the day. The FTSE 100 edged up 0.1% by 8:20 BST, hovering just below its record high. Energy shares provided some support for the index.

The wait for the BoE’s decision, expected at 12:00 BST, kept investors from making significant bets. The central bank is widely anticipated to maintain interest rates, with the focus shifting to any hints about future monetary policy changes. Markets currently predict a 50% chance of a rate cut in June and another cut by August.

IMI, a specialised engineering firm, climbed 1.1% after reiterating its full-year guidance. BAE Systems gained marginally (0.2%) as the defence firm reaffirmed its earnings guidance and projected continued positive momentum. In contrast, 3i Group fell 3.4% following the release of its full-year results.

Watches of Switzerland announced the completion of its $130 million acquisition of Roberto Coin Inc., a leading US distributor of luxury jewellery. The company sees significant growth potential by leveraging its expertise in the luxury jewellery sector.

Barclays raised its price target for NatWest to 400 pence (from 330 pence) with an “overweight” rating.

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