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FTSE Today: London stocks stumble as Fed outlook, geopolitics weigh

London’s premier indices retreated on Thursday as fears over aggressive interest rate outlook by the Federal Reserve and escalating geopolitical risks soured investor appetite. The FTSE 100 shed 0.5% to close at 7,923.80, while the …

London’s premier indices retreated on Thursday as fears over aggressive interest rate outlook by the Federal Reserve and escalating geopolitical risks soured investor appetite.

The FTSE 100 shed 0.5% to close at 7,923.80, while the mid-cap FTSE 250 dipped 0.1% to 19,786.87, though the AIM All-Share bucked the trend, adding 0.5% to 758.83.

Airline shares bore the brunt of selling pressure amid rising global tensions, with IAG diving 3.7% and easyJet losing 3.6%.

The ex-dividend factor also weighed on consumer giants Reckitt Benckiser, Lloyds Banking Group, and Aviva, which fell 2.3%, 4.6%, and 6.4% respectively.

Bucking the downtrend, AstraZeneca climbed 2.1% after announcing plans to increase its dividend by 7% to $3.10 per share in 2024, citing robust finances.

Elsewhere, Kingfisher and Smiths Group advanced 2.4% and 2.7% after HSBC upgraded them to ‘buy’. Cybersecurity firm Darktrace surged over 5% on strong revenue growth and raised guidance.

Great Portland Estates closed 1.6% higher on positive leasing activity and development progress, while Lok’nStore soared 17% after accepting a £378 million takeover bid from Shurgard Self Storage at a premium.

Daily Risers and Fallers

FTSE All-Share risers:
Petrofac 13.8%, XPS Pensions 10.7%, Regional Reit 7.4%, Trifast 6.8%, Darktrace 6.3%.
FTSE All-Share fallers:
Aviva -6.4%, Liontrust Asset Management -5.9%, Kenmare Resources -5.8%, Phoenix Group Holdings -5.8%, Chesnara -5.4%.

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