FTSE Today: Stocks sharply higher on interest rate reprieve; Shell shines, Entain falters

London’s stock markets rallied robustly as a pause in interest rates on both sides of the Atlantic ignited investor confidence. The FTSE 100 index surged by 1.4%, closing up 104.10 points at 7,446.53, buoyed by positive corporate performances.

The Bank of England held UK interest rates steady at 5.25%, a 15-year high, foreseeing a significant decline in inflation in the coming months. Despite this, the Bank hinted at potential future rate hikes, highlighting the persisting risks to inflation.

As a result, interest-sensitive stocks in the FTSE 100 flourished. Property giants like Segro, Land Securities, and Unite saw substantial gains. BT jumped 5.7% following impressive first-half financial results, reporting a rise in revenue to £10.41 billion.

Sainsbury’s recorded a 3.8% rise, driven by strong volume and market share growth in the first half. The company remains cautiously optimistic about its financial outlook despite fierce competition on prices during the upcoming festive season.

Meanwhile, Shell, the energy major, saw a 4.4% rise in shares after its third-quarter results garnered positive results. Shell’s pretax profit dipped slightly but rebounded significantly from the second quarter, showcasing its resilience amid market challenges. However, questions loom over its net-zero plans and strategic direction.

Conversely, Entain, the parent company of Ladbrokes and Coral, faced a 5.9% dip. Customer-friendly outcomes impacted its earnings, leading to a £45 million dent in October due to sports margins.

In the FTSE 250, Trainline steamed ahead, marking an 8.1% increase after reporting higher revenue and profit in the first half of the financial year. The online rail ticket seller tightened its full-year guidance, reflecting its positive growth trajectory.

On the AIM market, Ethernity Networks soared 14%. The supplier of data processing semiconductor technology clinched an extended contract worth $475,000 with an undisclosed ‘tier one US-based military aerospace customer.’ This deal is poised to bolster the company’s revenue in the coming months.