FTSE up on back-to-back gains, eyes Fed decision

FTSE 100 edges up, extending monthly gains. GSK rises, Aston Martin tumbles on wider-than-expected loss.

The FTSE 100 ticked higher on Wednesday, building on two consecutive months of gains. Investors now focus on the Federal Reserve’s policy decision later today, seeking guidance on when the U.S. central bank might start cutting interest rates.

The blue-chip index opened 0.2% higher. Trading activity is likely to be muted with several European markets closed for Labour Day.

Investors anxiously await the Fed’s statement and comments from Chair Jerome Powell, hoping for insights into how recent weak U.S. inflation data has impacted expectations for interest rate cuts this year.

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) shares climbed 0.4% after the drugmaker raised its full-year profit forecast and projected higher sales for the first half of 2024.

Conversely, Aston Martin plummeted 10% after reporting a larger-than-expected first-quarter pretax loss, dragging down the FTSE 250.

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