London Close: FTSE closes in positive territory despite stronger pound

London’s FTSE 100 index managed to eke out gains on Tuesday, overcoming the pressure of a robust UK wage data that boosted the pound.

The positive sentiment was driven by stimulus measures announced by China, urging financial institutions to provide easier loan terms for struggling property developers. State-run financial newspapers also hinted at forthcoming announcements and measures to boost business confidence.

While the FTSE 100 initially struggled, it ultimately rose by 0.1% or 8.73 points to close at 7,282.52. The FTSE 250 fared better, ending 0.6% higher at 18,140.09, while the AIM All-Share closed just 0.1 of a point lower at 738.62.

In other news, STM Group, an AIM-listed financial services provider, experienced a surge in its share price by 81% following news of a potential cash takeover offer from Pension SuperFund Capital. The offer, worth 70 pence per share, nearly tripled STM Group’s closing price on Monday. However, STM Group cautioned that discussions were still at an early stage, and there was no certainty that an offer would be made.

Mpac, a packaging and automation company, also saw its shares rise by 11% after assuring investors about its strong order book and project pipeline. The company reported a year-to-date order intake of £62.4 million, significantly higher than the previous year’s £32.8 million. Furthermore, Mpac’s June closing order book of £78.4 million surpassed the opening order book of £67.2 million for 2023. Analysts at Shore Capital commented positively on the order intake, indicating that Mpac is regaining its positive momentum.