FTSE Today: Markets remain steady ahead of Fed decision

FTSE 100 ends marginally lower, while FTSE 250 gains on positive UK inflation data.

FTSE Today: Markets remain steady ahead of Fed decision
FTSE Today

London's blue-chip index, the FTSE 100, exhibited lacklustre performance on Wednesday, concluding the session nearly flat at 7,737.38, down a mere 0.01%. The index seemingly maintained its composure ahead of the highly anticipated Federal Reserve decision scheduled for later in the evening.

In contrast, the FTSE 250 index showcased a more optimistic stance, rallying 0.3% to close at 19,484.40. The AIM All-Share index also registered a marginal uptick of 0.03%, settling at 735.59.

Sectors sensitive to interest rates and consumer spending experienced buoyancy, bolstered by favourable UK consumer price index data. Housebuilder Persimmon climbed 2.4%, property investor Segro added 2.3%, and retailer JD Sports saw a 2.8% surge in its share price.

Prudential reported an earnings beat for the period. However, its shares tumbled 4.5% as the challenging economic climate in China overshadowed its performance. The company's annual premium equivalents sales, a metric reflecting new policy sales, jumped 34% to $5.88 billion, aligning with market consensus estimates. Notably, APE sales in Hong Kong soared to $1.97 billion from a mere $522 million, attributed to the removal of pandemic-related restrictions and the reopening of the land border with mainland China.

Burberry Group saw a 3.3% decline, reflecting a negative sentiment spillover following an earnings warning from the Paris-listed Kering SA.

Johnson Matthey emerged as a bright spot, surging 7.8% after announcing its agreement to sell the Medical Device Components business to Montagu Private Equity for $700 million in cash. The proceeds from the sale are expected to fund a share buyback program, with £250 million earmarked for shareholder returns through a share repurchase.

In the AIM market, Roadside Real Estate shares soared, more than tripling in value to 10.20 pence, following the announcement of a partial sale of its Cambridge Sleep Sciences shareholding for £6.0 million, implying significant upside potential.

Daily Risers and Fallers

FTSE All-Share risers:
Close Bros 8.8%, Aptitude 8.5%, Johnson Matthey 7.7%, Stvg 7.7%, India Cap 7.2%.
FTSE All-Share fallers:
FDM Group -16.9%, Ferrexpo -9.3%, Trustpilot -7.6%, Computacenter -6.4%, Watches Switz -6%.

Daily Recap

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