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What happened in the FTSE 100 today

In a confident start to the trading week, stock markets remained steady today, despite a dip in crude oil prices, which had a dampening effect on the FTSE 100 and weighed down shares in major …

In a confident start to the trading week, stock markets remained steady today, despite a dip in crude oil prices, which had a dampening effect on the FTSE 100 and weighed down shares in major oil companies.

The FTSE 100 index managed to inch up by 0.1%, or 8.33 points, closing at 7,570.69. Meanwhile, the FTSE 250 experienced a more significant gain, rising by 0.5% or 99.15 points to reach 19,190.81. However, the AIM All-Share lost a marginal 0.1%, shedding 0.86 of a point, ending the day at 792.48.

Two of the UK’s oil giants, Shell and BP, experienced a decline in their share prices, closing 0.7% and 1.7% lower, respectively. This decline had a negative impact on the overall performance of the FTSE 100.

Carnival saw its shares soar by 13% after JPMorgan upgraded the cruise ship operator’s rating from “neutral” to “overweight.” On the other hand, Segro faced a setback as its shares fell by 2.4% following a downgrade from “buy” to “neutral” by Goldman Sachs.

AO World, the online electrical retailer, saw its shares jump 8%. This boost came after Frasers Group, the parent company of Sports Direct, announced the acquisition of a stake in AO World. Frasers Group purchased 109.4 million shares at a price of 68 pence each, amounting to a total investment of £75 million. Frasers Group shares closed the day unchanged.

All eyes are now on the Federal Reserve’s upcoming decision, set to be announced on Wednesday. Analysts are closely watching to see if the Fed will follow the expected pause or choose to raise rates based on Tuesday’s US inflation reading.

In a statement, analysts at Lloyds Bank remarked, “Policy updates from the US Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank along with some key data releases in the UK and US should give markets plenty to digest. The latest policy decisions from the Fed (Wednesday) and ECB (Thursday) come hot on the heels of last week’s somewhat surprising decisions by the Bank of Canada and the Reserve Bank of Australia, both of which hiked by 25bp to 4.75% and 4.10%, respectively.”

They continued, “Recent US data have been mixed with monthly payrolls data pointing to a tight labor market, but other signs indicating a softening economy as past interest rate rises feed through. That will probably be enough for the Fed to ‘pause’ rates at 5.00-5.25%. The ECB, however, is almost certain to raise them again by 25bp, which would mean rises in total of 400bp since last summer. President Lagarde has said that there is ‘more ground to cover’ to bring inflation lower.”

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