FTSE 100 makes afternoon gains as international peers break records

23 February 2024, 17:34

FTSE 100 rises
Stock prices fall. Picture: PA

The London-based index moved 21.79 points higher, or 0.28%, to close at 7,706.28.

The UK’s FTSE 100 index staged late afternoon gains on Friday while international peers topped record highs on the back of an artificial intelligence-fuelled rally.

The London-based index moved 21.79 points higher, or 0.28%, to close at 7,706.28, helped by a jump in the share price of Asia-focused bank Standard Chartered.

Chipmaker Nvidia sparked a market rally in the US on Thursday after reporting bumper earnings, with its biggest index, the S&P 500, surpassing recent record highs.

It caused a ripple effect to other markets with France’s Cac 40 and Japan’s Nikkei 225 among those also topping previous peaks.

Joshua Mahony, chief market analyst for Scope Markets, said on Friday morning: “European markets have set off on a somewhat tame path following a blockbuster US session that saw an incredible 277 billion US dollar (£218 billion) gain for Nvidia that single-handedly pushed all three major US indices into fresh record highs.

“That marks the biggest single stock gain in history, highlighting recent claims that Nvidia is the most important stock in the world, despite remaining 1 trillion US dollars (£800 billion) smaller than Microsoft.”

The US’s S&P 500 was up by 0.15% and Dow Jones was 0.3% higher by the time European markets closed.

In Paris, the Cac 40 closed 0.7% higher and over in Frankfurt the Dax was up 0.28%.

The pound was up by 0.15% against the US dollar to 1.2676, and was up by 0.1% against the euro to 1.171.

Standard Chartered financials
Standard Chartered said it was planning to return around £3.95 billion to shareholders over the next three years (Finsbury/PA)

In company news, Standard Chartered climbed to the top of the FTSE 100 after the bank announced it was planning to return around five billion US dollars (£3.95 billion) to shareholders over the next three years.

It followed the company reporting a 22% rise in its pre-tax profit for 2023, compared with the previous year, as the latest lender to reveal stronger earnings helped by higher interest rates. Its share price closed 4.9% higher.

Shares in CAB Payments dipped after the fintech company told shareholders its boss was stepping down from the role next month, following an unsuccessful float on the London Stock Exchange.

Bhairav Trivedi will be replaced by Neeraj Kapur, who said he was excited by the opportunity to lead the business through the “next phase of its development”. Shares in CAB Payments were down by 2.6%.

The biggest risers on the FTSE 100 were Standard Chartered, up 29.4p to 635p, Rightmove, up 10.2p to 561.2p, AstraZeneca, up 184p to 10,220p, Intercontinental Hotels Group, up 152p to 8,752p, and Airtel Africa, up 1.6p to 94.85p.

The biggest fallers on the FTSE 100 were St James’s Place, down 19.6p to 643p, Admiral Group, down 36p to 2,533p, Schroders, down 5.4p to 397.5p, Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust, down 9.4p to 787.6p, and DS Smith, down 3.7p to 320.8p.

By Press Association