FTSE 100’s early gains fade but stocks still nudge higher

20 May 2024, 17:24

Summer weather June 9nd 2020
Summer weather June 9nd 2020. Picture: PA

The FTSE 100 finished 3.94 points, or 0.05%, higher to end the day at 8,424.2.

London’s top stock index was a touch higher at the end of trading on Monday after strong early gains were mostly erased.

A positive session for volatile metal prices, including gold, meant that some of London’s mining firms – such as Fresnillo and Antofagasta – had positive sessions.

The FTSE 100 finished 3.94 points, or 0.05%, higher to end the day at 8,424.2.

Chris Beauchamp, chief market analyst at IG, said: “The triumphant advance of the FTSE 100 to its current record high has given way to dull, rangebound trading as upward momentum exhausts itself.

“Having gained over 8% in a month, the index now faces a tougher task, namely that of holding on to the ground won.

“Latecomers to the rally need to be wary; strong gains from February into April were followed up by a very choppy period, one that could easily recur.”

Across the Channel, the German Dax index was up 0.33% at the close and the Cac 40 in France ended up 0.35%.

Stateside, the main US markets saw a slight retreat after the Dow Jones had notched a record high late last week.

Meanwhile, sterling was robust despite Bank of England deputy governor Ben Broadbent indicating interest rates could be cut this summer.

The pound was up 0.03% at 1.270 US dollars and was up 0.16% at 1.169 euros at market close in London.

In company news, easyJet was among the notable fallers after Dublin-listed rival Ryanair saw its own value drop despite higher profits.

Sentiment across the travel sector was impacted by Ryanair’s suggestion that ticket price inflation is starting to flatline and that the company could soon need to start cutting prices.

Shares in easyJet slipped by 3.2% to 474.9p at the close.

Video games services firm Keywords Studios was the sharpest riser after bosses indicated they would be willing to accept a £2 billion takeover, as it appears to be the latest London-listed firm to be taken private.

The firm, which works with the developers of major games such as Fortnite and Assassins Creed, told investors it would be minded to recommend an offer from the Swedish private equity investor EQT Group.

Keywords Studios shares rose by 55.2% to 2,282p at the end of trading as a result.

Victorian Plumbing shares floated higher after it bought its arch rival, online bathroom retailer Victoria Plum, in a deal worth £22.5 million.

Shares increased by 8.9% to 93p after confirming the takeover deal, just over six months after Victoria Plum plunged into administration.

The price of oil surged early of Monday morning after report the Iranian president died in a helicopter crash, but gave back much of these gains after a US federal reserve official appeared cautious about reducing borrowing costs.

The price of a barrel of Brent crude oil was up by 0.4% to 81.51 US dollars as markets were closing in London

The biggest risers on the FTSE 100 were Rolls-Royce, up 18.7p to 436.8p, Fresnillo, up 24.5p to 639.5p, Weir Group, up 80p to 2,200p, Entain, up 23.8p to 745.8p, and Airtel Africa, up 2.9p to 122.1p.

The biggest fallers on the index were easyJet, down 15.9p at 474.9p, Burberry Group, down 33p at 1,076p, Ocado, down 8.8p at 354.3p, Sage, down 19.5p at 1,086.5p, and Prudential, down 14p at 805.2p.

By Press Association