London open: Stocks edge higher, but Kingfisher tanks
UK stocks edged higher on Tuesday morning, though gains were only moderate as investors continued to exercise caution ahead of some potentially market-moving central bank meetings later this week.
The FTSE 100 was up 0.2% at 7,666 one hour into the trading session.
Policymakers at the Federal Reserve are due to meet on Wednesday afternoon in the US. While they are widely expected to keep rates unchanged, given recent data showing a slight cooling of the US economy, markets will be on the lookout for any indication of future monetary policy.
The Bank of England will follow suit on Thursday, and is predicted to hike rates a further 25 basis points to 5.5%, though it remains to be seen whether this will be the peak for rates in the current cycle. Consumer price index data out on Wednesday will be closely watched, and any upside surprise could reignite fears of rates staying higher for longer.
The recent surge in oil prices is a big cause for concern for policymakers, with inflation still trending substantially higher than their targets. Brent crude was up a further 0.5% at $94.88 a barrel on Tuesday morning, as it nears its 52-week high of $99.56, following a near-30% jump over the past three months.
The economic data agenda for Tuesday looked relatively light, with consumer price inflation data from the Eurozone, and US housing starts and building permits the only major things to watch out for.
Kingfisher slumps, Ocado delivers
Shares in DIY retailer Kingfisher tanked after the company lowered its profit expectations for the full year on the back of worsening trading conditions in Poland and France. Full-year adjusted profit before tax guidance was cut from £634m to around £590m. The company tried to appease investor with a £300m new share buyback programme, but shares still dropped 6% early on.
Online grocer and technology company Ocado rose after maintaining annual guidance following a 7.2% rise in third-quarter retail revenues. The company, 50% owned by Marks & Spencer, said retail sales came in at £569.6m from £531m a year earlier, with a return to positive volume growth in the last month of the quarter.
Hargreaves Lansdown was also higher after the savings and investment company reported a 50% surge in yearly profits to £402.7m, along with an 8% increase in assets under administration to £134bn.
Travel giant Tui jumped after hoding annual guidance on the back of a strong summer and solid bookings for this winter.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Ocado Group (OCDO) 810.00p 2.92%
Marks & Spencer Group (MKS) 225.50p 1.35%
Phoenix Group Holdings (PHNX) 533.40p 1.33%
Land Securities Group (LAND) 581.60p 1.22%
Fresnillo (FRES) 585.40p 1.11%
Centrica (CNA) 171.80p 1.06%
Hargreaves Lansdown (HL.) 773.00p 1.05%
Glencore (GLEN) 464.45p 1.04%
Legal & General Group (LGEN) 226.90p 0.89%
Endeavour Mining (EDV) 1,648.00p 0.86%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Kingfisher (KGF) 221.50p -5.98%
B&M European Value Retail S.A. (DI) (BME) 558.80p -1.06%
AstraZeneca (AZN) 10,622.00p -0.99%
NATWEST GROUP (NWG) 229.80p -0.95%
Halma (HLMA) 2,090.00p -0.95%
Convatec Group (CTEC) 219.00p -0.90%
Next (NXT) 7,054.00p -0.82%
Croda International (CRDA) 4,907.00p -0.81%
JD Sports Fashion (JD.) 135.10p -0.70%
Ashtead Group (AHT) 5,200.00p -0.61%
FTSE 250 - Risers
TUI AG Reg Shs (DI) (TUI) 495.00p 6.00%
Bridgepoint Group (Reg S) (BPT) 194.70p 3.18%
SThree (STEM) 369.00p 2.79%
Future (FUTR) 751.50p 2.04%
Trainline (TRN) 271.40p 1.95%
Ferrexpo (FXPO) 79.05p 1.93%
Computacenter (CCC) 2,494.00p 1.80%
FirstGroup (FGP) 159.70p 1.78%
C&C Group (CDI) (CCR) 134.20p 1.67%
Abrdn Private Equity Opportunities Trust (APEO) 432.00p 1.65%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Oxford Instruments (OXIG) 2,135.00p -2.29%
Diversified Energy Company (DEC) 82.05p -1.20%
International Distributions Services (IDS) 259.20p -1.18%
PureTech Health (PRTC) 227.00p -1.09%
Genuit Group (GEN) 321.50p -1.08%
Hipgnosis Songs Fund Limited NPV (SONG) 81.20p -0.98%
Watches of Switzerland Group (WOSG) 578.00p -0.86%
Balfour Beatty (BBY) 325.20p -0.85%
Temple Bar Inv Trust (TMPL) 235.50p -0.84%
Howden Joinery Group (HWDN) 725.00p -0.82%