Economy

MARKET REPORT: FTSE 100 notches up its best month for two years

The FTSE 100 posted its best month in two years as a boost for investors in a rollercoaster year.

It added another 0.8 percent, or 61.05 points, to 7,573.05, bringing its November gain to 6.74 percent.

That rounded off the best month since November 2020, when the Footsie rose 12.35 percent following a major Covid vaccine breakout.

The FTSE 100 added another 0.8% or 61.05 points to 7,573.05, taking November gains to 6.74% – its best month since November 2020

The FTSE 250 fared less well, falling 0.1 percent or 22.83 points to 19,163.33. But the rally in the top flight will come as a welcome relief to investors after months of turmoil. The FTSE 100 is now at its highest level since May.

Mining stocks led in hopes that an easing of Covid restrictions will boost demand for commodities.

Anglo American was up 3.6 percent, or 118p, to 3407.5p, Antofagasta added 3.3 percent, or 44.5p, to 1408.5p, Endeavor Mining was up 2.6 percent, or 44p, to 1731p and Glencore gained 2.3 percent, or 12.7p, to 563.5p.

Retailers generally had a strong month, despite the pressure on living standards. Frasers Group, Ocado, JD Sports and B&M European Retail all gained between 25 and 40 percent in November. But there was little joy for luxury goods group Mulberry.

Shares fell 8.1 percent, or 23 pence, to 262 pence after it warned cost-of-living pressures and the end of VAT-free shopping for foreign tourists hit businesses in the UK.

Sales were down 1 per cent to £64.9 million in the 26 weeks to 1 October, and UK sales fell 10 per cent to £34.1 million. That contributed to a first-half loss of £3.8m compared to a profit of £10.2m a year earlier.

Stock watch – Strix

1669867598 839 Market Report Ftse 100 Notches Up Its Best Month For

Strix issued a profit warning amid disruption from lockdowns and unrest in China.

The boiler control maker, which has major operations in the world’s second-largest economy, said profits for the year should be around £23m, down from the previous range of £27m to £29m.

Disruption in China affected two customers. Strix operates a secondary warehouse to avoid problems with its shipments, but warned that the uncertainties could persist into next year.

It fell 40.1 percent, or 49.9 pence, to 74.7 pence.

Pennon sank into the red after rising utility bills eroded earnings. The owner of South West Water said energy costs doubled to around £49 million in the six months to September, compared to £24 million a year earlier.

Profit fell by three-quarters to £22.5m, despite a 9.3 per cent rise in revenue to £425.5m. The stock fell 3.1 percent, or 29 pence, to 910 pence.

In the latest FTSE reshuffle, fund manager Abrdn (-5.3 percent, or 10.8p, to 194.4p), Lloyd’s of London insurer Beazley (-0.2 percent, or 1.5p, to 649.5p) and engineer Weir Group (2.5 pence cents, or 46 pence, to 1771.5 pence) entered the top tier.

Meanwhile, veterinary drug maker Dechra Pharmaceuticals (+1.7 percent, or 46p, to 2720p), North Sea producer Harbor Energy (up 1.63 percent, or 5.10p, to 318.50p) and private equity outfit Intermediate Capital Group (-0 .5 percent, or 6p to 1193.5p), fell from the FTSE 100

AstraZeneca, with the largest market capitalization in the FTSE 100, has sold a US subsidiary to tech-focused manufacturing company National Resilience. Shares rose 1 percent, or 106p, to 11,166p.

Elementis rose 6.5 percent, or 7.1 pence, to 115.9 pence after the chemical group streamlined its operations by selling its Chromium business to Dutch-Turkish industrial conglomerate Yildirim for £141.75 million.

Rolls-Royce was boosted after Barclays said the jet engine maker’s share price could grow by nearly a quarter, setting a target price of 110p after shares closed at 89p on Monday. Shares rose 2 percent, or 1.8 pence, to 90.92 pence.

Loungers, the restaurant, bar and cafe operator, revealed that sales for the 32 weeks to Nov. 27 were up 17.4 percent from 2019 before the pandemic hit.

Sales rose 19.5 percent to £122.3 million in the 24 weeks to October 2. But profits fell to £2.8m compared to £12.8m a year earlier. It fell 0.3 percent, or 0.5 pence, to 191.5 pence.

Meanwhile, Whitbread’s outgoing boss will take over as chairman at Dunelm. Alison Brittain will leave the Premier Inn owner in January and will succeed Andy Harrison as chairman of the home furnishing retailer.

Dunelm rose 0.30 percent, or 3p, to 1006p, while Whitbread rose 0.1 percent, or 2p, to 2584p.

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Jacky

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