The S&P 500 was on track last night to close above the 5,000 mark for the first time as Wall Street’s record start to the year continued.
The index – which houses the largest companies in the United States, from Microsoft and Apple to General Electric and Coca-Cola – has risen for five consecutive weeks.
The latest spike came after revised December inflation figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics came in lower than initially reported.
Optimism about Artificial Intelligence and hopes that the Federal Reserve will begin cutting interest rates have sent stocks soaring on Wall Street.
In London, the FTSE 100 fell 0.3 percent, or 22.9 points, to 7,572.58 and the FTSE 250 fell 0.2 percent, or 40.40 points, to 19,062.32.
Boom: Optimism about artificial intelligence and hopes that the Federal Reserve will begin cutting interest rates have sent stocks soaring on Wall Street.
London hosted its biggest IPO of the year when an airline backed by BAE Systems made its stock market debut.
Kazakhstan’s Air Astana priced its shares at $9.50 each, in a move that valued the business at £672m. But shares fell to $9 in a subdued first trading session. BAE gained 1.2 per cent, or 14.5 pence, to 1,209.5 pence.
It comes as London struggles to attract blockbuster listings after Cambridge-based Arm opted for New York last year. Arm soared around 60 percent on Thursday after a great run of results. Shares rose 0.5 percent yesterday and, at nearly $110, are still more than double their trading price of $51.
Air Astana, which lists its shares in London and Kazakhstan, has a fleet of 50 aircraft and carries around 8 million passengers each year. Before the IPO, BAE owned 49 percent of the group, while the rest was controlled by Kazakhstan’s sovereign wealth fund. Britain’s biggest defense group has a 15.3 percent stake after selling 21.7 million shares for £163 million. Peter Foster, president and CEO of Air Astana, said the listing “has created the perfect platform to raise capital while allowing both local citizens and international investors to participate in our success story.”
Swiss Watches chairman Ian Carter bought shares in the Rolex seller worth almost £200,000. The stock rose 5.8 per cent, or 21.4 pence, to 393.8 pence.
Developer Bellway hailed signs of recovery in the property market as lower mortgage rates drive demand for new homes.
The housebuilder reported a 30 per cent drop in revenue to £1.25bn for the six months to the end of January after selling 4,092 new homes, 1,603 fewer than in the same period a year earlier. The average selling price also fell almost 2.5 per cent to £309,300. The shares gained 1.4 per cent, or 38 pence, to 2,848 pence.
There was good news for bitcoin as the world’s largest cryptocurrency hit $47,000 (a level not seen since March 2022) as investors renewed their risk appetite following a recent sell-off.
Back in the stock market, Direct Line said incoming boss Adam Winslow will take over as chief executive next month.
He was appointed in August having led the group’s general insurance business in the UK and Ireland since May 2021. The shares fell 0.7 per cent, or 1.1 pence, to 161.7 pence. DS Smith extended its profits a day after the paper and packaging company said it had been approached by rival Mondi about a possible merger.
Shares in DS Smith rose 2.5 per cent, or 7.6p, to 316.2p. Mondi fell 0.6 per cent, or 8 pence, to 1,344 pence.
Digital 9 Infrastructure shares fell nearly a quarter on Thursday after the data center and wireless network investor said the sale of its prized asset will be investigated by Iceland’s antitrust authority. He had hoped the £465m sale of his Verne Global business to Ardian France SA, agreed last November, would be approved in March. But research means it could take longer. The stock fell 0.8 per cent, or 0.14p, to 17.56p.