London’s FTSE 100 hits fresh record high as telecoms surge
By Shashwat Chauhan
(Reuters) – UK’s FTSE 100 rose to a record high on Tuesday as telecom stocks gained after Liberty Global bought a stake in Vodafone, while investors braced for U.S. inflation data due later in the day.
The blue-chip FTSE 100 rose as much as 0.6% to its all-time high, before easing to trade up 0.4%. The FTSE 250 midcap index gained 0.3%.
Vodafone gained 3.2% after Liberty Global, which owns half of rival Virgin Media O2, said it had bought a near-5% stake in the telecoms operator.
The broader telecoms sector index gained 3.0%.
Travel and leisure stocks enjoyed an early lead, rising 0.9%, with TUI gaining 2.4% after the holiday group said it was seeing a positive travel recovery trend.
Easyjet gained 3.7% after Deutsche Bank raised its rating on the airline’s stock to “buy”.
Soft drinks bottler Coca-Cola HBC AG jumped 3.8% after reporting a better-than-expected full-year operating profit.
All eyes are now on U.S. consumer prices data, due later in the day, that could influence the Federal Reserve’s stance on future monetary policy tightening.
“We ended 2022 with this perception that we were going to go into a recession. Then, as the year started, throughout January, we said maybe not recessions but a little bit of a soft landing,” said Daniela Hathorn, senior market analyst at Capital.com.
“Now we’ve come to a point where we’re even questioning ourselves, “Is there going to be any landing at all?” This changing mentality in the space of two months has been massive and I think that’s where markets are slightly confused.”
Meanwhile, data showed the pace of growth in basic pay in Britain sped up again in the last three months of 2022, while the domestic unemployment rate held steady in the three months to December.
Finance minister Jeremy Hunt said the figures showed a sign of resilience in the nation’s labour market.
(Reporting by Shashwat Chauhan in Bengaluru; editing by Eileen Soreng and Savio D’Souza)