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A man takes part in a demonstration at the London stock exchange during an Extinction Rebellion protest in London, Britain April 25, 2019. — Reuters pic

Tuesday, 21 Jun 2022 5:59 PM MYT

LONDON, June 21 — London’s FTSE 100 index climbed today, as a rally in crude prices saw energy stocks surge, while shares of Ocado plunged 5 per cent after the online supermarket announced plans to boost its liquidity by more than US$1 billion (RM4.4 billion).

The blue-chip index firmed 0.6 per cent, led by energy stocks, as oil prices extended their climb amid tight supplies of crude and fuel products.

The domestically focussed mid-cap FTSE 250 index advanced 0.7 per cent, with Telecom Plus jumping 2.3 per cent after the company posted a strong annual profit.

The gains amount to a ‘relief rally’ as concerns of a recession linger on, said David Madden, market analyst at Equiti Capital.

Investors also await UK consumer price data for May due tomorrow, after the inflation rate in April was seen surging to a 40-year high.

CPI will take time to cool down, as there are a lot of reasons inflation is high, including costs of transportation, said Madden.

Britain’s biggest rail strike in 30 years kicked off yesterday, as tens of thousands of staff walked out in a dispute over pay and jobs that could pave the way for widespread industrial action across the economy in the coming months.

Transport operators including Firstgroup, Go-Ahead Group and National Express slipped between 0.5 per cent and 1 per cent in early trade.

Central banks around the world are looking to raise interest rates aggressively to tame soaring inflation, a sentiment underscored by the Bank of England’s hike to 1.25 per cent on June 16.

Ever since, banking stocks, which tend to benefit from a higher interest-rate environment, have gained nearly 5 per cent.

Capping gains among UK’s main indexes, Ocado fell after the grocer announced plans to boost its liquidity and raise £575 million (RM3 billion) through a share placement.

DS Smith edged 0.8 per cent higher after the cardboard maker posted strong annual numbers. — Reuters