Wed close: FTSE rise capped by weak services data; Aggreko demoted

Weaker services data pointed to slower UK growth and impacted on the blue-chip FTSE 100 index which was up 0.3% to close at 6,950.46. London underperformed European markets. The Paris CAC 40 rose 0.6% and the Frankfurt Dax by 0.8%.

Energy stocks, higher on reduced stocks of US crude, helped keep the FTSE in positive territory, but there was some nervousness among traders who felt the market was looking over-bought.

Morrisons and Sainsbury extended gains, following Tuesday’s positive sentiment from Kantar Worldpanel, while Dixons Carphone was in the red, despite reporting that full-year profits were likely to reach the top end of market forecasts.

Morrisons had further cause for celebration after retaining its place in the FTSE 100. The rise in its shares was enough to save it from relegation to the FTSE 250 which had looked likely as late as Monday night – and its shares jumped another 5.6p to 178.1p.

Sainsbury rose 4.7p at 249.8p while Tesco was 2.95p better at 210.4p.

Aggreko, the Scottish temporary power company, was ejected from the leading index. Its shares added 3p to £15.62. The changes to the index take effect from 22 June.

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