Britain’s FTSE 100 down after strong retail sales data; PMI figures loom By StuffsEarth

Estimated read time 6 min read

By Pranav Kashyap

(StuffsEarth) -London’s dipped on Friday after a hot reading of British retail sales data made investors bet that any rate cut would be further delayed, though the benchmark was poised to achieve its first weekly gain in six weeks.

The FTSE 100 was down 0.3% in morning trade, while the mid-cap held its ground and was on track to log its first weekly gain in four.

British retail sales volumes rose by 2.9% in May, rebounding sharply from a revised 1.8% decline in April. Economists’ poll had forecast sales volumes would increase by 1.5%.

The personal goods sector advanced 1%, making it the top performer among sectors.

Traders, however, remained on the sidelines to await purchasing managers’ index (PMI) figures due later in the day.

“It’s a summer Friday and everybody’s busy watching football, so wouldn’t want to get too much on one morning’s price move,” said Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell.

Investor sentiment in Britain is gradually brightening after comments from the Bank of England on Thursday brought an August rate cut into play. Markets are pricing in a 50-50 chance for an August cut.

A weaker pound has also been a major tailwind for the boost.

Among individual stocks, United Utilities (OTC:) gained 1.7% after J.P.Morgan upgraded the stock to “overweight” from “neutral”.

Britvic surged 11.1% after the soft drinks maker rejected a revised, unsolicited, possible cash offer from Carlsberg (CSE:) Group.

B&M fell 1.6% after Morgan Stanley lowered its rating to “underweight” from “equal-weight”.

Across the pond, investors will also look out for PMI figures in the U.S. set to drop later in the day.

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