It closed above 8,000 for the first time
The FTSE 100 has struck another record closing price as it finished above 8,000 points for the first time.
Rises by British Gas owner Centrica and banking firm Standard Chartered helped keep London’s index of top firms in positive territory on Thursday.
London’s top flight moved 0.18%, or 14.7 points, higher to finish at 8,012.53.
It represented a record close price for the index but was still adrift of its earlier intra-day high, which was knocked back by higher than expected producer price index (PPI) inflation in US.
Across the Channel, the picture was largely similar. The German Dax rose by 0.18%, and the French Cac 40 increased by 0.89% at close.
Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK, said: “It’s been a day of two halves for European markets today with both the FTSE 100 and Cac 40 making new record highs this morning, before slipping back from those peaks during the afternoon session.
“The catalyst for the pullback was a US PPI report which punched a hole in the speed of the disinflation narrative that has driven this week’s stock market gains.”
In the US, markets opened sharply lower as comments by Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester also pointed towards further demand rate hikes.
Meanwhile, sterling lost ground against a dollar which was buoyed by the hot PPI figures.
The pound was down by around 0.15% to 1.201 US dollars, and fell by 0.07% to 1.124 euros at market close in London.
In company news, Centrica made gains after the London-listed energy firm saw its profits more than triple over the past year, due to rising wholesale prices.
The group said adjusted operating profits hit £3.3 billion last year compared with £948 million in 2021, sparking anger from politicians and campaigners.
Shareholders were more satisfied with the announcement, with shares rising by 5.64p to 104.2p as a result.
Elsewhere, it was joined near the top of the FTSE by Standard Chartered after the finance firm reported a 28% leap in its profits last year and said the reopening of China after the pandemic is giving grounds for optimism.
The bank revealed statutory pre-tax profits of 4.3 billion US dollars (£3.6 billion) in 2022, up from 3.3 billion US dollars (£2.7 billion) a year earlier.
Shares finished 30p higher at 759.2p on Thursday.
Drugs firm Indivior tumbled during the session after it set aside 290 million US dollars (£241 million) to deal with ongoing litigation in the US.
Shares dropped by 265p to 1,689p as the company revealed the provision alongside an annual pre-tax loss of 95 million dollars (£79 million).
Devro shares rose by 20.5p to 327p after the sausage casing business saw German group Saria increase its takeover offer.
The price of oil nudged higher after a choppy session amid uncertainty over demand in China and high inventories in the US.
Brent crude oil increased by 0.29% to 85.63 US dollars (£71.25) per barrel when the London markets closed.
The biggest risers on the FTSE 100 were Centrica, up 5.64p at 104.2p, Standard Chartered, up 30p at 759.2p, BT, up 3.95p at 142.25p, Burberry, up 58p at 2,533p, and Vodafone, up 2.3p at 101.52p.
The biggest fallers of the day were Imperial, down 74.5p at 1,978.5p, Endeavour Mining, down 62p at 1,777p, Hargreaves Lansdown, down 17.2p at 866.4p, 3i Group, down 32p at 1,641p, and Berkeley, down 80p at 4,173p.
Published: 16/02/2023 by Radio NewsHub