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FTSE 100 at the close: Informa, Halma


By Patrick Munnelly, Market Strategist, Tickmill

At the closing bell, the UK’s benchmark FTSE 100 index finished the day in the green after starting the day with a decline on Thursday, as mining stocks were weighed down by disappointing data from China.

Investors also took time to evaluate the recent hawkish signals from the U.S. Federal Reserve regarding potential interest rate hikes.

The subdued performance of mining stocks reflected concerns about the impact of weak economic data from China on global demand for commodities. Meanwhile, market participants carefully analysed the implications of the Federal Reserve’s stance on monetary policy, which indicated a likelihood of tightening measures in the future. The combination of these factors contributed to a cautious sentiment in the market at the opening of the FTSE 100, however, as the session advanced, so did the FTSE, looking to close out the session with modest gains.

FTSE 100 biggest movers

On the positive side of the ledger shares of Informa Plc LON:INF, a British events organiser, rose by nearly 4% putting it in the top spot for the day. The company has raised its profit and revenue outlook for the fiscal year, primarily driven by a strong performance in its academic markets and B2B markets businesses. Informa now expects its revenue for the fiscal year to be between £2.95 billion and £3.05 billion, representing a 7% increase from the previous forecast. Furthermore, the company anticipates a 10% increase in its adjusted operating profit, with a projected range of £750 million to £790 million for the year ending December 31. As of the previous close, Informa’s stock has gained 13.7% year-to-date.

Overall, Informa’s improved forecast reflects its positive business performance in key markets and highlights its growth potential in the industry.

On the negative side of the ledger Halma LON:HLMA, a British technology firm sits at the bottom of the index, saw its shares decline by as much as 9.4% to 2200p, making it the top percentage loser on the UK’s blue-chip index. The company expressed expectations for an increase in its return on sales for the 2024 financial year, aiming for approximately 20% compared to 19.5% in 2023. However, the rise in interest rates and supply chain disruptions, especially in the safety sector, had an impact on the return on sales. Halma’s statutory profit before tax for the fiscal year experienced a 4% decrease, primarily due to the absence of a gain on disposal worth £34 million from the previous year.

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This article does not constitute investment advice. Make sure you do your own research or consult a professional advisor.

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