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FTSE 100 at the close: RS Group, Barclays, Smiths

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By Patrick Munnelly, Market Strategist, Tickmill

On Tuesday, London stocks rebounded from the previous session’s performance, showing modest gains of 0.02%.

Despite concerns about tighter macroeconomic conditions, investors appeared to brush off worries about prolonged elevated interest rates.

This suggests that while concerns about the broader economic environment may have weighed on market sentiment, investors remained relatively optimistic, or at least less concerned, about the prospect of central banks maintaining high interest rates for an extended period.


FTSE 100 biggest movers

UK electronics products distributor RS Group LON:RS1 experienced a significant rally in its stock price, surging by as much as 12.2% through the day.

This surge came in response to reports from the deals website Betaville, which suggested that the company had attracted takeover interest from both a private equity buyer and a US-based industry rival.

The news from Betaville appears to have had a notable impact on RS Group’s stock, with at least one trader confirming that the report influenced the stock’s movement.

However, RS Group has not yet responded to a Reuters request for comment regarding the takeover interest.

RS Group’s stock closed the session up by more than 5%, and trading volumes were 2.8 times higher than the 30-day daily average. This significant increase in both stock price and trading volume suggests that the market is reacting strongly to the news of potential takeover interest in the company.

Shares of British bank Barclays LON:BARC saw a notable increase of nearly 3.9%, hot on the heels of RS Group for top spot on the blue chip index,

This surge in stock price was driven by an upgrade and positive outlook from Morgan Stanley, upgrading Barclays’ rating from “equal-weight” to “overweight” based on an improved outlook for revenue and payout. They also raised their price target for Barclays to 230p from 190p, indicating a potential upside of approximately 50% from the stock’s last closing price.

On the negative side of the ledger sits Smiths Group LON:SMIN bottom of the index in fiscal year 2023 and down 4% by the close.

The UK engineering company reported a pre-tax profit of £360 million, which was a significant improvement over the prior year’s £103 million. However, this figure fell just short of the analyst consensus of £366.35 million, as reported by an average compiled by Visible Alpha.

Smiths Group’s two largest divisions, John Crane and Smiths Detection, were expected to be the main drivers of its robust revenue performance. Both of these units, however, exceeded the company’s provided consensus forecasts for organic growth.

John Crane outperformed by 2.8 percentage points, while Smiths Detection exceeded expectations by 4.0 percentage points.

On the other hand, the growth of the Flex-Trek division fell slightly below consensus, achieving a growth rate of 10.1% compared to the expected 10.3%.

In the case of Smiths Interconnect, the division’s organic revenue declined by 2.8%, in contrast to the consensus expectation of 0.8% growth.

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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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