FTSE indices staged a fight back after a lacklustre first three days of the week, followed by mixed overnight Asian trading as buoyant US economic data lent general support to indices across the globe. Money came flooding into the market for banking and real estate stocks as some investors felt that declines in stock had been overdone, and that the worst of the selling was over. Lloyds(+5.30%) and the Royal Bank of Scotland(+6.52%) were both up on the sentiment. Property and housebuilding stocks staged a partial recovery today after recent steep losses, prompted by a series of stock re-ratings supporting the residential sector. This comes just days after a number of UK property funds were suspended by their fund managers. Rightmove(+6.46%), Zoopla(+6.14%), Redrow(+5.76%), Bovis Homes(+5.26%) and Persimmon(+5.83%) all traded in the green.
Associated British Foods was one of the top gainers (+8.9%) as the food and ingredient supplier said it no longer expects a decline in adjusted earnings per share for the full year, after benefiting from the falling pound after the EU referendum. Other positives cited included a rebound from Primark along with a good 3Q margin, and upgraded EPS guidance for FY2015/16.
Sports Direct soared higher in early trade(+10%) as it announced profit was over 15% higher in the last financial year but warned that volatility in the retail sector and uncertainty permeating from the EU referendum will “drag on consumer confidence” over the short-medium term.Pretax profit was recorded at £361.8m in the financial year to April 24, a notable uplift from the £313.5m profit booked a year earlier. Sadly, for Sports Direct shareholders the stock lost all momentum into the close, narrowly closing in the green.
At the close European indices were up with the FTSE 100 +1.09%, with the CAC 40 +0.80%, and the DAX 30 +0.49%.