Wednesday, January 9: A strong overnight performance from Asian bourses put markets on course to close in the green on consecutive days as investors were enthused by signs of progress in US-China trade talks. Trade negotiations persisted longer than initially expected as officials announced that details would be released soon, raising investor hopes that an all-out trade war between the superpowers could be averted.
A resilient trading statement from Taylor Wimpey(+4.81%) in which cancellations, completions, and average selling prices came in ahead of expectations saw sector counterparts rally which helped the FTSE 100(+0.66%) close in the green.
FTSE 250 Ted Baker(+28.57%) jumped in trade as the clothing retailer announced that retail sales grew over the Christmas period whilst margins remained in line with expectations despite a heavily promotional retail environment. The Fashion outlet declared a sales increase of 12% in the five-weeks to January 5 over the prior period, as e-commerce sales rose 19% in the same period(26% of total retail sales). Despite the promotional backdrop, gross margins were reported as being in line with expectations. The susbsequent read-across also helped to lift sector peers.
Softcat(+15.61%) also helped lead the FTSE 250 higher after a trading update was indicative of a robust performance in the key trading months of November and December. The UK provider of IT infrastructure products and services described trading as being materially ahead of expectations.
At the close European equities were higher, with the FTSE 100 +0.66%, the CAC 40 +0.84% and the DAX 30 +0.83%.