U.K. stocks were able to edge higher last week following the sinking of a five-week low, although gains were only modes ahead of a heavy data session. The FTSE 100 was up 0.3 % at 6,520 in the early deals assisted by a small rebound in the energy sector.
A three-day sell-off eradicated 3.5 % off the value of the Footsie which hurled the index to its lowest level since November 4 which closed Wednesday’s session at 6,500.04.
Concerns regarding a diminishing oil price, political disparity in Greece and a steeper-than-expected slowdown in China tolled heavily on global stock markets last week.
Sentiment was regained when China told banks to issue more loans in the final months of 2014 in order to augment lending. The People’s Bank of China allegedly reported a lacklustre limits on banks’ loan-to-deposit ratios which allowed lenders to give out a record worth £1.03 trillion worth of loans over 2014 as a whole.
Oil prices slightly became stable, but were still close to the fresh five-year lows that reached last week following the cutback by OPEC of its demand forecast for the succeeding year and the U.S. reported a revelation of an increase in crude stockpiles. For now, Saudi Arabia’s oil minister questioned OPEC’s requirement to ease output albeit an excess in supply.
Investors were apt in keeping a close observation on economic data last week, with inflation figures out in Germany and retail sales, business inventories and jobless claims in the State. The European Central Bank will be publishing its monthly bulletin within the week.
Energy shares recoil, Whitbread and Bunzl plummets
Stocks in the oil services and oil producing sectors were making gains on as investors pursue bargains in the repercussions of the recently concluded sell-off.
Petrofac, Shell, BP, Tullow Oil were all making tough efforts to maintain their respective spot.
Moving past the other way was outsourcing group Bunzl following a full-year underlying revenue growth would be approximately 2.5 % as compared with a 3 % increase reported in the third quarter.
Whitbread, the proprietor of Costa coffee, along with Beefeater and Premier Inn were underpinned with a slight slowdown in like-for-like sales growth during the third quarter to 6 % from a previous 7 % in the first half.
Sports Direct was able to creep higher following its announcement that the fundamental profits that arose during the first half as decent top-line growth was received with a strong improvement in terms of margins which was later described as being solid.
Finally, a number of stocks were being traded following a going ex-dividend last week among which Associate British Foods, Babcock, Aberdeen Asset Management and 31 Group were all included.