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Today In Markets – FTSE100 & 250 Up, Tesco Shines, US CPI Print Causes Concern Stateside

Analyst Team trader
Updated 10 Apr 2024

In a dramatic day of trading, London's premier stock index, the FTSE 100, managed to carve out gains, closing at 7,961—a modest ascent of 26.42 points (0.33%). The blue-chip gauge saw a turbulent session, initially gearing to scale the unprecedented 8,000-point summit, but jitters around US inflation data applied the brakes on the rally.

Tesco PLC (TSCO), the British multinational groceries and general merchandise retailer, emerged as the front-runner in the field of risers, exhibiting resilience in the face of economic headwinds. The retail behemoth reported earnings that not only beat expectations but sent an encouraging signal that inflationary pressures—the nemesis of retail profitability—may be relenting.

The anticipated breach of the 8,000 threshold by the FTSE 100 was disrupted when US inflation data released painted a picture hotter than most analysts had forecasted. The consequential perturbation from across the Atlantic saw the index's momentum ebb, if only momentarily. Despite the fleeting stumble, the majority of the day's risers securely held their ground, pointing to underlying market sentiment that remains cautiously optimistic.

The aftershock of the US inflation reports was felt stateside with marked immediacy. The American markets endured a slump, and we enter the final hour of regular US trading with all the main indices deep in the red. The Russell 2000 (-2.9%) is the largest loser on the day, followed by the DJIA (-1.45%), the NYSE composite (-1.32%), and the S&P 500 (-1.28%). This week has struggled to get going across the Atlantic, but YTD they continue to lead the pack.

Turning the compass toward Europe, the European Central Bank's (ECB) upcoming decision on interest rates has piqued the interest of investors. Market prognosticators largely anticipate the rate to park at 4.5%, but there's a veil of speculation about the likelihood of rate reductions down the line—a scenario with profound implications for markets and economies intertwined with the Eurozone. The Euro trades down more than 1% against the greenback today.

The vista for British stocks seems set to brighten, going by Barclays' analysis. An uptick in oil prices coupled with fading Brexit anxieties are posited as catalysts that could breathe life into UK equities, heralding a period of resurgence.

Adding to the financial evolution narrative is Marks & Spencer's latest strategic move. The retailer is joining forces with HSBC UK to amplify its financial service offerings. This partnership envisages an enhancement of credit provisions and loyalty schemes—a bid to entrench customer loyalty and financial fluidity.

The AskTraders Analyst Team features experts in technical and fundamental analysis, as well as traders specializing in stocks, forex, and cryptocurrency.