FTSE 100 little changed as rate worries offset Avast surge

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The offices of the London Stock Exchange Group are seen in the City of London, Britain December 29, 2017. REUTERS/Toby Melville/File Photo

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  • Avast reaches an all-time high
  • Hiscox falls after results
  • UK service companies slow down again – PMI
  • FTSE 100, FTSE 250 flat

Aug 3 (Reuters) – Major UK stock indexes were largely flat on Wednesday as investors maintained a cautious stance on the pace of monetary policy tightening, while Avast surged after gaining approval regulation for NortonLifeLock’s $8.6 billion deal.

Shares of Avast Plc (AVST.L) soared 42.7% to a record high after Britain’s competition regulator announced it had provisionally cleared an $8.6 billion purchase by rival cybersecurity firm NortonLifeLock (NLOK.O). Read more

The blue-chip FTSE 100 index (.FTSE) fell 0.05%, while the national mid-cap index (.FTMC) gained 0.04%, after a pessimistic start to August.

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Both indices, however, posted solid gains in July, with the FTSE 100 outperforming its global peers so far this year.

“The UK market is a defensive market, so it will tend to outperform in a year like 2022 where there is a lot of uncertainty,” said Thomas Moore, chief investment officer at abrdn.

“People will still be paying their energy and heating bills, they will be buying cigarettes, a bottle of whiskey. Inflation and interest rates could be a problem for the UK economy, but that is unlikely to happen. be a problem for the UK stock market.”

All eyes are on Thursday’s Bank of England meeting, where policymakers are expected to raise interest rates by 50 basis points after other central banks have raised borrowing costs sharply in recent weeks, despite the risk of economic slowdown or recession. Read more

Britain’s services sector activity rose in July at the slowest pace since the start of 2021 when the country was in the throes of coronavirus, although there was an easing of mounting price pressures , according to a survey. Read more

Global markets remained volatile on Wednesday after a trio of Federal Reserve policymakers signaled on Tuesday that there would be no letup in the tightening campaign, as investors weighed the fallout from the visit to Taiwan of US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, which angered China. Read more

Hiscox (HSX.L) fell 5.6% after insurer Lloyd’s of London posted a pre-tax loss of $107 million in the first half, hit by a sharp decline in the value of its investment portfolio . Read more

Homebuilder Taylor Wimpey Plc (TW.L) gained 3.7% after forecasting annual operating profit near the top of the market consensus range and maintaining its volume growth targets for the year. Read more

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Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips and Shailesh Kuber

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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