Editors ChoiceGlobal MarketsLatest NewsPersonal Finance & InvestmentUK Headlines

FTSE climbs as investors brace for aggressive US rate hikes

The FTSE has maintained its steady rise over the past few weeks despite UK borrowing being higher than expected.

The FTSE 100 index today (March 22) lifted another 41.55 points to 7483.94 and is now back close to where it was prior to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine which started almost a month ago.

UK government borrowing rose more than expected last month due to rising inflation pushing up debt interest payments. Interest payments reached £8.2bn during the period, which was the highest February amount since records began in April 1997, and up £1bn on last year.

However, the budget deficit is now running at £26bn, lower than expectations in the first 11 months of the financial year. This gives UK chancellor Rishi Sunak some bargaining space ahead of tomorrow’s spring statement.

“This doesn’t mean investors have shrugged off the first major war in mainland Europe in a generation but it reflects an index which is relatively well-positioned against the current backdrop.

“It has substantial commodities exposure, a decent yield which appeals in an inflationary environment, and more discounted valuations than seen in other global markets,” said AJ Bell investment director Russ Mould.

LME facing possible lawsuits

According to a report today from The Standard, THE LONDON Metal Exchange is facing possible lawsuits from hedge funds over the chaos in the nickel market that saw $4 billion of trades suddenly cancelled.

The hedge funds and other market participants are taking advice and have been told there are legal grounds for a potential claim that would run into many millions of pounds.

The LME suddenly suspended trading two weeks ago after the price of nickel doubled. It then cancelled trades, a move that helped Tsingshan Holding, a Chinese steel producer that was “short” the market.

Leave a Reply