25th February 2014
The FTSE 100 index of the UK’s top firms has slipped back in early morning trading after closing at its highest level in 14 years yesterday writes Philip Scott.
On Monday the blue-chip index finished the day up 27.8 points at 6,865.86 – its best level since 30 December, 1999, when it reached an all-time high of 6,930.2.
Bunzl led the index higher on the day with its stock jumping 7% on the back of by better-than-forecast full-year results while communications giant Vodafone also helped lead the charge, firming 4%, in the run up to the sale of its US arm.
Many experts have predicted that the index will break through its previous best in 2014 as the global economic recovery continues to gather pace.
However early morning trading has seen the leader board pull back, trading at circa 6,835 by 08:30, with engineer GKN leading the fall, with a 4% drop after it reported 17% rise in annual profits during 2013. Also off are miners Rio Tinto and Anglo American, with each down 2% apiece.
Having a better start to the trading day is construction and materials group CRH and house-builder Persimmon, with each up 2%.
In 2013 the FTSE 100 climbed 14.4%, its best annual performance in four years, commenting on recent trends, Adrian Lowcock, senior investment manager at fund broker Hargreaves Lansdown says: “March 2009 was a depressing time for investors, with stock markets having lost nearly half their value since October 2007. Since then the rising tide has lifted all boats and equity investors who stuck with the markets have done well in total return terms. Small and mid-cap stocks have done particularly well, as have fund managers who successfully tilted their portfolios towards defensive companies when they needed to.”