Banks, commodities lift UK's FTSE 100

By Bansari Mayur Kamdar

(Reuters) – Britain’s FTSE 100 rose on Monday, supported by banks and commodity stocks in a choppy session, with data showing Britain’s industrial output slowed but tentative signs of price pressures coming off their peak.

The benchmark FTSE 100 index climbed 0.4%, reversing early losses, while the domestically focussed mid-cap index slipped 0.1%.

Banks, which benefit from higher interest rates, advanced 2.0% and were among the top performers on the blue-chip FTSE 100 ahead of their results and an expected U.S. rate hike this week.

Miners rose 2.1%, tracking higher copper prices helped by a weakening dollar that made metals cheaper for buyers with other currencies. [MET/L]

Oil stocks BP and Shell rebounded from early losses and gained 0.9% and 1.4%, respectively, boosted by dollar weakness and concerns around supply.

Energy has been the top performing sector so far this year, up nearly 23% year-to-date, helping the FTSE 100 outperform U.S. and European peers. Volatile oil prices, however, have unsettled the index this month, with traders weighing the impact of likely interest rate hikes that could cut demand against tight supply due to the loss of Russian oil.

“The FTSE has been more resilient because of its number of big international companies, particularly the big oil and gas companies and the miners which have really made hay,” said AJ Bell analyst Danni Hewson.

“But going forward you really can’t guarantee that is going to be sustained.”

(Graphic on, Energy stocks have helped the resource-heavy FTSE 100 outperform its European peers YTD: https://fingfx.thomsonreuters.com/gfx/mkt/xmvjodxrwpr/FTSEEnergy.PNG)

Meanwhile, data showed British industrial output grew at the slowest pace in over a year in the three months to July, but there were tentative signs that some challenges around inflation and investment are easing.

Travel and leisure stocks dipped 1.5% after Ireland’s Ryanair said a return to pre-COVID levels of profitability this year was not certain even as it topped first-quarter estimates.

SThree rose 1.7% after posting a 58% surge in its half-year operating profit, supported by strong hiring demand and as people change jobs in a competitive market.

Serica Energy advanced 5.0% after it rejected a revised merger proposal from energy investment firm Kistos, which valued the British oil and gas group at nearly 1.2 billion pounds ($1.4 billion). Kistos fell 1.4%.

(Reporting by Bansari Mayur Kamdar; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi and Mark Potter)

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