The FTSE 350 has given up its previous gains for the week, as inflation shock filters through global stock markets.
After a very uncertain day, the FTSE 100 ended Wednesday down 109 points (1.5%) to 7,277. The FTSE 350 finished the day at 4,031, down 61 points. Earlier in the day, lower-than-expected UK inflation in August had led to softer falls, with the FTSE indexes showing only around half those drops.
After disappointing US inflation figures, the S&P 500 has fallen 4% in two days, with the Nasdaq down 4.5%. Against that kind of background, the FTSE could go anywhere on Thursday.
Solar power results
Foresight Solar Fund will deliver interim results Thursday. The FTSE 250 investment company puts its money, as its name suggests, in solar power developments. It invests in the UK and Australia.
Presumably the sunnier weather down under has helped with its share price, up 23% in the past 12 months.
Several FTSE 350 shares go ex-dividend Thursday. Other things being equal, we’d expect to see their share prices dip by the value of the dividend.
FTSE 100 firms Unite Group, Intertek, and Melrose hit their interim ex-dividend dates. Unite has declared a payment of 11p per share, up 69% on last year. Intertek’s H1 dividend is unchanged at 34.2p. And Melrose ups its payment 10% to 0.825p per share.
In the FTSE 250, it’s interim ex-dividend day for TBC Bank Group and International Public Partnerships.
Investment trust cash
Murray Income Trust is officially a Dividend Hero, and had previously raised its dividend every year for the past 48 years. Murray invests for UK Equity Income, and will pay its fourth interim dividend on Thursday.
The 11.25p payment, announced in August, takes the full-year total to 36p per share. That’s a 4.3% increase on last year’s total, and provides a 4.5% yield on Wednesday’s closing price. And it brings up 49 years of annual dividend increases.
It’s worth reminding ourselves that there will be no Bank of England interest rate decision this Thursday, after it was postponed for a week following the death of Queen Elizabeth II. The Monetary Policy Committee will, instead, announce their next decision on 22 September.
A further interest rate rise is widely expected, even with inflation softening a bit. The 9.9% increase in prices announced Wednesday did not match the predicted 10.2%. But we still have inflation at levels not previously seen for 40 years.