The FTSE 350 had a calmer day Thursday, after a more volatile week overall.
UK market steadying
UK share prices started with a rocky few days, in a week that featured August inflation updates from the UK and the US. But the week looks set to end calmer, as the FTSE 100 hardly budged Thursday to end at 7,282 points. The FTSE 350 moved even less, closing at 4,035 points.
Overall, the two indexes had dipped only about 1% all week by the end of Thursday. And unless anything unexpected happens, Friday looks set to be unexciting. It’s almost as if daily stock market ups and downs don’t mean much, isn’t it?
Saying that, it might be more interesting to see how the US stock market behaves on Friday. Both the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq were sent reeling by higher-than-expected inflation figures. And they haven’t recovered yet.
By New York market close on Thursday, S&P stocks were down 4.1% on the week. The Nasdaq index, meanwhile, fell 4.6%.
The banking sector is struggling, is it? Try telling that to NatWest Group shareholders, who’ll have dividend payments heading in their direction Friday.
The bank raised its interim dividend by 17% to 3.5p per share. On top of that, as an outcome of the group’s share consolidation, NatWest is paying an extra dividend of 16.8p. That’s a total of 20.3p per share winging its way into investors’ accounts.
It’s dividend payment day for Barclays too. This time, it’s first-half cash of 2.25p per share.
Currys shareholders should be getting their final dividend of 2.15p per share, to take their total for the year to 3.15p. That’s a 5% rise over last year, and represents a 5% yield on the current share price.
Vesuvius, appropriately named for its specialisation in molten metal work, is handing out 6.5p per share for H1. Analysts expect a full-year yield of 6.5%. Engineer IMI has lifted its first-half dividend too, and will pay 8.3p per share.
Friday is also interim dividend payday at Spirent Communications, 4imprint Group, Clarkson, TI Fluid Systems and Witan Investment Trust. Witan has lifted its annual dividend every year for 47 years now, and looks set for 48.
Can we really take any more economic news this week after US and UK inflation figures have had such an impact? We surely can, and we have UK retail sales figures coming our way Friday morning.