As the UK’s political stop-and-start is winding down for the week, the FTSE 350 looks like it could be reaching calmer waters.
Below 7,000 again
The FTSE 100 ended Thursday just below the 7,000 level again, after a very up-and-down week. The top index dropped 55 points (0.8%) on the day to finish at 6,997.
Kingfisher was the biggest FTSE 100 faller Thursday, dropping 4.9%, with Centrica not far behind on a 4.4% dip. Segro was the biggest winner, up 2.6%, and Imperial Brands put on 2.5%.
The FTSE 350, meanwhile, fell 24 points (0.6%) to end the day on 3,861 points. Hopefully with not too much drama expected Friday, the London stock market might end this week a little less traumatically.
US markets calmer
Over in the US, the stock market also had a relatively subdued day Thursday, and could be emerging from recent storms as we approach the end of the week.
The S&P 500 fell by 39 points (1%) to close the day at 3,745 points. The Nasdaq managed to hold above the 11,000 level, dropping 75 points (0.7%) to finish the day at 11,073 points.
We’ve seen a lot of dividend payments this week, and there are more Friday. FTSE 100 building materials supplier CRH is due to send out its first-half dividend. Land Securities is also due to pay out, this time a quarterly dividend.
Shareholders should also be getting dividends from FTSE 250 companies LondonMetric Property, Centamin, Grafton Group, Drax Group, and Greggs.
And it’s interim dividend time at several FTSE 250 investment trusts, including JPMorgan Global Growth & Income, JPMorgan American Investment Trust and Personal Assets Trust.
Investors in the UK’s housebuilders have had a tough few months as share prices have fallen amid fears of a property crunch. Persimmon shares, for example, have fallen 50% in the past 12 months.
Are worse things to come? We might get a bit of a hint Friday when the latest Halifax House Price Index update is due.
Oil still climbing
After OPEC+ countries decided to reduce their output by 2 million barrels per day, oil prices continued to climb Thursday.
It’s perhaps no surprise that Barclays has reiterated its buy recommendation on Shell, with a target price of 3,300p. As of Thursday’s close, Shell shares stand at 2,312p.
The price of gold appears to be remaining steady at around $1,710 per ounce.