The FTSE 350 had some light relief after rumours of another mini-budget u-turn Thursday.
It looked like we were in for yet another red day on the UK stock market Thursday, with the FTSE 100 plunging as low as 6,708 points early in the afternoon. That was its lowest point for the past 12 months.
But rumours emerged that the UK government was discussing possible changes to its controversial mini-budget. And by the end of the day, the FTSE 100 had just edged ahead of Wednesday’s close, up 24 points (0.4%) to 6,850 points.
The FTSE 350 had a similar day, also dropping to a 12-month low, of 3,689 points. But it closed with a gain of 21 points (0.6%) at 3,769 points.
Investors will most likely be watching Friday for any adjustments to the government’s fiscal plans, from which it has said it is definitely not budging.
US inflation figures are in. The US consumer price index actually dropped a little in September, to 8.2% from August’s 8.3%, but that’s still higher than had been expected.
Still, US stock markets ended their losings streak too. By close Thursday, the S&P 500 had gained 93 points (2.6%) to finish at 3,670 points.
The tech-heavy Nasdaq gained 232 points (2.2%) to reach 10,649, still short of the 11,000 point level.
A number of FTSE 350 companies are set to pay dividends on Friday. That includes a final dividend from Baltic Classifieds Group.
Those paying interim dividends include FTSE 100 bank Standard Chartered. The bank, which also announced a $500m share buyback at interim time, is set to pay 4 cents per share.
Interim cash will also be on its way to Derwent London, TBC Bank Group and Pagegroup shareholders, with Pagegroup also paying a special dividend.
The week’s negative economic news had been sending the price of oil gradually down. But a barrel of Brent Crude ticked up a couple of percent Thursday to around $94.50. But that’s still lower than the $98 levels it reached right after Opec+ announced its reduction in production.
Berenberg Bank has reiterated its buy stance on cybersecurity specialist Darktrace, with a 600p price target on the stock, with the shares currently trading at 297p.
Deutsche Bank, meanwhile, has National Grid as a hold with a 1,020p price target. At the current price at 861p, that’s a possible 19% upside.