The big FTSE 100 risers of 2023 (so far)

There’s a major sector theme running through the biggest (20%+) FTSE 100 risers. And there could still be value among these stocks.

The content of this article was relevant at the time of publishing. Circumstances change continuously and caution should therefore be exercised when relying upon any content contained within this article.

2023 concept with upwards-facing arrows overlaid on a hand with one finger raised, pointing up

Image source: Getty Images

When investing, your capital is at risk. The value of your investments can go down as well as up and you may get back less than you put in.

Read More

The content of this article is provided for information purposes only and is not intended to be, nor does it constitute, any form of personal advice. Investments in a currency other than sterling are exposed to currency exchange risk. Currency exchange rates are constantly changing, which may affect the value of the investment in sterling terms. You could lose money in sterling even if the stock price rises in the currency of origin. Stocks listed on overseas exchanges may be subject to additional dealing and exchange rate charges, and may have other tax implications, and may not provide the same, or any, regulatory protection as in the UK.

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More.

The FTSE 100 has made a decent start to 2023. Going into the Easter weekend, it’s up 3.9% for the year to date.
Over 70% of the UK’s blue-chip stocks are in positive territory. And as many as 11 are showing gains in excess of 20%.
I’ve spotted one major theme running through the big risers. And a number of other points of interest for investors who may be looking to utilise their new financial year’s ISA allowance.

Good value

Writing at the start of the year, I suggested battered consumer-facing stocks could offer good value. Many suffered badly in 2022, as the market fretted about high inflation, the ‘cost-of-living crisis’, and a potential recession.
I said it’s worth remembering that high inflation and recessions never last forever. And that markets often begin to re-rate stocks for recovery well before the recovery appears.


No fewer than five of the 11 Footsie stocks that have risen 20%+ this year are retailers. Namely:

  • JD Sports Fashion (+31.6%)
  • J Sainsbury (+25.5%)
  • Primark owner Associated British Foods (+24.5%)
  • Burberry (+21.9%)
  • B&M European Value Retail (+20.5%)

The Footsie’s other four blue-chip retailers have also outperformed the index.


The house-building sector is another good barometer of where the market sees consumer confidence heading. The shares of the four FTSE 100 builders had a truly awful 2022.
However, the stocks have clawed back some of last year’s losses. All four have made gains in 2023, led by Taylor Wimpey (+17.9%). Property portal Rightmove is also up.

Wide range

Elsewhere in sectors sensitive to consumer spending, the shares of online car market place Auto Trader, Premier Inn owner Whitbread, and Intercontinental Hotels are all ahead by mid-teens percentages. Meanwhile, British Airways owner International Consolidated Airlines is in the 20%+ club with a gain of 20.4%.
The big theme then, is the strong performance from a wide range of consumer-facing stocks. Yet, despite the gains, many are still below their levels of early 2022. This suggests there’s scope for further re-ratings of their shares, if market sentiment continues to improve.

Biggest riser

Aerospace & Defence stocks have also enjoyed a strong start to 2023. In fact, Rolls-Royce, with its large civil aviation business — hello again improving investor appetite for airline stocks — is the biggest riser (+58.7%).
Melrose, a lesser known Footsie firm — which is in the process of demerging a number of its businesses, leaving it focused on aerospace — is another on the top risers list (+20.5%). BAE Systems (+18.2%) only just falls short.

Mixed bag

The remaining three stocks in the 20%+ club are a diverse bunch: BT (+33.3%), betting and gaming group Flutter Entertainment (+30.6%) and Endeavour Mining (+22.9%).

The fact these three stocks have made significantly higher gains than their sector peers suggests positive company-specific sentiment towards them. BT’s rise compares favourably with Vodafone‘s (+8.6%), albeit the latter did outperform the FTSE 100.
More strikingly, Flutter has risen strongly, but the shares of its Footsie rival Entain have actually declined (-2.0%). Entain’s performance wasn’t helped by US casino operator MGM Resorts ruling out making a takeover bid.
Endeavour Mining is focused on gold. A strong rise in the gold price to within touching distance of its all-time high hasn’t done the miner any harm. But again, this stock’s performance is markedly superior to that of its blue-chip sector peer, Fresnillo (-12.6%).


In summary, we’ve seen a major sector theme of strong gains for a wide range of consumer-facing stocks. The Aerospace & Defence sector has caught the eye, too. And investor demand for several individual companies — rather than their sectors — has produced some of the big winners.
The market’s appetite for consumer-facing stocks has clearly improved. Nevertheless, while the rising tide of positive sentiment has floated many boats across the sector, most have yet to reach their high-water marks of early 2022. If sentiment goes on improving, the shares should continue to re-rate higher.
Defence spending by Western governments will undoubtedly increase in coming years. However, it’s debatable whether this development is now fully baked into the prices of stocks in the Aerospace & Defence sector.

Final thought

Nice though it is to report on the FTSE 100’s decent start to 2023 — and some recovery of our battered consumer-facing stocks, in particular — I would hope the Easter prayer of investors was not one of thanks for the gains, but of hope for a sharp market pullback in the new ISA season!

Should you invest, the value of your investment may rise or fall and your capital is at risk. Before investing, your individual circumstances should be assessed. Consider taking independent financial advice.

Graham has no position in any of the shares mentioned in this article. The Motley Fool UK has recommended Associated British Foods Plc, Burberry Group Plc, InterContinental Hotels Group Plc, J Sainsbury Plc, Melrose Industries Plc, Rightmove Plc, and Vodafone Group Public. Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.

More on Investing Articles

Man writing 'now' having crossed out 'later', 'tomorrow' and 'next week'
Investing Articles

2 overlooked cheap shares I’m tipping to eventually soar

These two cheap shares may not be obvious bargains, but our writer explains the investment case behind buying them for…

Read more »

Investing Articles

1 no-brainer pick I’d love to buy for my Stocks & Shares ISA!

A Stocks & Shares ISA is a great investment vehicle for our writer. Here she explains why, and one stock…

Read more »

Shot of a senior man drinking coffee and looking thoughtfully out of a window
Investing Articles

Just released: our 3 best dividend-focused stocks to buy before May [PREMIUM PICKS]

Our goal here is to highlight some of our past recommendations that we think are of particular interest today, due…

Read more »

Investing Articles

Will the Rolls-Royce share price keep rising in 2024?

With the Rolls-Royce share price going on a surge, this Fool wants to look forward to where it could potentially…

Read more »

Investing Articles

£10k in an ISA? Here’s how I’d target a regular £30k+ second income stream

Reliable dividends can help provide a lot more financial freedom. Here's how I'd aim for a substantial second income inside…

Read more »

Person holding magnifying glass over important document, reading the small print
Investing Articles

Lloyds share price hanging on to 50p ahead of Wednesday’s Q1 earnings report. Where to now?

Down in April and with low earnings expected this week, Mark David Hartley investigates where the Lloyds share price might…

Read more »

artificial intelligence investing algorithms
Investing Articles

Everyone’s talking about AI! Here’s 1 FTSE stock to consider buying for exposure

A hot topic right now is artificial intelligence (AI). This Fool explains how this FTSE stock could offer investors an…

Read more »

British Pennies on a Pound Note
Investing Articles

1 penny stock I’d buy today while it is 99p

Ben McPoland highlights Windward (AIM:WNWD), a fast-growing penny stock that could benefit from the artificial intelligence revolution.

Read more »