FTSE 100 stocks are back in fashion! Here are 2 to consider buying today

The FTSE 100 has been on fine form this year. Here this Fool explores two stocks he reckons could be savvy buys to consider today.

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Since the UK voted to leave the EU all the way back in 2016, FTSE 100 stocks haven’t proved to be the most fruitful investment. Since the vote, the Footsie has climbed 33.3%. That’s not bad. Nevertheless, it’s dwarfed by the 142.3% gain the S&P 500 has made during the same period.

But things finally seem to be changing. 2024 has seen the UK-leading index find its feet, rising a healthy 5.5% year to date. It looks like UK-listed companies could be back on investors’ radars.

With that in mind, here are two I think investors should consider buying.

BP

First on the list is BP (LSE: BP). Its shares have risen 4.7% in the last 12 months and an impressive 8.5% in 2024. But I think they’ve got more to give.

The stock looks cheap. Today, I can buy its shares on just 7.3 times earnings. The Footsie average is around 11, so I think BP shares look good value.

To go alongside that, experts say oil demand will rise this year. We’re starting to see China import more crude oil. As the world’s largest importer, that will offer a big boost.

Geopolitical conflicts have also pushed up prices. Looking ahead, oil demand is set to continue rising until the end of the decade.

There is one major issue. It’s the transition to green energy. This could prove to be a major hurdle for BP as it operates going forward. There’s a lot of pressure on big oil companies and it’s only mounting.

That said, the path to net zero was never going to be smooth. Some believe we won’t achieve the original 2050 target. Therefore, I think society will be reliant on fossil fuels for longer than we may have expected.

I started buying the shares back in February. Right now, I’m sitting on a 3.8% paper gain. I was also drawn in by the stock’s 4.4% dividend yield.

GSK

Next, I’m switching my focus to pharmaceutical giant GSK (LSE: GSK). Its stock has soared so far this year, rising 15.2%.

It posted its latest results on 1 May, which has helped its share price creep up. For Q1, sales jumped 10% compared to last year while core operating profit rose 27% across the same period.

But excluding this, there are other reasons I like GSK. For example, it’s a defensive stock. These offer investors protection, to an extent, against tough economic conditions. After all, demand for its products will be there regardless.

The business also continues to build up its pipeline. CEO Emma Walmsley noted in its latest update that four pipeline products had delivered strong results in phase three trials.

Alongside that, it’s trading on 14.2 times earnings, which looks decent value for money in my eyes. That falls to 11 times on forecast earnings.

There are risks, the largest being R&D complications. Bringing drugs or treatments to market can cost millions, so there’s that to consider. On top of that, GSK faces pressure from its ongoing US litigation relating to Zantac.

But yielding 3.4%, with that predicted to rise to 4%, I think GSK could be a smart pick today for the long run.

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.

Charlie Keough has positions in Bp P.l.c. The Motley Fool UK has recommended GSK. 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.

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