London Stock Exchange has best quarter for two years

The London Stock Exchange’s FTSE 100 managed to record its best quarterly performance for two years.

London Stock Exchange has best quarter for two yearsHowever the three months run ended on a downbeat note as investors seized the opportunity to cash in some of their profits.

Overall the FTSE 100 finished the day down 118.39 points at 6773.04., with worries about the lack of resolution over Greece’s problems, uncertainty over US interest rates and, closer to home, pre-election jitters after the campaign began in earnest on Monday.

But over the first quarter it rose 4.93%- its biggest increase since the three months to March 2013. During the course of the three months it also hit a new closing peak of 7037 just over a week ago.

European stock markets also performed well during the quarter, but badly today as well.

The gains followed the European Central Bank’s decision to introduce – finally – quantitative easing in an attempt to boost the eurozone economy and combat the threat of deflation. The FTSEurofirst 300 rose almost 16% over the quarter, its best first quarter since 1998, while Germany’s Dax was the star performer, up 22%.

In the US it was a different story. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down around 120 points by the time London closed, on course for just a small rise on the quarter, taking a breather after record breaking runs last year.

Elsewhere the oil price came under pressure, with Brent crude down nearly 2% at $55.81 ahead of a resolution to the nuclear talks with Iran which – if they end favourably – could see a new supply of oil hit world markets.

Meanwhile, new Chinese stimulus measures proved a disappointment, providing little support for the commodity sector.

Individually, Meggitt fell 14.5p at 548.5p as Exane BNP Paribas began coverage of the engineering group with an underperform rating and 475p price target.

B&Q owner Kingfisher jumped to the top of the FTSE 100, up 15.8p to 380.6p as it announced plans to return £200 million to shareholders and shut 60 underperforming UK stores.

Among the mid caps, Mitie dropped nearly 6% to 276p after the outsourcing group said full year profits were likely to be lower than expected, due to cuts in local government spending on home care and social housing.

Finally Findel fell 19.75p to 232.25p after the home shopping and educational supplies business said full year results would be ahead of last year but slightly below market expectations. It blamed a poor final quarter performance from its education division, with the prospect of further spending cuts per pupil whichever of the two main political parties gains control following the election

March 31, 2015  Tags: , , , , , , ,   Posted in: Business Growth, Business Services, Business Win, Global Businesses, Growing Business, Growing Economy, Share Floatation, Uncategorized, Winning Businesses

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