Home Estate Planning FTSE 100 live: London lifted after US rises on Meta, Apple and Amazon stocks

FTSE 100 live: London lifted after US rises on Meta, Apple and Amazon stocks

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London’s FTSE 100 index rose on Friday on the back of American tech giants Meta and Amazon stocks, after they issued results overnight.

The capital’s premier bluechip index was called to open 60 points higher at 7,682. It was up by 0.32 per cent at 8.30 to 7,646.57, while the midcap FTSE 250, which is more aligned with the UK domestic market, surged further, to 0.89 per cent, at 19,301.18.

While US tech stocks dominated overnight news, all eyes will turn to US non-farm payrolls report, which are out at 1.30pm.

They will give an insight into the state of the US economy, and a possible hint at the Federal Reserve’s next move on interest rates, after it voted to hold them again this week.

CMC Markets analyst Michael Hewson said: “Today’s January payrolls report is expected to see 185k new jobs added, down from 216k in December while wages are expected to remain unchanged at 4.1 per cent.

“The unemployment rate is expected to nudge higher to 3.8 per cent, after last month’s surprise slide to 3.7 per cent although part of the reason for that was a sharp fall in the participation rate to 62.5% from 62.8 per cent, which was a little unexpected. This could well get revised away with an expectation that this could see a tick back higher to 62.6 per cent.”

Tech stocks dominated overnight news, with Facebook’s parent firm Meta saying it was closing in on one of its best years yet with a jump in revenue as the multinational tech giant continues its “longer-term” push into AI and virtual reality.

In a quarterly and full year update to investors, the Facebook owner reported an overall 16 per cent jump in revenue for the year to $134.9bn, as well as announcing a dividend for the first time.

Meanwhile, Apple reported sales and profit that beat Wall Street estimates, powered by growth in its iPhone business. But China sales missed analysts’ targets.

Amazon’s shares surged following impressive earnings results. Amazon witnessed a significant after-hours increase of over seven per cent to $170.60 following its strong fourth-quarter earnings report.

Driven by innovative AI features in its cloud and ecommerce divisions, Amazon’s revenue exceeded expectations, with its cloud computing division AWS contributing a 13 per cent rise to $24.2 billion in the December quarter. 

“Amazon’s high-margin businesses continue to allow Amazon to drive greater profitability while still continuing to invest (last mile delivery, fulfillment, Prime Now, Fresh, Prime digital content, Alexa/Echo, India, AWS, etc). Amazon Prime membership growth drives recurring revenue and positive mix shift,” noted Brian Nowak, Equity Analyst at Morgan Stanley. 

In the UK, London woke up to disappointment, as January was another below-par month for retailers. A new report by the British Retail Consortium (BRC) showed footfall across the capital declined by 1.7 per cent at the start of the month. This has widened from a fall of 1.4 per cent recorded in December. 

Helen Dickinson, chief executive, said: “Many consumers appear particularly bargain-focused, with the first half of the month boosted by the January sales.

“However, the latter part of January saw fewer shoppers out as stormy weather led to a bigger footfall decline in shopping centres and high streets.”

Andy Sumpter, EMEA retail consultant at Sensormatic Solutions, said: “With disruption from two named storms in January dampening footfall, retailers also faced tempestuous trading conditions caused by the ongoing cost of living spending squeeze and stubbornly sticky inflation.”

In a relatively quiet corporate morning, scandal-stricken makeup firm Revolution Beauty said it contests allegations made against it by a former shareholder Chrysalis investments. 

The biggest riser was Wizz Air, after it said passenger numbers surged in January, growing 14.2 per cent from last year, as the airline’s level of pollutants grew almost twice as fast as its passengers.

Wizz Air’s share price rose by 5.6 per cent after the open, to 2,095.00.

Barclays shares rose on the FTSE 100 by around 2.5 per cent, while supermarket giant Sainsbury’s was also up by just over two per cent.

The biggest faller on the FTSE 100 was BP, ahead of its much-vaunted results next week.

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