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FTSE 100 supported by financial, healthcare stocks

London’s FTSE 100 rose slightly, helped by gains in healthcare and financial stocks. In the mean while investors assessed risks from rising COVID infections globally and also has concerns about easing economic growth. The blue-chip FTSE 100 climbed 0.1%. The banking sector was the top performer with a 0.9% climb. David Madden, an analyst at Equiti Capital said that the FTSE 100 being quite bank stocks-heavy is expected to perform better if not maintain positive levels, with financial stocks set to gain going ahead on chatter of a higher interest rate regime or a slight tapering of central bank purchases.

The investors shifted their focus towards the U.S. Federal Reserve’s annual symposium, and hence the Global equity markets were lacklustre. The FTSE 100 has risen nearly 28% from its October 2020 lows. This is after the economy started to recover from the pandemic-related lockdowns. The domestically focussed mid-cap index gained 0.4%. Waste management firm Augean surged 16.7%. This is after it said it agreed to a buyout offer of 341 million pounds from a group affiliated to London-based investment.

British subprime lender Amigo dropped 2.1%, after increased losses in the last financial year. In signs of steady interest for UK corporates, activist investor Cevian Capital pushed its stake above 5% in insurer Aviva.

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Euro zone ministers expect inflation to slow in 2022

The acceleration of euro zone inflation, driven energy prices, is mostly temporary. Then the price growth will slow down again. The euro zone finance ministers agreed that, that too the next year as forecasted by the European Central Bank and the European Commission.

Paschal Donohoe, chaired the talks of the ministers in Luxembourg. In a news conference he said that there was also agreement that the inflation spike was not an argument against the transition to renewable sources of energy. This is under the EU’s ambitious plan of reducing CO2 emissions to zero by the year 2050.

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Under new rules, borrowing for investment sensible

British finance minister Rishi Sunak said that the government borrowing to fund investment was a sensible thing. This is to allow under new fiscal rules that he is likely to announce, unlike borrowing for day-to-day spending. He said that borrowing for capital investment that is going to drive up their growth is probably a sensible thing for them. And that too particularly in an environment of slightly lower interest rate. Sunak stated this in an event on the sidelines of the annual conference of Britain’s ruling Conservative Party. This event was organized by the Taxpayers’ Alliance advocacy group. Sunak stated in that event, that borrowing for more day-to-day spending is probably less something that you would want to have as part of your framework.

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IMF board to interview Georgieva-sources

The International Monetary Fund’s executive board is going to interview Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva. This is regarding that; its reviews claims that she pressured World Bank staff to alter data to favor China in her previous role. Board members were initially expected to meet with Georgieva. But spent their time working on other regular business matters.

The board members spent hours for questioning lawyers from the WilmerHale firm. This is about their World Bank investigation report which alleged that Georgieva, as the bank‘s CEO applied undue pressure on staff, to alter data in the flagship “Doing Business” report to benefit China. Then, an IMF spokesperson said that the IMF board remains committed to a thorough, objective, and timely review of the matter. Georgieva has strongly denied the accusations.

The upcoming interviews could prove pivotal in either increasing support for Georgieva. This is with many IMF shareholders are keen to wrap up the board’s deliberations on the matter. The fund’s most influential member governments, including the top shareholder the United States, have withheld public judgment. The World Bank tasked WilmerHale with investigating the “Doing Business” data irregularities identified in 2020. The law firm’s report contends Georgieva. The former World Bank President Jim Yong Kim’s office pressured staff to manipulate data so that the China’s global ranking in the “Doing Business 2018” study of investment climates rose to 78th from 85th.

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