March 29, 2023

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The FTSE 100 hit a new all-time high today as global equities rose following signs of economic resilience and an end to rate hikes.

The blue-chip index closed at 7,901, surpassing the previous all-time high of 7,877.45 set on May 22, 2018.

It had hit 7,906 during the trading day, another new high.

The rise was fueled by better-than-expected US job data and continued optimism after the Bank of England downgraded grim recession forecasts for the UK.

The blue-chip index closed at 7,901, surpassing the previous record of 7,877.45 set on May 22, 2018

The Bank Of England Yesterday Gave A Less Gloomy Picture Of The Outlook For Uk Plc Than In November

The Bank of England yesterday gave a less gloomy picture of the outlook for UK plc than in November

While technology companies have struggled recently, the FTSE’s more traditional oil and utilities are proving more attractive.

Central banks signal that rate hikes could come to an end.

Susannah Streeter, Senior Investment and Market Analyst, Hargreaves Lansdown:

A sense of optimism on Friday swept through markets, pushing the FTSE 100 to an all-time high after US job growth picked up and investors shrugged off recession concerns.

“The gigantic number of non-farm payrolls in the US, which exceeded estimates, gave the footsie another boost.

“The FTSE 100 has clearly regained its mojo after a difficult period in which investors seemed to have fallen out of love with UK assets.

“The composition of the index, heavily weighted towards globally focused commodities, utilities, financials and consumer giants, appears to be particularly attractive.”

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The pound fell against the dollar after a strong US jobs report dampened recession concerns.

A weaker pound often boosts the FTSE 100 as the multinational companies on it make huge dollar amounts.

Shares in Shell rose 3.3 percent to 2,415 pence, a day after the energy giant posted a record annual net profit of $42.3 billion on high oil and gas prices.

While the UK is still headed for recession this year, the Bank of England said yesterday it expects the downturn to be softer than it predicted in November, and much shallower compared to previous recessions such as the one after the financial crisis from 2008.

It also hinted that interest rates could be approaching a peak after the base rate was raised from 3.5 percent to 4 percent.

The Bank Of England Raised Interest Rates From 3.5 Percent To 4 Percent Yesterday, But Signaled That The Hikes May Come To An End

The Bank of England raised interest rates from 3.5 percent to 4 percent yesterday, but signaled that the hikes may come to an end