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Markets perk up

by LLB Editor
24th Feb 23 10:45 am

Markets perked up at the end of the trading week, with all the main indices in Europe pressing ahead. The FTSE 100 rose 0.3% to 7,933, led by energy companies, banks and tobacco firms.

Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell, said: “It was a similar story on Wall Street last night, while Japan’s Nikkei 225 index jumped 1.3% as Kazuo Ueda, incoming governor of the Bank of Japan, indicated he would maintain a loose monetary policy. Markets breathed a sigh of relief that there would not be a radical shift in strategy.

“With little corporate news on Friday, investors will be focusing on what might happen next week. On the US markets, we will get a good insight into consumer spending when retailer Target and drinks group Monster Beverage report on Tuesday. Home improvement group Lowe’s reports on Wednesday, so does discount retailer Dollar Tree.

“Lowe’s will be watched closely to see if the housing market downturn has had a negative impact on its earnings, or whether the property market woes have encouraged more people to stay put in their existing home and spend money doing it up instead. The signs aren’t good judging by Home Depot’s results earlier this week, where it warned of slowing demand for home improvement goods.”

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