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Positive corporate updates lift FTSE 100 to new highs

Published 2024-04-29, 03:40 a/m
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The London Stock Exchange Group offices are seen in the City of London, Britain, December 29, 2017. REUTERS/Toby Melville/File Photo

By Pranav Kashyap and Sruthi Shankar

(Reuters) -Britain's FTSE 100 extended its record rally on Monday, helped by a slew of positive corporate updates including a report that said mining giant BHP Group was considering a better buyout proposal for Anglo American (JO:AGLJ).

The blue-chip FTSE 100 rose 0.4% to hit an all-time high of 8,185.59 points by 0828 GMT. The index was set to notch gains for the eighth session out of the past nine.

"There are a lot of companies that look attractive, so this is not a short-term rally. We are positioned to outperform in a rising market," said David Cumming, head of UK Equities at Newton Investment Management.

"The UK is playing a slightly different tune because we're expecting rate cuts irrespective what's happening in the U.S. So we can decouple a little bit."

British stocks appear to have turned a corner after months of underperformance compared to their global peers as signs of inflation coming under control, a weakening pound and a recovering economy attract buyers.

While concerns remain that the U.S. Federal Reserve will delay interest rate cuts this year, market participants expect the Bank of England to start easing rates in August.

Anglo American added 1.7% after a source familiar with the matter told Reuters that BHP Group is considering an improved offer after its $39 billion proposal was rejected by the London-listed copper miner.

"General view is that the offer is too low. So either BHP has to pay up or they won't get Anglo at this price," Cumming added.

Insurer Prudential (LON:PRU) gained 3.1% after a solid update from Hong Kong-based rival AIA group.

AstraZeneca (NASDAQ:AZN) rose 0.7% after the pharmaceuticals giant made progress with two breast cancer treatments.

Hipgnosis Songs Fund climbed 2.1% after Blackstone (NYSE:BX) agreed to acquire the music rights owner for about $1.57 billion, trumping an offer from Concord.

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The London Stock Exchange Group offices are seen in the City of London, Britain, December 29, 2017. REUTERS/Toby Melville/File Photo

The mid-cap FTSE 250 added 0.3% to hover at an over two-week high.

Petrofac (LON:PFC) slumped 23.8% to a record low, after a group of noteholders offered the struggling oilfield services provider a $300 million credit line and the firm delayed the publication of its full-year results to May 31.

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