Who are the big winners in the FTSE 100’s £350 billion recovery as it approaches record levels?

Down, then up on the London Stock Exchange: FTSE 100 has added £350 billion in value since hitting its lowest level last October (Nick Ansell/ PA) (PA Archive)

Down, then up on the London Stock Exchange: FTSE 100 has added £350 billion in value since hitting its lowest level last October (Nick Ansell/ PA) (PA Archive)

In London, the FTSE 100 is approaching a record high as the mood rises, aided by rising hopes that the UK economy is proving to be more resilient than feared.

Nearly £350 billion has been added to the value of shares in the highest index since its low point last October, helped by the latest strong trading updates from the high street.

The two top performers in rebound are both well known in their home countries and stand out in a market that is also home to a large number of multinational companies.

Online grocery and e-commerce technology provider Ocado posted its biggest gain since October’s bottom, with gains of over 90%. JD Sports grew almost 78% over the same period.

The signs that the first Christmas without Covid restrictions in years is shaping up better than expected with struggling consumers poised to spend even in the cost of living crisis are helping to add to the overall upbeat mood. The Winter World Cup also continued to knock on doors, raising the possibility that the recession did not begin in the fourth quarter of last year.

Then, official data released today showed the value of all goods and services produced in the UK rose 0.1% in November, challenging economists’ forecasts for a 0.3% decline. The GDP figures came amid hopes that inflation may have peaked, especially as the energy price shock eased and gas prices dropped over 50% in a month.

Take a look at the leaderboard covering the rally, compiled by stock broker AJ Bell using data from Sharepad.

Okado

90.8%

JD Sports

77.8%

Antofagasta

66.0%

Rolls Royce

63.0%

Melrose Industries

59.4%

International Consolidated Airlines

55.7%

abdn

54.6%

B&M Europe Value Retail

54.5%

Next

52.0%

cautious

49.8%

Investment director Russ Mold described the list as an “interesting collection” and said it was “mainly retailers of various shades, a miner [Antofagasta]plus Prudential (reopening of China) and IAG (low oil prices) and abrdn, a fund manager that could be seen as a gear game in financial markets.

There have been only five losers in the rally since October. They all have defensive features that stand out in downturns but limit gains in larger rallies. These are British American Tobacco and Airtel, Diageo, Coca-Cola HBC, Vodafone and Airtel Africa, down over 5%.

Mold added: “Last year was a huge turning point, with the UK one of the few major markets worldwide that has not seen a major drop. Now if the FTSE 100 sets a new record, it will be another cabinet prize for the UK and a reason to shout from the hills that the market is not as boring as people think.”

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