Boosted by decent gains for BP and Shell, and a 3.3% surge from Lloyds – which posted Q1 pre-tax profit of £1.9 billion against the £74 million seen this time last year – the FTSE 100 climbed 0.6% after the bell. That still, however, wasn’t enough to lift the UK index back to 7,000, instead leaving it 30 points short of that landmark level.
“Europe displayed no signs of the pre-press conference cautiousness that often clouds Fed Wednesdays, instead striving to recover Tuesday’s losses,” said Connor Campbell, financial analyst at Spreadex.
In the Eurozone, even with Deutsche Bank rising 5.4%, the DAX could only manage a 0.3% increase, keeping the German bourse 10 points adrift of 15,300. As for the CAC, a 0.4% jump sent it above 6,230, around 20 points off last week’s highs.
“If the European markets were ignoring the tension of a Fed Wednesday, the Dow Jones certainly isn’t. The futures point to a 0.1% decline from the index when trading gets underway Stateside, pushing it the wrong side of 33,950,” Campbell added.
“Though the broad consensus is that Jerome Powell and the rest of the FOMC will keep things unchanged this evening, there have been some reports suggesting that the topic of tapering bond purchases could be broached. If that is the case, then the markets could be about to end April on a bum note.”
FTSE 100 Top Movers
Lloyds (3.28%), WPP (2.84%) and Persimmon (1.92%) are the top movers at mid-morning on the FTSE 100.
At the other end, Fresnillo (-3.29%), Sainsburys (-2.23%) and Reckitt Benckiser (-1.86%) have made the biggest falls so far today.
The FTSE 100 bank followed in the footsteps of HSBC earlier in the week by writing back some of last year’s losses. A number of banks took large forward-looking provisions around the beginning of the pandemic, although defaults have stayed low, thanks in part to government support.