FTSE 100 carves out minor gains ahead of busy week for company earnings

The FTSE 100 was trading within a tight range on Monday with little in the way of fresh catalysts to invigorate substantial moves in stocks. This, however, may prove to be short-lived.

In addition to Federal Reserve minutes due to be released on Wednesday, investors will digest a raft of FTSE 100 earnings and those of US AI superstock Nvidia.

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Antofagasta, Barclays, BAE Systems, Glencore, HSBC, Rio Tinto, Anglo American, Hargreaves Lansdown and Lloyds will all report full or half year results this week. Not only do these stocks account for a large proportion of the FTSE 100 index, they are tremendously cyclical and have the potential to set the tone for trading across the entire UK equity space.

Consider that Nvidia will report results this week as well; this may be a week driven by bottom-up traders as opposed to broader macro influences and the persistent focus on interest rates may take a back seat.

“The FTSE 100 made a sluggish start to trading on Monday, lacking some direction amid the absence of big corporate or economic releases,” said AJ Bell investment director Russ Mould.

“That changes later in the week when the minutes of the latest Federal Reserve meeting are released and the AI stock Nvidia unveils its latest quarterly results. There is little margin for error for the chip specialist given the supercharged surge in its share price which has continued into 2024.

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“Nvidia’s weight in the market and ties to the dominant theme has driven equities over the last year or so, which means whatever it comes out with will have wider ramifications for investors.

AstraZeneca

AstraZeneca was the FTSE 100’s top riser at the time of writing on Monday after the pharma giant said it had received positive results from trials of its lung cancer drug, Tagrisso.

Susan Galbraith, Executive Vice President, Oncology R&D, AstraZeneca, said: “These highly impactful results for the LAURA trial in this potentially curative early lung cancer setting further entrench Tagrisso as the backbone therapy for EGFR-mutated lung cancer.”  

Tagrisso is a significant revenue generator for AstraZeneca, and today’s announcement further cements the drug as a primary oncology therapy.

AstraZeneca shares were 3.1% higher at the time of writing.

Rolls Royce was not far behind, with a 3% gain ahead of its earnings on Thursday this week.

Centrica was the FTSE 100 biggest faller after Jefferies cut its price target on the stock to 150p.

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