FTSE 100 gains as S&P 500 hits record highs

The FTSE 100 jumped on US stock’s tailcoats as a record high for the S&P 500 last week helped lift sentiment in Europe on Monday.

The FTSE 100 was 0.2% higher at the time of writing, while the S&P 500 extended gains amid rising optimism around technology shares.

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“A strong session last Friday for Wall Street saw the S&P 500 hit a new record high and that positivity extended to Europe at the start of the new trading week,” said Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell.

London’s leading stocks have underperformed US counterparts in the early weeks of 2024, with the weighting towards commodities curtailing progress for the FTSE 100 amid growing optimism the Federal Reserve will cut rates in early 2024.

The FTSE 100 is down 3.3% in 2024 while the S&P has gained 1.5%. The German Dax is down 0.6%.

Monday was a fairly muted day for company earnings, and the FTSE 100 continued much in the same manner as last week. Concerns about China dragged on miners but failed to offset decent gains in gaming companies and housebuilders.

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“Entain topped the FTSE 100 risers as investors piled back into the gambling sector after Flutter’s well-received update last week. Entain is the target of activist investors who have spotted an opportunity to drive change in the business after two years of share price weakness. It is also seen as a takeover target given the business has been sidetracked by numerous issues and is currently run by a caretaker CEO, making it vulnerable should a predator strike,” Russ Mould said.

Persimmon, one of the UK Investor Magazine’s Top 15 Picks for 2024, was the second top riser as investors continued to position for lower interest rates and the eventual revival of the UK property market.

JD Sports was among the best performers as bargain hunters picked up the stock after a dismal start to the year.

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