FTSE 100 strikes record close price as European markets jump

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The FTSE 100 finished at its highest close price on record on Monday ahead of a key week for economic data.

Falling gas prices helped buoy trading sentiment to propel the European markets’ recent gains.

London’s top flight moved 0.83%, or 65.15 points, higher to finish at 7,947.6.

Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK, said: “European markets have got the new week off to a positive start helped by further declines in natural gas prices, which have slipped to their lowest levels in almost 18 months on the European Netherlands TTF contract.

Today’s weakness in oil and gas prices has prompted some underperformance in the energy sector

Michael Hewson, CMC Markets

“The FTSE 100 has recovered after slipping below the 7,900 last week, and is on course for a new record close, with trading fairly subdued ahead of tomorrow’s keenly awaited US CPI (Consumer price index) inflation report.

“Today’s weakness in oil and gas prices has prompted some underperformance in the energy sector.”

The Dax rose by 0.58%, and the French Cac 40 increased by 1.11% at close.

In the US, the markets took their cues from positivity in Europe to open higher, reversing some of the losses witnessed last week.

Meanwhile, sterling was broadly steady ahead of a key week of economic data, which will kick on with UK labour market data on Tuesday.

The pound was up by around 0.12% to 1.213 US dollars, and rose by 0.31% to 1.131 euros at market close in London.

In company news, DX Group shares stumbled after the courier group confirmed that a legal claim has been lodged against it by a rival logistics company, accusing it of alleged corporate espionage.

Shares fell by 1.75p to 28p on Monday after it said that Tuffnells Parcels Express submitted the claim in the High Court on Friday “in relation to confidential competitor information being obtained by DX in the past”.

Cineworld shares made major gains on the back of reports that rival Vue International has secured new financial backing to help fund a takeover move.

Sky News reported that funds managed by Barings and Farallon Capital Management will support efforts by Vue to attempt to snap up Cineworld, which filed for US bankruptcy protection last year. Cineworld shares rose 0.748p to 4.99p.

A takeover approach from billionaire Teddy Sagi sent shares in AIM-listed software business Kape Technologies surging higher on Monday.

Shares finished 31.5p higher at 291p after the Playtech founder said he would pay around 285p per share for the remainder of the firm he already owns 54% of, in a move which would value it at £1.25 billion.

The price of oil slipped back from last week’s peaks after being impacted by the stronger US dollar and the resumption of crude oil exports at Turkey’s Ceyhan terminal.

Brent crude oil decreased by 0.38% to 86.13 US dollars (£70.99) per barrel when the London markets closed.

The biggest risers in the FTSE 100 were: Spirax-Sarco Engineering, up 375p at 11,995p; Unilever, up 129.5p at 4,262p; Pershing Square, up 75p at 2,990p; Antofagasta, up 37.5p at 1,712p; and Abrdn, up 4.5p at 211p.

The biggest fallers of the day were: Persimmon, down 55p at 1,436p; Taylor Wimpey, down 3.65p at 118.1p; Barratt, down 12.5p at 459.9p; Ocado, down 16.6p at 618.6p; and Berkeley, down 75p at 4,217p.