FTSE 100 hits new peak after upbeat session on Wall Street

  • FTSE 100 up 0.8%, FTSE 250 adds 0.6%

Feb 8 (Reuters) – UK’s blue-chip index hit a record high on Wednesday, following sharp gains on Wall Street a day earlier after U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s comments renewed hopes for less aggressive monetary policy.

The exporter-heavy FTSE 100 (.FTSE) rose 0.8% to an all-time high of 7,925.02, surpassing it previous peak of 7,906.58 hit just last week. The midcap FTSE 250 index (.FTMC) climbed 0.6%.

Wall Street’s main indexes rallied on Tuesday after Powell said 2023 should be a year of “significant declines in inflation” even as he acknowledged that rates may need to move higher than expected if economic strength threatens the Fed’s progress in lowering inflation.

Among single stocks, Barratt Developments Plc (BDEV.L) gained 1.6% even as Britain’s largest housebuilder cut its half-yearly dividend.

Emerging markets-focussed asset manager Ashmore Group (ASHM.L) edged up 0.4% after reporting a 54% drop in its half-yearly profit before tax.

Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D’Souza

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