- Ocado rises ahead of results
- FTSE 100 nears record high
- M&S to invest $587 mln in store estate
- FTSE 100 up 0.2%, FTSE 250 adds 0.7%
Jan 16 (Reuters) - Britain's blue-chip FTSE 100 closed higher on Monday, leaving it less than a percent below the record high it hit in 2018, on optimism over the global economy and signs that inflation is coming under control.
Financial stocks were the top gainers, with Asia-focussed HSBC (HSBA.L) and Prudential (PRU.L) up 0.8% and 2.5% respectively on hopes that China's rapid reopening from COVID lockdowns will boost the global economy.
"Investors appear to have fallen back in love with UK assets," said Susannah Streeter, senior investment and markets analyst, Hargreaves Lansdown. "Confidence has rebounded as investors eye China's reopening."
Investors are awaiting UK November jobs data on Tuesday and consumer prices as well as retail sales data later this week for clues on the state of the economy as well as the Bank of England's (BoE) rate-hike path.
"Inflation is moderating," said Andrea Cicione, head of strategy at TS Lombard. "It is becoming increasingly demand driven and becoming more pro-cyclical."
Money markets are pricing in a 64.3% chance of a 50-basis point hike by the BoE in February to curtail inflation.
Marks & Spencer (MKS.L) rose 2.9% after the clothing and food retailer said it planned to open 20 new, bigger stores in its 2023-24 financial year as part of an overhaul of its store estate that will see it invest 480 million pounds ($587 million).
Online supermarket company Ocado (OCDO.L) gained 5.2% ahead of its fourth-quarter trading update on Tuesday.
ITM Power (ITM.L) slumped 12% after the energy storage and clean fuel company forecast a wider full-year loss.
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.