LONDON MARKETS: FTSE 100 Climbs As Investors Embrace Risk Before U.S. Inflation Data

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02/14/2018 | 10:13 am

By Carla Mozee, MarketWatch

U.K. stocks bounced higher Wednesday, with banks and Sky PLC among the best performers as all sectors advanced before the release of key U.S. inflation figures.

How markets are performing

The FTSE 100 rose 0.6% to 7,210.94. All sectors were in positive territory, led by the financial and consumer goods groups. On Tuesday, the benchmark fell 0.1% after a choppy session.

The pound traded at $1.3882, slightly lower than $1.3894 late Tuesday in New York.

What's moving markets

Investors appeared in the mood to take on more risk in the wake of a third winning session on Tuesday for U.S. stocks , which overcame early losses to finish higher. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended up 0.2%, and the S&P 500 Index rose 0.3%.

The advances came before the release of the U.S. consumer-price inflation report for January. Worries that higher prices will lead the U.S. Federal Reserve to hike up interest rates at a faster-than-expected pace have contributed to the spike in volatility and the recent rout in global equities. If the CPI rate comes in hotter than anticipated, it could spark another selloff.

That report is due at 1:30 p.m. London time, or 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time.

Bank stocks across the U.K. and Europe headed higher, appearing to take the lead from Swiss heavyweight Credit Suisse Group AG (>> Credit Suisse Group) (>> Credit Suisse Group) , whose shares climbed more than 3% after the company posted a narrower loss than expected for the fourth quarter .

What strategists are saying

"The U.S. inflation report will be of particular interest to investors: a slower reading -- as expected -- will downplay expectations for more aggressive tightening from the Fed, which will in turn allow equities the opportunity to recover further today," said ADS Securities analyst Konstantinos Anthis in a note. "[The] 7,300 and 25,250 points are the important barriers to overcome for the FTSE 100 and the Dow Jones, respectively."

Check out:Why this investment pro thinks Wall Street's inflation fears are overblown

Stocks in focus

Sky PLC (>> Sky) shares jumped 3.1% after the broadcaster extended its rights to show Premier League soccer matches through 2022 , at a cost of 1.19 billion pounds ($1.65 billion) a year.

Coca-Cola HBC AG shares climbed 3.6%. The bottler said full-year net profit rose 24%, after an increase in sales and operating margins.

Bank stocks were higher, with heavyweight HSBC Holdings PLC (>> HSBC Holdings) rising 2% and Barclays PLC (>> Barclays PLC) gaining 0.8%.

Stocks mentioned in the article : Credit Suisse Group, Barclays PLC, Sky, HSBC Holdings
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