Today, London's stock market is experiencing a bonanza, as the FTSE 100, which is the index that includes the 100 most prestigious and well capitalized blue-chip companies which are listed on the London Stock Exchange, has rocketed to an astronomic 7,741 points.
This represents the highest level that it has reached in over one year, by quite some margin.
In fact, today's lofty value demonstrates a level that the FTSE 100 index did not even come close to during the entirety of 2022.
It was only a year and a half ago that the news channels were awash with sensationalism as the FTSE 100 index broke past the 7,000 mark, and now, at over 7,740, it is heading for the 8,000 mark!
There has been tremendous volatility within corporate stocks over the past two years, especially within the indices because these contain a range of different companies in different sectors, and whilst in 2020 and 2021 the big pharmaceuticals boomed, the travel and hospitality industries paid a large price for draconian lockdowns.
Equally, traditional goods manufacturers had their fortunes hampered by logistical problems which meant getting materials and goods from suppliers was difficult enough to cause them to be unable to deliver enough goods to meet orders. House builders did well because of the short-term break in stamp duty resulting in investors buying up smaller value properties, however the reintroduction of that plus rising interest rates curtailed that boom swiftly.
In 2022, it was all about energy companies and 'big oil', which boomed as the supply could not meet the demand, whereas some tech stocks and airline stocks languished.
Some analysts are saying that today's FTSE 100 high value, which comes after a continued upward direction since the beginning of this year, has been helped by seasonal retail buying as JD Sports and Sainsbury's made bumper profits.
JD Sports, one of Britain's largest national chains of sportswear, reported revenues growth for the 22 weeks to 31 December of more than 10%, which compared with growth of 5% over the first half of its financial year.
Sainsbury’s, one of the UK's largest supermarket chains stated that trading in general merchandise had been stronger than expected, with overall like-for-like sales growth of 5.9% in the 16 weeks to 7 January reflecting inflation and “relatively resilient” volume trends.
There is certainly a lot of volatility in the blue-chip stocks, which is a relatively new dynamic as such large firms which go to make up indices such as the FTSE 100 are traditionally very slow movers in terms of stock value, largely due to their conservative positions and need to please long-term shareholders.
Making this a little more interesting is FX Open's recent decision to remove commission from all index CFDs, therefore trading the FTSE 100 is now commission-free, adding to the excitement of this week's volatile markets.
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