FTSE 100 closes September high after rosy GDP data – September 29, 2023 at 11:10 am

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* UK stocks rise after positive GDP data

* Consumer staples and discretionary stocks lead gains

* The FTSE 100 finished up more than 1% in the September quarter

* The FTSE 100 index rises by 0.7%, and the FTSE 250 index rises by 1.3%

Sep 29 (Reuters) – The UK’s FTSE 100 index rose more than 1% in September.

Britain’s FTSE 100 index is set to end the September quarter higher on Friday after data showed the British economy has performed better than previously thought since the start of the pandemic.

By 0837 GMT, the leading FTSE 100 index rose 0.7%, and is expected to end 1.7% higher in the September quarter, after declining 1.3% in the previous quarter.

However, the benchmark index is on track for a second consecutive weekly decline.

UK GDP for the second quarter of 2023 was 1.8% higher than in the last three months of 2019, the last full quarter before the Covid-19 pandemic began, and growth was faster than that of Germany or France.

Domestic GDP growth in the second quarter was confirmed at 0.2% higher than the previous quarter, in line with expectations of economists polled by Reuters, as the Office for National Statistics issued revisions to official data.

The British pound rose 0.3% against the US dollar after the data.

“The UK economy is actually holding up much better and consumers are more resilient and I think that could mean another rate hike towards the end of the year and then higher interest rates for longer,” said Anthe Tsovali, multi-asset strategist at the Bank of England. State Street Global Markets.

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Traders are betting on a 36% chance for the Bank of England to raise interest rates to 5.50% by the end of the year after the central bank unexpectedly kept interest rates steady last week.

Consumer staples and discretionary stocks rose, with personal goods and homebuilding stocks rising more than 2%, while retail stocks rose more than 1%.

The FTSE 250 mid-cap index jumped 1.3%, boosted by a 10.9% jump in Aston Martin shares after the luxury carmaker said Chairman Lawrence Stroll’s Yew Tree consortium would sell its 3.27% stake in the company to 26.23%. Severn Trent shares rose 2.1 percent after the British water supply company said it would raise 1 billion pounds ($1.2 billion) in new capital.

Elsewhere, data showed that UK lenders approved the lowest number of mortgages in six months in August.

Megan Vasquez

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