Global economic uncertainty is fueled by tensions in Ukraine, Covid-19 restrictions imposed by China, and rising inflation ahead of next week’s Bank of England meeting, where rates may rise for the fourth time.
UK stocks have recovered from a sharp decline late last week and this week following strong corporate news and trading in Asia and on Wall Street, said Russ Mold, chief investment officer at AJ Bell.
In spite of the lockdown in China and Russia’s intervention, mining stocks supported the FTSE 100, gaining across the sector.
The mining stocks of Anglo American, Glencore, Antofagasta and Rio Tinto rose between 0.8% and 1.9%, with Anglo American up 3517p, Glencore up 489p, Antofagasta up 1548p, and Rio Tinto gained 5677p, respectively.
Following the company’s first-quarter 2022 revenue growth of 33% to 3.02 billion euros and EBITDA of 514 million euros, despite headwinds earlier in the year, Smurfit Kappa shares jumped 4.2% to 3,411 pence.
The share price of Pearson rose 2.5% to 790p after the company reported revenue growth of 7% in the first quarter. Assessments and qualifications contributed 22% to growth, while English learning contributed 10%.
The company also announced Friday it has acquired Mondly, which is expected to provide a mid-teens margin for its English learning division by 2025.
In the first quarter of 2022, Reckitt Benckiser reported revenue of £3.51 billion, a 2.3% drop from £3.4 billion in the previous quarter. The company’s shares rose 0.5% to 6,235 on the news.
Hikma Pharmaceuticals shares dropped 6% to 1903 pence after it warned that increased competition and a challenging pricing environment had led to a “sluggish” start to the year for its generics business. Nevertheless, the group anticipates annual generic sales growth of 8-10% for 2022.
HIkma reported strong results from its injectable medicines and branded medicines businesses. It expects branded medicine sales to be at 2021 levels as it focuses on key therapeutic areas and medicines for chronic diseases.
Reuters reports that NatWest settled loan provisions of £38m in the first quarter, sending its shares down 3.8% to 214 pence.
However, the banking group believes its core business will generate over £11 billion in revenue in 2022.
In the first quarter of 2022, NatWest’s operating profit rose 41% to £1.25bn from £885m, while attributable income increased 36% to £620m from £841m.
In 2022, AstraZeneca’s pre-tax profit was £1.6bn, down 66% to £553m in 2022. However, the company’s revenue rose from £7.32 billion to £11.39 billion, an increase of 56% in 2021 due to a 21% contribution from the oncology department.
FTSE100 technical analysis:
The FTSE100 index consolidates gains around the 200-period SMA on the 4-hour chart. Therefore, any breakout will provide a trading opportunity.