Nov 24 (Reuters) – Major UK stock indexes rose on Thursday on signs that the U.S. Federal Reserve may ease its aggressive stance on interest rate hikes, as Dr Martens fell after the shoemaker warned of weaker demand ahead of the busy Christmas season.
The blue-chip FTSE 100 (.FTSE) rose 0.3% in tight trading as US markets were closed for the Thanksgiving holiday.
Wall Street ended higher on Wednesday after minutes from the Fed’s November meeting showed policymakers agreed it would “probably soon be appropriate” to slow the pace of interest rate hikes.
“I think the takeaway is that maybe we’re at the beginning of a more dovish narrative from the Fed and going forward there’s hope that the dovish narrative will pick up momentum,” said Stuart Cole, chief macroeconomist at Equiti Capital.
The domestically-focused FTSE 250 mid-cap (.FTMC) rose 0.7%, also reflecting equity market optimism.
One weak spot was Dr. Martens (DOCS.L), which fell 20% and looked poised for its biggest ever percentage decline, after warning that its base annual profit margin would be lower than a year earlier. last.
UK stock markets have rallied strongly since a botched mini budget rattled sentiment in October, with investors hoping the new government’s measures will help build confidence even as Britain faces what is expected be a long recession.
UK energy regulator Ofgem said its price cap for average household energy bills would rise by around 21% to £4,279 ($5,172) a year from January to the end of March 2023.
Among other stocks, United Oil & Gas (UOGU.L) fell 21.5% after the oil and gas exploration company cut its full-year production forecast for its Abu Sennan license.
Shares of Vodafone, Imperial Brands (IMB.L) and National Grid (NG.L) fell as they traded without the right to dividend payments.
(This story has been corrected to fix the company name in the title to Dr. Martens)
Reporting by Shashwat Chauhan in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel and Anil D’Silva
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