The FTSE 100 and European stocks finished higher this Thursday driven by a flurry of better than expected corporate news.
Across the pond, stocks were mixed even as traders were able to find encouraging signs in some of the earnings reports that big US companies are putting out.
Stocks may be rallying, but Diageo (DGE.L) was down 5.10%, the worst performer in the FTSE 100, despite an otherwise solid set of first-half results, after it reported slowing growth in its key North American market.
Johnnie Walker maker Diageo said sales rose more than expected in the six months to December, helped by the end of pandemic restrictions and resilience in the face of higher inflation which has stretched consumer budgets.
John Moore, senior investment manager at RBC Brewin Dolphin, said: “Diageo has delivered good sales and profit growth, despite inflation taking its toll on margins.”
“Diageo has been smart about managing, developing, and evolving its brands, with their ‘premiumisation’ a major selling point and a way of insulating them from massively competitive markets, such as gin” he added.
In the wider FTSE 250 index, Wizz Air (WIZZ.L) slipped 7.90% from eight-month highs hit in the prior session, after the Hungarian budget airline said average fares for 2023 were higher than last year on booking volumes
"Wizz Air was punished for adopting a more cautious tone than its competitors on the outlook for the holidays market, helping to bring some sobriety to a share price which had doubled in just three months," AJ Bell investment director Russ Mould, said.
Meanwhile, Brent crude (BZ=F) rose and was trading at around $87/barrel, pushed by a small rise in US crude stocks and a weaker dollar.
In Asia, Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 (^N225) closed lower, losing 0.12% to 27,362 points, while the Hang Seng (^HSI) in Hong Kong gained 2.142% to 22,516. The Shanghai Composite (000001.SS) was closed for holidays.