“The FTSE100 built on yesterday's steady gains after MPs voted in favour of the EU Withdrawal Bill and ahead of a busy day for economic news, including the latest UK inflation figures. A ruling made by the United Nations to place further sanctions on North Korea appeared to settle a few nerves overseas with Asian markets pushing higher,” says AJ Bell Investment Director Russ Mould.
“It’s an ill wind that blows nobody any good and the devastation caused by hurricanes Harvey and Irma is no exception, Equipment hire group Ashtead topped the blue-chip board in early trading on the likelihood of an upturn in business to tackle the major clean-up work that lies ahead. Ashtead had a strong first quarter despite the impact of the weaker pound and demand looks set to increase following the recent hurricanes. Ashtead’s shares were up by 5.7%.
“JD Sports topped the FTSE250 board after record first half results. The group has seen an encouraging rise in like-for-like sales in its stores and strong growth online. JD Sports has strengthened its foundations by significant progression internationally both instore and online and investors were particularly cheered by the group’s expectation that full-year results would be towards the upper end of market forecasts. The group’s shares were up by more than 7.1%.
“Hilton Food Group was an early riser after strong volume and profit growth in the first half. The group’s strategic progress has continued with entry into Portugal and expansion in Central Europe while initial work is also underway on its new factory in Queensland, Australia. Hilton Food’s shares were up by over 2.2%.”
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