FTSE 100 watch: Index hits 14-year high

on Sep 3, 2014
Updated: Oct 17, 2019
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iNVEZZ.com, Wednesday, September 3: The FTSE 100 hit a 14-year high today on news of agreement between Ukraine and Russia on how to move towards peace and on upbeat UK services sector data.

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Britain’s benchmark index was also lifted by an upbeat statement from equipment rental firm Ashtead (LON:AHT) and rumours of a bid for telecoms giant Vodafone (LON:VOD).
Ukraine ceasefire reports fuel rally
The Footsie jumped as much as one percent in early trading today, reaching 6,898.62 — the highest level since the dotcom bubble burst at the start of 2000. By midday the index had eased, trading 0.78 percent higher at 6,882.51 as of 12:15 BST, on track for its highest close since the 6,930.20 record set in December 1999.

The rally followed news that Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko’s press office said in a statement that he had reached agreement with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin on a “permanent ceasefire” in eastern Ukraine’s Donbass region.
Russia later tempered that view, saying Putin and Poroshenko had agreed on steps towards peace in eastern Ukraine but a ceasefire had not been agreed because Russia is not a party to the conflict, according to Russian news agency RIA.

Upbeat services sector data have also lifted sentiment today. The UK’s dominant services sector topped expectations in August to grow at its fastest pace in 10 months. The closely-watched purchasing managers’ index compiled by CIPS and Markit came in at 60.5 last month, up from 59.1 in July. Economists had expected it to fall to 58, where any figure above 50 denotes growth.

**Top risers and fallers**
Ashtead has led the blue-chip gainers today, rising as much as three percent at one point, after reporting a 33 percent increase in first-quarter pretax profits and lifting its guidance (https://invezz.com/news/equities/13047-ashtead-group-share-price-first-quarter-profit-soars-on-us-uk-demand Ashtead Group share price: First-quarter profit soars on US, UK demand). As of 12:56 BST, the stock was trading 1.57 percent higher at 1,002.00p.

Vodafone was also among today’ Footsie winners, rising after Japan’s Nikkei newspaper suggested that Japanese group Softbank is mulling a takeover of the UK firm.
Heading the other way was Hargreaves Lansdown (LON:HL) after its final results showed assets under administration (AuA) were less than consensus expectations. The financial services group posted record annual results, but AuA was 29 percent up at £46.9 billion, versus forecasts of at least £48 billion (https://invezz.com/news/equities/13043-hargreaves-lansdown-share-price-company-delivers-record-annual-results Hargreaves Lansdown share price: Company delivers record annual results). As of 13:06 BST, Hargreaves Lansdown’s share price was trading 3.53 percent lower at 1,098.80p.

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