FTSE 100 rises on peak rate bets; Smurfit Kappa slumps on WestRock deal
(Reuters) – UK’s FTSE 100 index inched higher on Tuesday after labour data signalled that the Bank of England might be nearing the end of its interest rate hike cycle, although a slump in packaging producer Smurfit Kappa’s shares capped gains.
The exporter-heavy FTSE 100 index was up 0.1% in early trade, while the mid-cap FTSE 250 index was muted.
Britain’s unemployment rate rose to 4.3% in the three months to July from 4.2% a month earlier, while wages excluding bonuses were 7.8% higher than a year earlier and in line with economists’ forecasts in a Reuters poll.
The sterling edged lower against the dollar after the unemployment data.
Shares of Associated British Foods rose 0.9%, among the top gainers on the benchmark index, after the Primark owner raised its full-year profit outlook for the second time in four months.
London-listed shares of Smurfit Kappa slumped 11% after the company agreed to combine with WestRock, to create one of the world’s largest paper and packaging producers worth nearly $20 billion.
(Reporting by Siddarth S in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich)