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Pin to quick picksBeazley Share News (BEZ)

Share Price Information for Beazley (BEZ)

London Stock Exchange
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Share Price: 650.00
Bid: 648.00
Ask: 649.00
Change: -1.50 (-0.23%)
Spread: 1.00 (0.154%)
Open: 653.50
High: 656.00
Low: 641.00
Prev. Close: 651.50
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London stocks close out quarter higher as healthcare, consumer stocks gain

Fri, 31st Mar 2023 17:23

U.S. consumer spending falls in Feb

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Ocado climbs on patent row win

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FTSE 100 gains for the quarter, though falls for March

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Beazley gains after UBS double upgrade

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FTSE 100 up 0.2%, FTSE 250 adds 0.1%

March 31 (Reuters) - London stocks closed higher on Friday helped by gains in healthcare and consumer staples, while cooling U.S. inflation data bolstered hopes of a softer monetary policy stance from the U.S. Federal Reserve.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 rose 0.2% at the close, while the more domestically-focussed FTSE 250 midcap index added 0.1%.

Across the Atlantic, data showed U.S. consumer spending rose moderately in February, while inflation cooled, pushing Wall Street higher.

"Lower interest rates generally mean stronger returns for higher multiple companies," said Patrick Armstrong, chief investment officer at Plurimi Wealth.

"Consumer staples, healthcare tend to trade at small premiums to the market in terms of multiples, so they're a beneficiary of that."

The personal goods sector gained 1.6%.

Healthcare heavyweights AstraZeneca and GSK rose 0.6% each.

As trading ceased on the last day of the month, week and the quarter, the exporter-heavy FTSE 100 managed to gain 2.5% in the March quarter, while the FTSE 250 eked out a 0.5% gain.

Volatility in the banking sector weighed on London stocks, with the banking sector posting a 13.5% decline this month as the failure of two regional U.S. lenders earlier in the period stirred fears of a global banking meltdown.

Despite Friday's gains, the FTSE 100 declined nearly 3% for the month, its worst March performance since 2020.

Earlier in the day, data showed Britain's economy avoided a recession as it grew in the final months of 2022.

Among individual stocks, Ocado Group Plc advanced 1.5% on winning a High Court legal action brought by Norwegian robotics firm AutoStore after the judge dismissed its patent infringement claims.

Beazley rose 2.1% after UBS double upgraded the insurer to "buy" from "sell".

Shearwater Group Plc plunged 40.2% after the cybersecurity firm provided a subdued outlook.

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