December 4, 2022

The FTSE 100 posted its first strong performance in more than a week as a mix of Russia’s latest escalation in its war with Ukraine and reports of stamp duty cuts pushed some members of the index.

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By the end of the day, defense manufacturer BAE Systems was one of the top performers on the FTSE.

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It came as Russian President Vladimir Putin announced he would mobilize 300,000 reservists to try to turn the war against him in recent weeks.

Experts question how much of an impact this will have on thousands of poorly trained soldiers, and whether Russia will even be able to properly equip them.

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We saw gains in defense stocks in the wake of Putin’s threats this morning, with BAE Systems near the top of the FTSE 100, while Chemering and QnetiQ are also higher.

But the potential for growth clearly seems to be pushing investors to defense companies, said Michael Hewson, analyst at CMC Markets.

“We have seen gains in defense stocks in the wake of Putin’s threat this morning, with BAE Systems near the top of the FTSE 100, while Chemering and QnetiQ are also higher,” he said.

Mr Hewson said: “House builders have received a lift on reports that we may see a cut in stamp duty later this week when the mini budget is announced, with Persimmons, Taylor Wimpey and Barrett Developments taking the heavy toll of yesterday. Slight return after loss.

“Today’s rebound is still modest compared to losses this year as well as this week.

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“Ultimately the devil will be in the expansion, however, even if it comes to pass, the flip side of this is that it is unlikely to be a game changer with the rise in interest rates as well as the rising cost of living.”

By the end of the day, the FTSE 100 was up 44.98 points, 0.6% at 7,237.64.

In Europe, the German DAX closed 0.8% and France’s CAC 40 up 0.9%.

On Wall Street, both the S&P 400 and the Dow Jones had gained about half a percent in Europe shortly after the market closed.

Sterling was flat against both the euro and the dollar at $1.133 a pound and 1.147 euros.

In company news, retailer JD Sports will pay £5.5 million to its former boss Peter Cowgill, who stepped down in May.

The former executive chairman helped land the business with a £4.3 million fine for sharing sensitive information with Futsilm during the merger effort, which was eventually blocked.

JD said it had reached an agreement with Mr. Cowgill on the terms of his departure. The stock dropped 0.5%.

France’s Schneider Electric will acquire software company Aveva in a deal valued at the firm for £9.5 billion.

Shares in trading rose 1.8% on Wednesday to exceed the £31 offering price. Schneider already owns about 60% of the shares in the FTSE 100 company.

Avava has over 6,400 employees.

The biggest risers on the FTSE 100 were Hargreaves Lansdowne, from 49.2p to 892.8p, Persimmon, from 62.5p to 1,399.5p, BAE Systems, from 31.6p to 803.4p, Schroders, up from 17p to 444.9p, and Halma, from 70p 2,105 p.

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The biggest losers in the FTSE 100 were Ocado, down 31.4p to 575p, Intercontinental Hotel Group, 156p to 4,489p, IAG, 4p to 104.8p, ​​Whitbread, 60p to 2,560p and Rolls-Royce, down 2p. 74.32p.