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MARKET REPORT: FTSE 100 notches up its best month for two years

The FTSE 100 added 0.8%, or 61.05 points, to 7,573.05, taking November gains to 6.74% - its best month since November 2020

The FTSE 100 recorded its best month for two years in a boost for investors in a roller coaster year.

It added another 0.8%, or 61.05 points, to 7,573.05, taking November’s gains to 6.74%.

This closed the best month since November 2020, when the Footsie rose 12.35% following a major breakthrough in the Covid vaccine.

The FTSE 100 added 0.8%, or 61.05 points, to 7,573.05, taking November gains to 6.74% - its best month since November 2020

The FTSE 100 added 0.8%, or 61.05 points, to 7,573.05, taking November gains to 6.74% – its best month since November 2020

The FTSE 250 fared worse, falling 0.1%, or 22.83 points to 19,163.33. But the rally in the elite will be a welcome relief for investors after months of turbulence. The FTSE 100 is now at its highest level since May.

Mining stocks led the charge on hopes that an easing of Covid restrictions will boost demand for commodities.

Anglo American rose 3.6%, or 118p, to 3,407.5p, Antofagasta added 3.3%, or 44.5p, to 1,408.5p, Endeavor Mining rose 2.6%, or 44p, to 1731p and Glencore gained 2.3%, or 12.7p, to 563.5p.

Retailers had a good month overall, despite pressure on living standards. Frasers Group, Ocado, JD Sports and B&M European Retail all gained between 25% and 40% in November. But there was little joy for luxury goods group Mulberry, however.

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Shares plunged 8.1%, or 23p, to 262p after warnings that cost of living cuts and an end to VAT-free shopping for overseas tourists were hitting business in the UK.

Revenue fell 1% to £64.9million in the 26 weeks to October 1, and sales in Britain fell 10% to £34.1million. That contributed to a loss of £3.8m in the first half, compared to a profit of £10.2m a year earlier.

Stock Watch – Strix

Strix has issued a profit warning due to disruptions caused by lockdowns and unrest in China.

The kettle controls maker, which has major operations in the world’s second-largest economy, said profit for the year was expected to be around £23m, down from its previous range of 27-29 million pounds.

The disruption in China affected two customers. Strix uses a secondary warehouse to avoid problems with its shipments, but warned that uncertainties could persist into next year.

It fell 40.1%, or 49.9p, to 74.7p.

Pennon sank into the red after soaring energy bills hit profits. The owner of South West Water said its electricity costs had doubled to around £49m in the six months to September, from £24m a year earlier.

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Profit fell by three-quarters to £22.5m despite revenue rising 9.3% to £425.5m. The stock fell 3.1%, or 29p, to 910p.

In the latest FTSE reshuffle, fund manager Abrdn (down 5.3%, or 10.8p, to 194.4p), insurer Lloyd’s of London Beazley (down 0.2%, or 1 .5p, to 649.5p) and the Weir Group engineer (2.5 per cent) cent, or 46p, to 1771.5p) entered the top tier.

Meanwhile, animal medicine maker Dechra Pharmaceuticals (up 1.7%, or 46p, to 2,720p), North Sea producer Harbor Energy (up 1.63%, or 5.10p to 318.50p) and private equity firm Intermediate Capital Group (down 0.5%, or 6p, to 1193.5p), fell on the FTSE 100

AstraZeneca, which has the largest market capitalization on the FTSE 100, has sold a US site to technology-focused manufacturing company National Resilience. The shares rose 1%, or 106p, to 11,166p.

Elementis rose 6.5% or 7.1p to 115.9p after the chemicals group streamlined its operations by selling its Chrome business to Dutch-Turkish industrial conglomerate Yildirim for £141.75m.

Rolls-Royce received a boost after Barclays said the jet engine maker’s share price could rise by nearly a quarter and set a target price of 110p after shares closed at 89p Monday. The shares rose 2%, or 1.8p, to 90.92p.

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Loungers, the operator of restaurants, bars and cafes, revealed that sales in the 32 weeks to November 27 were up 17.4% from 2019 before the pandemic hit.

Revenue rose 19.5% to £122.3million in the 24 weeks to October 2. But profit fell to £2.8m from £12.8m a year earlier. It fell 0.3%, or 0.5p, to 191.5p.

Meanwhile, the outgoing Whitbread boss is to take over as Dunelm’s chairman. Alison Brittain is due to leave the owner of the Premier Inn in January and will succeed Andy Harrison as head of the furniture retailer.

Dunelm was up 0.30%, or 3p, at 1006p while Whitbread was up 0.1%, or 2p, at 2584p.

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