FTSE 100 surges led by NatWest and mining stocks

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FTSE 100 surges led by NatWest and mining stocks
Credit: © Reuters.

LONDON - The FTSE 100 index closed notably higher today, with NatWest standing out after Barclays (LON: BARC ) upgraded the bank to 'overweight'. The positive adjustment is due to NatWest's effective management of deposit migration and funding risks, which is expected to result in increased net interest margins (NIM) and profits. The broader European equity markets also ended the day with significant gains amid expectations that central bank interest rates may remain steady or even reduced into the next year.

The uptick in the FTSE 100, which concluded at 7,498.66 points, was supported by several key performers. Mining companies like Anglo-American and Fresnillo (LON: FRES ) were among the top gainers, with respective rises of 3.65% and 3.20%. Insurer Prudential (LON: PRU ) and banks such as Standard Chartered (OTC: SCBFF ) also contributed to the rise, climbing by over 3%. Other notable gainers included Glencore (OTC: GLNCY ), Land Securities Group (OTC: LDSCY ), DCC, Halma, and Hargreaves Lansdown (LON: HRGV ).

In contrast to this upward trend, retailers Marks & Spencer (OTC: MAKSY ) and B&M saw their shares decline following an unexpected drop in October retail sales as reported by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), which went against earlier predictions of an increase.

Across Europe, the Stoxx 600 rose by 1.01%, Germany's DAX advanced by 0.84%, France's CAC 40 grew by 0.91%, and Switzerland's SMI increased by 0.89%. In the UK market, British Land (LON: BLND ) Company and Standard Chartered saw jumps between 3% to 4.5%, while other stocks like TUI (LON: TUIT ) and Flutter Entertainment (LON: FLTRF ) also finished higher. Germany's Siemens Energy led gains with nearly an 8% increase.

Despite these gains, Volvo (OTC: VLVLY ) Cars faced a significant drop of 11% after its shareholder Geely initiated a discounted share sale, while Alstom (EPA: ALSO )'s stock decreased by approximately 1.7%.

The Eurozone inflation rate was confirmed at 2.9% by Eurostat, marking the lowest point in over two years and suggesting easing inflationary pressures. The euro area current account surplus held steady at EUR 31 billion despite a reduction in goods trade surplus for September.

Today's market movements reflect a mix of corporate developments and macroeconomic data that influenced investor sentiment across Europe.

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