UK stocks rise as house prices and online grocery sales both hit record highs

Tom Belger
·Finance and policy reporter
·3 min read

Watch: European stocks rise

This week's global stock market rebound wobbled on Tuesday, with stocks falling in Asia and a mixed day's trading in Europe and the US.

Falling oil prices and continued fears of potential interest rate hikes weighed on European stocks in early trading, but leading indices were in the green by lunchtime on the continent.

UK stocks outperformed on strong economic data, including surging supermarket sales and house prices unexpectedly picking up to hit a new record high.

Leading European indices rose after opening lower. The CAC (^FCHI) was up 0.4% and the DAX (^GDAXI) up 0.3%, while the FTSE 100 (^FTSE) rose 0.6%.

US stocks were mixed after strong gains on Monday. The Dow was trading 0.2% higher, but the S&P 500 (^GSPC) was flat and the Nasdaq (^IXIC) down 0.3%.

London as UK stocks dipped on Tuesday. Photo: Jeff Overs/BBC News & Current Affairs via Getty Images
London as UK stocks dipped on Tuesday. Photo: Jeff Overs/BBC News & Current Affairs via Getty Images

Investors were mulling over "whether a change in tone from the Federal Reserve is forthcoming with respect to their recent ambivalence on the recent sharp rise in US bond yields," said Michael Hewson, chief analyst at CMC Markets UK. "It was notable that while yields in Europe fell back yesterday, US 10-year yields held steady."

Lower oil prices had weighed on stocks in early trading in Europe, hitting miners and energy companies and eating into economic recovery hopes.

READ MORE: Budget 2021: £520m for 'MBA-style training' for small business owners

US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude (CL=F) and brent (BZ=F), the international benchmark, were both trading 1.1% lower as European markets opened. But both were close to flat within a few hours, with crude at $60.68 a barrel and brent at $63.61.

Manufacturing data in China this week had shown growth at its slowest pace in nine months in February, raising questions over future demand. Meanwhile investors weighed up the potential for output changes after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies (OPEC+) meet this week.

It left the oil and gas component of the Europe-wide Stoxx 600 index (^STOXX) trading 1.3% lower in early trading, though companies had pared back losses to trade 0.6% lower by lunchtime. BP, Royal Dutch Shell, Antofagasta and Anglo American were among the biggest early fallers on the FTSE in

It comes after a broad rally on Monday in Europe and the US. "After a huge furore last week over rising yields and weak equity markets, risk exploded higher yesterday and forgot about all possible troubles," wrote Deutsche Bank analyst Jim Reid in a note.

UK stocks also benefited after data from UK lender Nationwide showed house price growth rising in February to reach a new record high, when economists polled by Reuters had forecast a cooling in growth.

Meanwhile supermarket data from Kantar showed sales growth of 15.1% over the past month, the fastest rate since June last year with the country again in lockdown.

Stocks had fallen overnight in China, with the SSE composite index (000001.SS) down 1.2%. The Hang Seng in Hong Kong (^HSI) also fell 1.2%, and Japan's Nikkei (^N225) shed 0.9%.

"Asia markets have slipped back today after Chinese regulators warned on the prospect of asset bubbles in overseas markets," noted Hewson.

Watch: What to expect in the Chancellor's Budget 2021