The FTSE 100 hit a new record high yesterday.
After moving largely sideways throughout February the market rose 1.64 per cent, or 119.46 points, to finish at a new record of 7382.90.
It came as the pound tumbled to a six-week low against the dollar and the US stock market surged past 21,000 for the first time ever.
Equipment rental firm Ashtead Group was one of the highest risers. It will report third-quarter earnings next week, and has been boosted by President Trump’s pledge to spend £800billion on infrastructure in the US. Yesterday, shares leapt 5.7 per cent, or 95p, to 1751p.
Royal Mail fell despite regulator Ofcom concluding it would not impose reforms on the business.
Trump jolt: The pound tumbled to a six-week low against the dollar and the US stock market surged past 21,000 for the first time ever
That means there will be no price restrictions put on the price of stamps. Shares slipped 1.8 per cent, or 7.6p, to 407p.
Aviation support services firm BBA Aviation dropped as the market opened as the firm revealed a plunge in profits – a pre-tax loss of £66.9million in 2016, compared with a profit of £63million the year before.
That’s despite revenue climbing 25 per cent to £1.8billion. Liberum has a ‘Sell’ rating on the stock. It said that figures had been complicated by acquisitions.
BBA said its acquisition of Landmark was performing well and savings were ahead of schedule, but performance was weak in its engine repairs business.
BBA said it continued to be confident in the group’s prospects and hiked its final dividend 5 per cent to 7.4p a share.
The group announced that Mike Powell had resigned as group finance director and would be replaced by David Crook from June 1. Shares recovered by the end of the day, to close up 0.2 per cent, or 0.5p, to 305.5p.
Croma Security Solutions climbed after it reported revenue had risen 29 per cent to £11.2million.
Bunzl advanced as it announced the acquisition of Diversified Distribution Systems.
US-based DDS supplies packaging and consumables mainly across the US but also in Europe, the Middle East and Asia. In 2016 the firm reported revenue of £253.8million.
HSBC and Deutsche Bank both raised their target price for the stock after the announcement. Shares gained 3.6 per cent, or 80p, to 2335p.
ZPG, formerly Zoopla, has also been on the acquisition trail.
The online estate agent group has bought Expert Agent, the first UK business to provide estate and letting agency software online. It will continue to operate as a standalone brand, though the team will work with the ZPG property services division. Shares advanced 4.9pc, or 18.2p, to 389.7p.
International Personal Finance fell further as it awaits an update from the Polish government on proposals to cap charges on consumer loans.
IPF had hoped any new proposals would be implemented in January but they could now be pushed back to the second half of the year.
While revenue at the firm was up 1.2 per cent to £755.9million, pre-tax profit plunged 20 per cent to £92.6million.
IPF blamed competition in the sector, lower income from its home credit business and increased investment in its online business. It has made cuts which will save £11million a year.
Profits in the digital division grew from £8.4million to £12.4million for the year. But IPF continues to struggle against regulatory issues.
The firm, which lends to people with little to no borrowing history, is awaiting a decision from Polish regulators and said changes in Romania could affect growth too.
Shares plummeted 10.6 per cent, or 19.2p, to 162p. They are now down 43 per cent since the start of December.