Top global stock markets started the week on the front foot as investors hope for more good news on inflation for the world’s biggest economy on Tuesday.
London’s FTSE 100 was lagging behind its international peers but managed to just about close in the green, despite being weighed down by losses for pharmaceutical giants.
It closed 1.11 points higher, or 0.01%, to 7,573.69.
Shares in AstraZeneca fell to their lowest level in nearly two years on Monday, after the company faced rating downgrades from analysts following the release of its full-year financial results last week.
Dan Coatsworth, investment analyst at AJ Bell, said: “Investors had to swallow a bitter pill from a barrage of broker downgrades for AstraZeneca which served to nearly knock the FTSE 100 off course.
“However, the UK blue-chip index was determined not to get the new week off to a bad start, with commodity producers and retailers making enough progress to keep the FTSE’s head above water.”
Meanwhile, all eyes will be on the latest inflation reading from the US on Tuesday evening with investors hoping it could fuel optimism for interest rate cuts in the coming months.
For markets elsewhere in Europe, Germany’s Dax was up 0.65% and France’s Cac 40 was 0.55% higher at close.
In the US, the S&P 500 was up 0.4% and Dow Jones up 0.55% by the time European markets closed
The pound was up 0.1% against the euro to 1.172, and more or less flat against the dollar to 1.2626.
In company news, shares in SSP Group moved higher after the Upper Crust owner said it had agreed to buy an airport bar and restaurant firm in Australia as it expands across global travel centres.
The deal will give SSP access to four new airports in the country, lifting its presence to around 100 sites in Australia. Shares in the London-listed firm rose by 1.1% at the close.
In other takeover news, shares in warehouse giant Tritax Big Box dipped after it announced a deal to buy rival UK Commercial Property REIT for £924 million, in a move that will create a real estate giant worth almost £4 billion.
Tritax, which owns dozens of warehouses with major tenants including Ocado, Amazon and B&Q, said the deal will enhance its offering for customers. Nevertheless, its share price was down by 4% at close.
The biggest risers on the FTSE 100 were Burberry, up 64.5p to 1,335.5p, Frasers, up 39p to 822.5p, Ocado, up 23.6p to 536.8p, Fresnillo, up 16.7p to 493.4p, and Endeavour Mining, up 37p to 1,323p.
The biggest fallers on the FTSE 100 were Rolls-Royce, down 9p to 309.1p, AstraZeneca, down 260p to 9,501p, GSK, down 33.6p to 1,626.4p, Melrose Industries, down 9p to 594p, and NatWest Group, down 3p to 207.7p.