(Alliance News) - Stock prices in London opened a mixed bag on Tuesday, with the FTSE 100 trending lower, but smaller indices on the up.

The FTSE 100 index opened down 9.41 points, or 0.1%, at 8,307.61. The FTSE 250 was up 40.63 points, or 0.2%, at 20,811.44, and the AIM All-Share was up 1.38 points, or 0.2%, at 811.17.

The Cboe UK 100 was down 0.1% at 829.41, the Cboe UK 250 was up 0.3% at 18,237.59, and the Cboe Small Companies was up 0.2% at 16,654.52.

In European equities on Tuesday, the CAC 40 in Paris was up 0.5%, while the DAX 40 in Frankfurt was up 0.4%.

In the US on Friday, Wall Street ended higher, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average just fractionally in the green, the S&P 500 up 0.7% and the Nasdaq Composite up 1.1%.

According to the Census Bureau, durable goods orders climbed 0.7% in April from March, defying the FXStreet cited forecast of a 0.8% slide. In March, orders rose 0.8% from February.

Year-ahead inflation expectations edged up from 3.2% last month to 3.3% this month, but long-run inflation expectations held steady at 3.0% for the second straight month.

US economic data last week was red-hot, strengthening the case for the Fed to keep rates higher for longer.

In Asia on Tuesday, the Nikkei 225 index in Tokyo was down 0.1%. In China, the Shanghai Composite was down 0.5%, while the Hang Seng index in Hong Kong was down 0.1%. The S&P/ASX 200 in Sydney closed down 0.3%.

In early economic news, shop price inflation in the UK eased to 0.6% annually in May from 0.8% in April, according to the British Retail Consortium.

The BRC-NielsenIQ shop price index increased at its slowest annual rate since November 2021, with non-food prices remaining in deflation at 0.8%, steepening from a 0.6% annual decline in April. Food price inflation, however, slowed to 3.2% this month from 3.4% in April.

Food price inflation, meanwhile, slowed to 3.2% this month from 3.4% in April. Fresh food prices were up by 2.0% on a year before in May, slowing from 2.4% in April. Ambient food prices were up 4.8%, slowing from 4.9%.

London's supermarkets were up on Tuesday morning. Ocado gained 4.2%, Sainsbury's gained 0.8%, and Marks & Spencer gained 0.7%.

In UK politics, general election campaigning is also well underway.

Focus at the start of the week turned to pensions, with UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak betting on a GBP2.4 billion tax break to help secure the support of the UK's ageing population as he battles to remain in power. Sunak promised to increase the income tax personal allowance for pensioners, giving them a tax cut worth around GBP95 in 2025 to 2026, rising to GBP275 in 2029 to 2030.

Labour, however, called this a "desperate move" from a party which was "torching" what was left of its claims to economic credibility. Keir Starmer's party was busy schmoozing business leaders, with Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves promising to lead "the most pro-growth Treasury in our country's history".

The pound was quoted at USD1.2770 early on Tuesday in London, compared to USD1.2748 at the equities close on Friday. The euro stood at USD1.0876, up against USD1.0849. Against the yen, the dollar was trading at JPY156.88, lower compared to JPY156.96.

In the FTSE 100, Intermediate Capital was one of the best performers, up 2.4%.

For the year ended March 31, the London-based asset manager posted pretax profit rose of GBP597.8 million, up from GBP258.1 million a year prior. Fee-earning assets under management were up 11% to USD69.7 billion from USD62.8 billion.

At March 31, the private equity investment firm's net asset value per share came to 801 pence, up 15% from 694p a year prior. ICG proposed a final dividend of 53.2p from 52.2p, taking its dividend to 79.0p from 77.5p.

Looking ahead, ICG backed its "expertise" in navigating "complex and uncertain market conditions", amid a difficult investment environment.

Bunzl lost 0.4%.

The London-based distribution and services company has completed its acquisition of Nisbets, a distributor of catering equipment and consumables, following clearance from the Irish Competition & Consumer Protection Commission.

"Their digital expertise and market-leading range of own brand products, will further strengthen our position in the catering equipment sector. We welcome our new colleagues at Nisbets to the Bunzl family as we continue to focus on our consistent compounding strategy to grow both organically and through consolidation of our fragmented markets," said Chief Executive Officer Frank van Zanten.

In the FTSE 250, Ithaca lost 1.2%.

For the three months ended March 31, the independent oil and gas operator posted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, amortisation and exploration expense of USD339.0 million, down from USD518.1 million a year prior. Statutory net income fell to USD42.7 million from USD158.1 million, while adjusted net debt narrowed to USD461.1 million from USD899.6 million.

The firm also announced a host of leadership changes.

This included the appointment of Luciano Vasques as chief executive officer after the Eni UK business purchase has completed. Iain Lewis will return to his position as chief financial officer from interim CEO after the Eni deal. Meanwhile, Yaniv Friedman is set to replace Gilad Myerson as executive chair, while Dave Blackwood will be interim non-exec chair until Friedman joins. Odin Estensen will be chief operating officer.

Elsewhere, Revolution Bars lost 6.5%.

It received a non-binding takeover offer from Nightcap, but rejected the proposal, which would still have required Revolution to proceed with its restructuring plan, but not the existing fundraising of GBP12.5 million. According to the board, the plan was "incapable of being delivered", due to a number of challenges associated with its delivery.

Nevertheless, Revolution said it remains open to considering any future proposal from Nightcap, and or any other party.

Nightcap gained 10%.

Brent oil was quoted at USD82.84 a barrel early in London on Tuesday, up from USD81.54 late Friday.

Gold was quoted at USD2,342.30 an ounce, up against USD2,336.80.

Still to come on Tuesday's economic calendar, there is a slew of data from the US later in the afternoon. This includes the house price index at 1400 BST, and consumer confidence at 1500 BST.

By Holly Beveridge, Alliance News reporter

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