FTSE 100 Live 30 November: Interest rate focus as traders await EU inflation and Powell speech

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Rolls-Royce leads FTSE 100, SSE and National Grid higher

Rolls-Royce’s stock market recovery picked up speed today after the engine giant’s shares were backed to rise by another 20%.

The support of analysts at Barclays through their “overweight” recommendation and price target of 110p helped the FTSE 100 stalwart to lift 3% or 2.3p to 91.4p.

The shares were as low as 66p in October, but have rebounded thanks to improved stock market conditions, the recovery in air travel and relief that full-year forecasts haven’t been derailed by cost headwinds.

Rolls spent today’s session flying high as the best performing blue-chip stock, with the wider FTSE 100 index brushing aside another set of disappointing figures from China’s manufacturing sector to add another 47.29 points to 7559.29.

London’s top flight is now higher over the course of the year, having benefited today from 1% gains for the UK-focused trio of Next, JD Sports Fashion and Lloyds Banking Group.

SSE and National Grid were also in focus after Ofgem published its five-year investment package for electricity distribution network companies.

The headline return on equity is up from 4.7% in the draft document to 5.23% and the investment allowance went from £20.9 billion to £22.2 billion, but with the regulator insisting this will be at no extra cost to consumers.

The companies said they will examine the figures in detail before commenting, but the initial view of investors looked to be positive after SSE shares rose 24p to 1700p and National Grid added 5.5p to 1014p.

The FTSE 250 index cheered 79.48 points to 19,265.64, with Wizz Air among the biggest risers in a decent session for the airline sector. Shares rose 102p to 2252p, while easyjet added 7.1p to 390p in the wake of yesterday’s results.

AIM-listed gift packaging firm IG Design rose 5% or 6p to 120p after it said in today’s interim results that it now expects to deliver a small profit in the year to March.

The company, whose Tom Smith brand is the official supplier of Christmas crackers to the Royal Household, has benefited from turnaround efforts and customers bringing forward festive orders in order to avoid a repeat of last year’s supply chain issues.

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