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26/04/24 Briefing


Wall Street pushed higher on Friday, following the FTSE 100 (^FTSE) and European stocks for the last trading session of the week.

Google owner Alphabet (GOOG) crossed the $2tn valuation mark during the session after it revealed that first-quarter revenue jumped 15% while announcing its first-ever dividend of 20 cents a share alongside a $70bn (£56bn) stock buyback.

Google posted $80.5bn in revenue for the first quarter of 2024 and reported $1.89 in earnings per share, up from $1.17 – beating analysts’ expectations on both counts.

It came after the Bank of Japan (BoJ) kept its monetary policy unchanged overnight at the conclusion of its two-day meeting.

Interest rates remained on hold around zero, as widely expected, while the central bank removed a reference to the amount of government bonds it has roughly committed to buying each month.

It also issued fresh estimates projecting inflation to stay near its 2% target in the next three years, signalling its readiness to raise borrowing costs this year.

The Japanese yen fell to the weaker side of 156 per dollar in a knee-jerk reaction to the decision, and last stood at 156.15 per dollar.

"Something has come loose in the UK market, like a hose pipe that was blocked up suddenly gushing forth," said Neil Wilson, chief markets analyst at FinalTo.

"The FTSE 100 rose to a new intraday high of 8,139.92 this morning as European indices were broadly higher on some better news from US tech giants Microsoft and Alphabet."


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