Asos was the best-performing stock in the FTSE 350 in January as the fashion brand clawed back some of its losses.
The stock has risen 71 per cent so far this year but remains nearly 90 per cent below its peak in 2018 and 85 per cent off its 2021 levels.
And yesterday they slid slightly by 0.3 per cent, or 2.5p, to 872.5p.
Bouncing back: Asos stock has risen nearly 72% so far this year but remained nearly 90% below its peak in 2017 and 85% off its 2021 levels
Airline stocks also enjoyed a strong start to the year – with Easyjet, Wizz Air and British Airways owner IAG among the top five performers – despite a slide yesterday.
Easyjet slid 1.4 per cent, or 6.8p, to 491.9p, Wizz Air lost 2.6 per cent, or 70p, to 2660p and IAG dipped by 0.4 per cent, or 0.6p, to 168.8p.
Other travel companies put on a decent show in January.
Shares in cruise operator Carnival have risen 32 per cent and Tui is up 28 per cent.
But most of these stocks have failed to return to their levels before the pandemic struck. And yesterday, Carnival fell 2.1 per cent, or 16.2p, to 767.6p as Tui lost 1.2 per cent, or 2.05p, to 168.9p.
At the other end, Direct Line has made the worst start to the new year. The stock fell 19.8 per cent in a month where the insurance giant issued a profit warning, ditched its dividend and saw its chief executive Penny James leave.
Yesterday shares crept up 0.1 per cent, or 0.1p, to 177.45p.
Darktrace is close behind. Short sellers betting against the cybersecurity firm have sent its shares plunging 19 per cent. They lost 4.5 per cent, or 9.8p, to 210.2p yesterday.
Online betting group 888 also found itself close to the bottom of the pile. Shares have tumbled 17 per cent, with investors dumping their stock after the chief executive Itai Pazner made a shock exit on Monday.
Stock Watch – Wickes
Wickes has seen a boost to trade as households rush to buy energy-saving products to help cut soaring power bills over the winter months.
The builders’ merchant said total group sales rose 11.5pc in the final three months of 2022.
DIY sales are below last year but performance improved at the end of the fourth quarter.
The group stuck to guidance for annual underlying pre-tax profits of between £72million and £76million for 2022, down from £85million in 2021. Shares fell 3.8 per cent, or 6p, to 152.1p.
The gambling giant also launched an investigation into suspected money laundering on VIP customer accounts in the Middle East. Yesterday, 888 fell 3.9 per cent, or 2.9p, to 71.95p.
AJ Bell investment director Russ Mould said it was striking how many consumer-related stocks were in the top 20 performers so far this year – including retailers, travel firms and airlines.
‘These stocks were all flat on their back in the autumn amid fears that the cost of living crisis would crimp consumers’ ability and willingness to spend,’ he said.
‘But since then energy prices have waned, the Government has intervened with subsidies and we have had a relatively mild winter, while the rate of inflation could continue to recede in the first half.
‘That has all boosted sentiment toward what had been an unloved group of stocks.’
Capping off a rollercoaster month for the London stock market, the FTSE 100 slid 0.17 per cent, or 13.17 points, to 7771.7 and the FTSE 250 inched down by 0.42 per cent, or 83.75 points, to 19853.45.
This left the blue-chip index a little over 100 points off its record close of 7877.45.
Efforts to turbo-charge the hydrogen economy will see chemicals group Johnson Matthey join forces with a US company focused on developing fuel cell systems.
Johnson Matthey and Plug Power have pledged to invest in up to ten gigawatt new catalyst coated membranes (CCMs) manufacturing capacity in the US, which is expected to begin production in 2025.
Shares in Johnson Matthey soared 4.1 per cent, or 88p, to 2256p and Plug Power gained 3.7 per cent, or 0.58p, to 16.15p.
Also in the hydrogen world, shares in ITM Power rose 13.4 per cent, or 11.98p, to 101.3p as it announced plans to cut its headcount by a quarter in a bid to slash costs.
Bank note and passport maker De La Rue needs a finance boss after Rob Harding steps down to become the chief financial officer at the payment service firm PayPoint.
Shares fell 0.5 per cent, or 0.3p, to 66.6p. PayPoint lost 0.8 per cent, or 4p, to 518p.
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