A much better trading day with the FTSE 100 ending at 7,470.71, up 0.46%. London was helped by solid rises from oil and miners including Anglo American and Rio Tinto, up 2.44% and 2.13% respectively. The biggest faller was Smiths Group, down -2.76% to 1,584p.
Stock gains were helped by a slow news day Stateside – some stabilisation of sentiment. In the US both the Dow and S&P 500 put on weight as well as the Nasdaq.
Sterling ended the week almost 1% higher against the dollar. However sterling’s climb is less impressive against the euro at 1.643 (4pm), down around 0.2%. So the pound’s apparent strength needs some caution.
- UK FTSE 100 7,470.71, +0.46%
- Dow 20,777.54 +0.55%
- S&P 500 2,382.35 +0.70%
- Nasdaq 6,097.41 +0.70%
- DAX 30 12,635.68 +0.36%
- CAC 40 5,318.92 +0.55%
- Gold 1,252.70 -0.01%
- Oil WTI 50.35 +2.01
UK export boost - CBI
However British businesses have taken advantage of sterling’s recent weakness: the CBI claims that out of a survey of 432 manufacturers, many order books are at their highest level since February 2015.
“Robust demand at both home and abroad,” said CBI chief economist Rain Newton-Smith, “is reflected in strong order books, and output is picking up the pace. On the other side of the coin though, we have mounting cost pressures and expectations for factory-gate price rises are running high."
Hikma regulatory delay
Earlier today Hikma Pharmaceuticals shares took some sell-off blows but ended Friday up 2.12% at 1,736p. This morning the pharma operator slashed full-year guidance on concern its generic version of GSK asthma drug Advair would be subject to more delays.
There was also an update from insurer Legal & General. L&G says its solvency II coverage ratio has been boosted following the sale of its Dutch business, from 171% to 180%. (European insurers however remain rather ahead with Munich Re at 267%.)
Trump damage recedes
Overall, some relief from the earlier mid-week turmoil. Bank of America Merrill Lynch estimates US stocks saw more than $8bn of outflows in the week up to Wednesday. But European stocks saw more than $1bn added.
Late news: BT has confirmed that its offices in Italy have been raided by the police as part of an investigation into an accounting scandal. Foot Locker shares have come under pressure following weaker sales. Meanwhile European consumer confidence has hit a new high.