Belfast Telegraph

FTSE 100 closes higher as investors cast aside trade worries

London’s top flight closed up on Friday.

The FTSE 100 ended in positive territory on Friday as traders sounded a note of cautious optimism following weeks of fretting over global trade.

London’s top flight closed up 22.47 points, or 0.31%, at 7,304.04, propped up by the likes of Tui, Burberry and Rolls-Royce.

It comes despite an ongoing trade spat between the US and China which has spooked markets recently, with Donald Trump imposing billions of dollars worth of tariffs on Chinese imports.

“The US-China trade dispute is still ongoing, but while there isn’t a war of words, dealers are content to buy back into the market,” said David Madden, analyst at CMC Markets.

The pound, meanwhile, largely shrugged off another set of stark Brexit warnings from Bank of England governor Mark Carney.

The Canadian told ministers that house prices could crash by more than a third, sterling plummet and interest rates rocket in the event of a disorderly, no-deal Brexit.

However, the comments elicited no major reaction in currency markets, with the pound down just 0.1% against the US dollar at 1.308.

Versus the euro, sterling was up 0.1% at 1.122.

“The Bank of England has been wrong before when it comes to house predictions in relation to Brexit, and it seems that investors aren’t overly worried by the announcement,” Mr Madden added.

In stocks, shares in banking group Investec surged as its board announced plans to spin off its asset management division.

The South African group expects the separated Investec Asset Management (IAM) business to be listed on the London Stock Exchange within the next 12 months.

The move is aimed at simplifying the company’s structure, while focusing IAM and the remaining group on their “respective growth plans”.

Shares close up 40.5p at 525.2p.

JD Wetherspoon shares ended in the red after the pub group warned it would need to maintain sales momentum to keep up with rising costs, despite record profits of £107.2 million.

Chairman Tim Martin said the current financial year had been “reasonable”, with 5.5% growth in like-for-like sales in the six weeks to September 9.

But he warned higher running costs could threaten profit growth.

Shares closed down 17p at 1,263p.

Sports Direct, never out of the headlines for long, saw its shares close up 1.3p to 350.5p as boss Mike Ashley let rip on minority shareholders, accusing them of stabbing him in the back.

The tracksuit tycoon accused investors of “repeatedly hounding” former chairman Keith Hellawell, who quit Sports Direct on Wednesday following another shambolic annual meeting, and suggested he will reject future shareholder engagement.

In Europe, Germany’s DAX closed the day up 0.57%, while France’s CAC ended 0.53% higher.

A barrel of Brent Crude was trading at 78 US dollars, down 0.4%.

The biggest risers on the FTSE 100 were Tui up 50.5p at 1,377p, Burberry up 70p at 2,153p, Rolls-Royce up 26.2p at 981.2p and Reckitt Benckiser up 174p at 6,680p.

The biggest fallers on the FTSE 100 were SSE down 36p at 1,084p, GVC down 27p at 1,031p, Informa down 16p at 734.6p and Severn Trent down 28.5p at 1,884p.

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