FTSE 100 makes cautious recovery despite China-US trade war rhetoric
Oil prices fell but markets made some minor gains.
London’s blue chip market managed to recover some of its losses from Wednesday as the US-China trade war failed to spook the markets, although oil prices suffered as a result of ramped up rhetoric.
The FTSE 100 closed up 32.86 points, or 0.46%, at 7,218.16.
Shares were also helped by a falling pound, making it cheaper for foreign investors to buy up London-listed stocks.
The pound dipped 0.14% to 1.261 US dollars, and fell 0.11% in Europe to 1.132 euros.
But oil suffered, as a report from the US found that the amount of stockpiled oil is actually higher than expected, pushing Brent Crude down further.
The cost of a barrel of Brent Crude fell 3.3% to 67.39 US dollars, and was also forced down due to statements from China, with a senior diplomat saying the US is conducting “naked economic terrorism” over the continuing trade war.
David Madden, market analyst at CMC Markets UK, said: “Stock markets are largely higher today, but the move feels hollow as political and economic relations are still strained. Today is the sunshine after the rain, but the dark clouds are unlikely to be gone for good.”
Transport giant FirstGroup has said it will sell off its US Greyhound coach business and spin off its UK bus arm amid pressure from an activist investor to break up the firm.
Shares closed up 4p at 114.4p.
The owner of the Daily Mail has seen its shares surge after it said revenues for the full year could be higher than previously expected.
Daily Mail and General Trust (DMGT), owner of the Mail and other titles including Metro, saw pre-tax profits slump by 55% to £50 million for the six months to the end of March, but it was due to “a £72 million reduction in the share of profits from joint ventures and associates”.
Shares closed up 65p at 740p.
Watches of Switzerland completed its first day of conditional trading on the London stock market as shares surged higher after being priced at the top end of their range.
The opening price was near the upper end of the 250-277p range set.
Shares closed at 308.7p.
Premier Foods chairman Keith Hamill has quit the group, following its chief executive out of the door after a bitter battle with boardroom activists.
Mr Hamill will retire from the role after the Mr Kipling maker’s annual general meeting on July 17, the firm said.
Shares closed up 0.3p at 35.5p.
The biggest risers on the FTSE 100 were Rightmove up 18.8p to 583.8p, Standard Life Aberdeen up 7.8p to 272.5p, Halma up 52p to 1,835.5p and Ocado up 31.5p to 1,199p.
The biggest fallers on the FTSE 100 were Marks & Spencer down 10.9p to 221.1p, National Grid down 37.8p to 778p, Johnson Matthey down 138p to 3,046p and United Utilities Group down 13p to 784p.