Belfast Telegraph

FTSE leads global stocks higher after tough month for business

The FTSE 100 reached a week-high close on Friday, up 88.26 points, or 1.22%, to 7,326.81.

The British private sector contracted in November, according to preliminary figures (Chris Radburn/PA)
The British private sector contracted in November, according to preliminary figures (Chris Radburn/PA)

By August Graham, PA City Reporter

The FTSE 100 led a forward charge of global stocks as the UK’s private companies felt the pinch in a tough November.

The blue chip index rose 88.26 points, or 1.22%, to 7,326.81, to finish Friday on a week high.

The engines were fired up under Britain’s biggest stocks after the pound crashed. Sterling was pushed lower by new November figures showing the private sector contracted at its fastest rate since July 2016, the month after the Brexit referendum.

One pound bought 1.2828 dollars by the end of the day, a 0.6% decrease. Meanwhile, against the euro, the currency fell 0.34% to 1.1631.

The FTSE 100 is full of companies that depend heavily on exports. A fall in the value of the pound pushes down the price that foreign companies have to pay for FTSE 100 goods and services, therefore boosting the index.

But the index’s rise was not unique. The Dow Jones was trading up 0.27% to 27,841.89, while Germany’s Dax rose 0.2%, and the Cac index of Paris’s biggest companies also closed up 0.2%.

The news from US President Donald Trump that a trade deal with China is potentially very close put upward pressure on global stocks.

In company news, high street lender TSB was forced to apologise after some customers were left without wages in their accounts on Friday, following delays to overnight payments.

The bank said a “small number” of customers failed to receive payments, and it was forced to offer emergency cash to those affected.

Gambling software business Playtech issued a profit warning after its financial division performed “well below” expectations.

Rightmove appointed Andrew Fisher, the former boss of Apple-owned app Shazam, as its next chairman.

Nationwide Building Society revealed a 40% plunge in half-year profits, after taking a hit from payment protection insurance and ramping up investment despite tough market conditions.

Marks & Spencer said former menswear director Richard Price will return to the business after an eight-year hiatus, to head its embattled clothing and home arm.

Oil standard Brent crude fell around 1% to 63.30 dollars per barrel.

The biggest risers on the FTSE 100 were JD Sports, up 29p to 787.80p, Centrica, up 2.98p to 82.30p, Glencore, up 7.3p to 246.90p, Vodafone, up 4.54p to 156.58p, and Carnival, up 88p to 3,182.00p.

The biggest fallers on the FTSE 100 were Fresnillo, down 37.6p to 561.00p, Johnson Matthey, down 143p to 2,846.00p, Ocado, down 28.5p to 1,126.50p, Imperial Brands, down 19.2p to 1,690.00p, and NMC Healthcare, down 13p to 2,459.00p.

PA

Popular