FTSE watch: FTSE fights back after dismal start

As of BST 11.47 the FTSE was up 38.00 to 7603 (0.5%) shadowing similar fortunes on the European markets. After a sharp decline earlier on, prices began to climb around BST 09.00 following boosts from housebuilders and mining companies.

As reported yesterday, good news stories from the housebuilding sector have helped to boost the benchmark index. Persimmon’s (LON:PERS) six-month report profit increase and subsequent share price rise seems to have had a positive knock on effect on its rival Barratt Developments (LON:BDEV) which is up 8.2 (1.5%) to 551.4   as of BST 11.53, outperforming the benchmark index.

Laura Ashley rises despite ‘challenging trade environment’ and poor performance

In an interesting development, home furnishing giant Laura Ashley has seen its shares rise sharply by 20% despite poor performance results, according to Alliance News, with the share price now standing at 5.20 pence. The company has placed its woes firmly at the door of a ‘challenging trade environment’.  Its  position could have been buoyed by its online sales performance, which in stark contrast to overall performance have continued to grow, up by 4.1% year on year and representing 25 per cent of overall sales.

As reported by Alliance News, Chairman Tan Sri Khoo Kay Peng said: “We are encouraged by the progress and continued growth being made by our online business and will be launching a new digital platform in the weeks to come.” It remains to be seen whether confidence in online growth will continue to make the share price buoyant.

Pound gives up some of yesterday’s gains

Further afield, yesterday’s weakening of the dollar, following critical comments from Trump regarding the US Federal  Reserve’s interest rate policy has continued to play into today’s news as US/Trade talk begin in Washington. However, the pound has ‘given up some of yesterday’s gains’ and is in a much better position than it was earlier in the week, according to Proactive Investors, with sterling approaching US$1.29.



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