Following the rising optimism regarding the U.S – China trade talks that propelled the Banks and Miners stocks higher, the FTSE 100 index recorded its best day in over four months. A lack of clarity on the trade front, however, weighed on the index that also printed the worst weekly performance in the past two months.
FTSE 100 Index Gained 1.4% On Friday
Friday morning saw the UK’s benchmark FTSE 100 index drop to a two-month low of 7,137.85. Later on Friday, however, the index gained 1.4% to close the week at 7,241.34. The FTSE 250 index, on the other hand, that focuses primarily on the domestic stocks, printed a gain of 1.1% on Friday to close the 6th consecutive week on a positive note.
U.S – China trade talks were seen complicating at the start of last week. Towards the end, however, Trump’s announcement that the trade negotiations are moving in the right direction and China providing official reassurance in the form of waiving tariffs on a range of U.S pork and soybean products, the sentiment was seen improving that helped the Footsie to record its best day since July 2019.
The rising concerns that the U.S economy is under a threat amidst the U.S – China trade war, kept the global stocks under pressure in the past few weeks. Following a fairly upbeat U.S jobs report for November that marked the fastest growth in over ten months, however, the banking and miners’ stocks were seen uplifting that further boosted the FTSE 100 index on Friday.
Ad firm WPP, and Associated British Foods, were reported to have marked the best performance among the blue-chip stocks. While WPP registered a 3% gain on Friday, Associated British Foods was seen trading 2% higher as its earnings target was maintained.
Among the other prominent gains, Burberry took the lead with a 2.44% gain on Friday while Kering’s noted a hike of around 1.69%. Following Kering’s takeover offer to Italy’s Moncler, the latter was also seen trading around 2% higher on Friday.
Housebuilders Gained 1.4% Following A Jump In House Prices In November
Footsie’s housebuilders’ segment, .FTNMX1770 hiked by 1.4% on Friday following Halifax’s announcement that house prices jumped in November, marking the fastest annual rate in the past seven months. Housebuilders are known to have a wider domestic exposure that makes them sensitive to the events of the Brexit.
Despite a largely positive Friday, the overall weekly performance of the FTSE 100 marked the sharpest decline in the past two months. Trump’s announcement earlier in the week that a trade deal may only be finalized with China after the 2020 presidential elections had pushed the index 2% down on Tuesday. The last week’s poll that declared the highest possibility of the Conservative party to win a majority in the UK’s upcoming general election led to a bull run in Sterling. Consequently, the exporter-heavy FTSE 100 was further weighed down.