Market Report: Black Friday means big sales


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Tills were ringing out across the country and traders were taking note.

Black Friday, a US import, meant big sales for shops. That translated to big gains on the markets. Bulky big-ticket items like TVs, washing machines and vacuum cleaners are the crown jewels of the sales, and floggers of these items saw their shares jump. B&Q owner Kingfisher rose 10.3p to 312p, while online whitegoods specialist AO World jumped 16.8p to 249.8p – one of its best one-day gains since listing in February.

Oil prices tumbled as Opec maintained its production target, and that had a knock-on effect for any company involved in the industry. Oil and gas companies cleaved 27.3 points off the FTSE 100, which closed down just 0.8 points at 6722.62.

Conversely, companies that gobble up plenty of petrol and diesel were buoyed by the fall in prices – cruise operator Carnival charged up 123p to 2820p, while Tui Travel added 11.4p to 444.7p.

Vodafone rose 6.6p to 233.95p as UBS added the telecoms giant to its list of “key calls” – pun not intended. Polo Tang at the bank thinks crucial markets such as Germany and Spain could soon start to improve, while he is also expecting sell-offs of non-essential businesses in places such as Hungary and Romania.

Water supplier Pennon jumped 47.5p to 894.5p after surprising shareholders with a 6.3 per cent dividend rise. The company also revealed a 3.8 per cent rise in first-half revenue to £692.3m, although pre-tax profit dipped 9.8 per cent to £100m.

The urban regeneration and housing specialist Gleeson climbed 38p to 380p as it said it would beat market expectations for the year thanks to a record increase in completions.

New British Palm Oil wobbled, losing 17.5p to 670p as investors fretted over the £1.1bn sale of the business to Sime Darby. The Malaysian conglomerate has extended the deal’s offer period to give the European Commission more time to examine the takeover.

Hochschild Mining fell 3.95p to 93.8p as it said it was cutting production targets at two Peruvian mines in a bid to save cash amid weaker silver prices.