City traders already had their feet up on Friday before the long weekend as volumes settled down after a roller-coaster week. The FTSE 100 ended the week on a high, up 55.91 points at 6,247.94.
But it was Thursday’s surge after upbeat American GDP data that helped the Footsie claw back most of the losses incurred on “Black Monday”, when European markets suffered their worst day since 2011.
Chris Beauchamp, senior market analyst at IG Index, said: “On a day of little news, there is scant reason to chase stocks higher, but that does not mean the bounce has come to an end.” He sees stocks continuing to rally in September, historically a bumper month for equities.
Brent crude built on the recovery, nearing $50 a barrel. That boosted Shell, 47p higher at 1,706.5p; BP, up 9.3p to 360.5p; and BG, 32.8p better at 994.6p.
But oil’s rise was a drag for airlines on the prospect of more expensive fuel. The Thomson and First Choice operator Tui was the biggest faller, down 33p at 1,156p. British Airways owner IAG fell 7p to 539p, while EasyJet dropped 22p to 1,683p.
Inmarsat’s third satellite launch fuelled a 45.5p rise to 981p at the top of the Footsie. The new satellite is the third in its £1bn programme to offer customers significantly faster internet access in parts of the world without a fixed line.
Equipment rental firm Lavendon bucked the industry trend as its shares jumped 10p to 176p on strong half-year results.
Innovation Group, the software firm founded by the controversial Rob Terry, soared 3.5p to 38.75p as it confirmed talks with the US buyout firm Carlyle Group
Bullish comments from Panmure Gordon encouraged traders to gobble up shares in the online takeaway specialist Just Eat, 9.3p richer at 394.1p.
A supply deal with the electric car maker Tesla boosted shares in two AIM-listed lithium miners. Rare Earth Minerals revved up 0.16p, or 18 per cent, to 1.06p, and Bacanora Minerals raced 17p, or 24 per cent, higher to 87p. The companies said the lithium hydroxide that will be mined from their project in Mexico will be used to power the ion batteries made by Elon Musk’s group.Reuse content