Finance and commodity firms help FTSE to gains after late rally

The FTSE 100 ended the day 34.91 points, or 0.47%, higher at 7,485.28 points.

Pa City Staff
Friday 07 January 2022 17:18
A view of the London Stock Exchange sign in the City of London, as the FTSE 100 Index increased on Friday (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)
A view of the London Stock Exchange sign in the City of London, as the FTSE 100 Index increased on Friday (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

A strong afternoon session helped the FTSE climb into the green to end a broadly positive first week of trading in 2022.

London’s top index had been in negative territory until around 2pm but pushed on later in the day as positivity among traders particularly buoyed banking and commodity stocks.

The FTSE 100 ended the day 34.91 points, or 0.47%, higher at 7,485.28 points.

Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK, said: “It’s been a mixed finish to an otherwise positive week for European equity markets with the FTSE 100 outperforming today, due to outperformance from financials as well as basic resources.

“It came after the latest US payrolls report showed that wages pressure in the US economy is building, while the unemployment rate fell to pre-pandemic levels of 3.9%.

“Higher yields are once again favouring the banks with Barclays, Standard Chartered, and Lloyds Banking Group outperforming, while the likes of Antofagasta, BHP and Rio Tinto are being buoyed by firmer aluminium and copper prices.”

Elsewhere in Europe, the other main indexes sank on the back of Wall Street concerns that interest rates could soon rise.

The German Dax decreased by 0.65% and the French Cac fell by 0.42%.

In New York, the Dow Jones slipped on the opening bell despite falling unemployment as analysts fretted that the jobs report could spur the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates or unwind its asset-purchase programme.

Meanwhile, sterling had another a cautious showing as pandemic cases remain high in the UK.

The pound moved 0.01% lower versus the US dollar at 1.357, and increased 0.03% against the euro at 1.196.

In company news, Aston Martin made gains after the luxury car maker said it has finally started shipping its luxury Valkyrie hypercar to customers following delays.

Bosses added that the company’s DBX SUV, on which they have pinned a long-awaited recovery, is selling well, with more than 3,000 units shifted last year.

Shares in the firm rose by 90.5p to 1,461p, taking it to the top of the FTSE 250.

Elsewhere, advertising agency M&C Saatchi swung lower following two days of rises driven by takeover talk.

Shares in the business dropped by 26p to 184p on Friday after the Soho-based firm said that a proposal from shareholder and director Vin Murria’s investment vehicle did “not reflect the value of the business”.

Drinks manufacturer C&C closed lower after it warned that new pandemic restrictions in December “significantly impacted” its trade across pubs and restaurants.

The Magners cider and Tennents lager maker finished 6.4p lower at 230.2p.

The price of oil took a step back following strong rises earlier in the week, which had been spurred by speculation that unrest in Kazakhstan could cause supply disruption.

Brent crude decreased by 0.23% to 81.8 dollars per barrel when the London markets closed.

The biggest risers on the FTSE 100 were Anglo American, up 93p to 3,257p, BHP, up 60.5p to 2,305.5p, Prudential, up 34.5p to 1,320p, Rio Tinto, up 134p to 5,212p, and Legal & General, up 7.8p to 336.6p.

The biggest fallers on the FTSE 100 were Diageo, down 104p to 3,874.5p, United Utilities, down 14p to 605.8p, Spirax-Sarco, down 325p to 15,210p, Aveva, down 65p to 3,069p, and Dechra Pharmaceuticals, down 94p to 4,470p.

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