FTSE 100 edges higher with weaker pound, Asian stocks rise while Sensex rallies over 200 points

Travel stocks gain as UK plans to scrap quarantine for fully-vaccinated arrivals

Stuti Mishra
Monday 12 July 2021 07:00 BST
FTSE 100 rises on Friday while ends the week lower
FTSE 100 rises on Friday while ends the week lower (AFP/Getty)

London’s FTSE 100 edged higher on Friday, helped by a weaker pound as export-focused companies rose, while slower than expected growth in UK’s GDP also capped gains.

The blue-chip index rose 5 per cent on the last trading session of the week, however, it could not manage to close the week on a higher note with worries of rising Covid-19 cases surrounding the last few trading sessions. Glencore, Rio Tinto, Uniliver and GlaxoSmithKline were among the top-performing stocks on the index.

Travel stocks gained 0.9 per cent after three straight sessions of decline, as the UK plans to scrap quarantine for fully-vaccinated arrivals in the coming weeks. The domestically focussed mid-cap FTSE 250 index was up 0.4 per cent.

Britain’s post-lockdown economic rebound slowed sharply in May despite the relaxation of social-distancing rules. The country’s gross domestic product expanded by a monthly 0.8 per cent, much faster than its typical pre-pandemic pace but down from April’s 2 per cent surge, missing estimates. A Reuters poll of economists had predicted a month-on-month growth of 1.5 per cent in gross domestic product.

“With the government’s overwhelming desire to get back to normal and completely relax all restrictions in the face of rapidly accelerating virus cases, there is a growing risk that the economy will continue to print lower growth numbers in the months ahead,” Charles Hepworth, investment director at GAM Investments, was quoted by Reuters as saying.

Meanwhile, US stocks touched a record high after a day’s dip, as investors put their trust back in big tech. The S&P 500 advanced 0.3 per cent, to an all-time high of 4,358. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 104 points to 34,682. The technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite closed flat at 14,665 despite hitting a fresh intraday record shortly after the open.

On Monday, Asia-Pacific stocks also opened higher with Japan and China leading gains, helped by record highs on Wall Street and policy easing in China. Japan’s Nikkei continued trading on a higher level through the first half of the session with gains of over 2 per cent, while Shanghai Composite opened higher and edged further to trade almost a per cent higher by mid-day.

Indian indices opened higher helped by positive global cues, as Sensex rallies over 200 points and Nifty remained above 15,750.

Additional reporting by Reuters

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