London close: FTSE 100 sets fresh record high
(ShareCast News) - London stocks lumbered through a dull Friday with blue chips again benefiting from a period of sterling weakness during the session.
Sterling was down firmly on the euro, and had spent much of the day down on the dollar.
Nevertheless, the FTSE 100 closed up 0.66% or 48.76 points to 7,435.39, pushing past its previous record close of 7,429.81 set back in March. The FTSE 250 on the other hand ended down 0.17% to 19,762.97.
Over in the US, the Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq were all tending lower, while in Europe the Euro Stoxx 50, Dax and Cac 40 were up mildly at the time of writing.
"The UK General Election continues to be a boost to the FTSE 100, which has been tip-toeing higher for the past two weeks," said Jasper Lawler at London Capital Group.
"The UK may also be benefiting from renewed investor confidence in Europe," said the senior market analyst.
"Whether we reach a record high next week could depend on the release of party manifestos."
Chris Beauchamp, chief market analyst at IG, said the week just been could not be described as the most exciting.
"Weakness in today's US CPI figures is probably accounting for a degree of nervousness on Wall St, since it calls into question the strength of the Fed's hiking path," said Beauchamp.
"With US earnings season out of the way, it looks like investors are fast running out of reasons to buy stocks."
Taking a closer look at blue chips, it was pharmas, gold-sensitive miners, consumer goods, tobacco and insurers putting in positive performances.
General miners, banks and utilities were broadly losing ground.
AstraZeneca firmed as its durvalumab immuno-oncology drug became the first such to successfully treat advanced lung cancer patients who had not had success with chemotherapy.
Others in the medicines sector did well, but Hikma Pharmaceuticals suffered another down day, leading the fallers following its asthma drug delay news from Thursday.
Non-standard lender Provident Financial was also in the red despite announcing its Vanquis Bank and Moneybarn operations had made a good start to the year.
Broker notes helped to provide some further action. Standard Life was boosted by an upgrade to 'outperform' from 'sector performance' by RBC Capital Markets.
Lloyds Banking Group was under the cosh following a report that it may have to pay £80m to compensate customers in a fresh mis-selling scandal.
FTSE 100 (UKX) 7,435.39 0.66%
FTSE 250 (MCX) 19,762.97 -0.17%
techMARK (TASX) 3,594.31 1.49%
FTSE 100 - Risers
AstraZeneca (AZN) 5,176.00p 9.03%
BT Group (BT.A) 305.95p 2.72%
Vodafone Group (VOD) 211.05p 2.33%
GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) 1,665.00p 2.30%
Standard Life (SL.) 392.60p 1.95%
Royal Mail (RMG) 430.50p 1.77%
ITV (ITV) 191.80p 1.48%
Shire Plc (SHP) 4,750.50p 1.45%
Rentokil Initial (RTO) 259.20p 1.45%
St James's Place (STJ) 1,182.00p 1.37%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Provident Financial (PFG) 3,192.00p -2.24%
Persimmon (PSN) 2,360.00p -1.87%
Hikma Pharmaceuticals (HIK) 1,762.00p -1.84%
Glencore (GLEN) 285.00p -1.74%
GKN (GKN) 345.70p -1.68%
Pearson (PSON) 698.00p -1.55%
Ashtead Group (AHT) 1,597.00p -1.48%
Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY) 68.66p -1.44%
Schroders (SDR) 3,224.00p -1.29%
Taylor Wimpey (TW.) 196.10p -1.26%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Just Eat (JE.) 585.50p 4.46%
Metro Bank (MTRO) 3,625.00p 4.20%
Allied Minds (ALM) 151.00p 3.71%
Auto Trader Group (AUTO) 420.00p 2.92%
Ibstock (IBST) 237.70p 2.90%
Aberdeen Asset Management (ADN) 298.90p 2.36%
Dechra Pharmaceuticals (DPH) 1,790.00p 2.34%
TalkTalk Telecom Group (TALK) 167.60p 2.26%
Renishaw (RSW) 3,605.00p 2.21%
Inmarsat (ISAT) 770.00p 1.99%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Petrofac Ltd. (PFC) 700.00p -14.06%
Evraz (EVR) 187.10p -6.92%
Tullow Oil (TLW) 195.70p -4.30%
Ferrexpo (FXPO) 158.60p -3.76%
Amec Foster Wheeler (AMFW) 539.00p -3.58%
Paragon Group Of Companies (PAG) 469.50p -2.90%
Wood Group (John) (WG.) 756.00p -2.89%
Vedanta Resources (VED) 612.50p -2.78%
Entertainment One Limited (ETO) 236.90p -2.71%
Softcat (SCT) 436.50p -2.70%