Stocks saw modest gains in London on Friday, with post-Brexit hopes of high-level trade deals and the economy falling after data showed a sixth consecutive increase in retail sales.
The FTSE 100 index
rose 0.4% to 6,360.79 in a troubled week that gained 0.7%. The pound
was unchanged at $ 1.3270.
The high-level post-Brexit talks continued on Friday despite being relocated to a virtual environment after a member of the European Union negotiating team tested positive for COVID-19. The UK left the EU on January 31st, but both sides must reach an agreement on their future trade relations before the transition period ends on December 31st.
“EU leaders have reportedly been informed today that an agreement is very tight, although disparities persist in key sticking points related to fisheries, governance and a level playing field,” said Raffi Boyadjian, Senior Investment Analyst at XM, in a message to clients.
“The next few days will be crucial as it will be extremely difficult to extend negotiations beyond the end of next week if a trade deal is to be ratified by all parliaments by December 31,” the analyst said.
UK retail volume rose 1.2% in October compared to the previous month, 6.7% higher than before the February pandemic, according to the Office of National Statistics.
Data showed The government raised £ 22.3 billion (US $ 29.6 billion) in October, up £ 10.8 billion from a year ago. This is both the highest borrowing this month and the sixth highest borrowing in a month since monthly records began in 1993.
Some cyclical stocks, which should perform better as the economies recover, rebounded on Friday with stocks in the TUI travel group
plus 3.7%, airline easyJet
plus 2% and cruise company Carnival
plus 1.7%. Cinema chain Cineworld
was up 3.6%,
News of stronger retail sales bolstered this sector with shares in Marks and Spencer
Profit of 2% and JD Sports Fashion
More than 2% increase, along with a 1% increase for luxury goods company Burberry
The FTSE 100 also supported stronger commodity-related stocks with the mining names Rio Tinto
and Anglo American
each by 1% and oil company Royal Dutch Shell
by the same amount.
Sage Group shares
fell 11% Mixed results from the multinational enterprise software group. “Declining organic operating profit margins have dwarfed recent results and the forecast is that margins will continue to decline as more is invested in the business,” said Russ Mold, investment director of AJ Bell, in a statement to clients .