Footsie fights back after difficult week
Market report Perry Gourley
Top-flight stocks were boosted by rising oil prices, but the recovery could not make up for a grim week on the markets.
The FTSE 100 was up 74 points, or 1.1 per cent, at 6,778.11, regaining only some of what it lost on Thursday when £56 billion was wiped amid fears that the arrest of a senior Huawei official in Canada could reignite tension between the US and China.
David Madden, market analyst at CMC Markets, said: “Volatility is high and investors are twitchy. It has been a dreadful week for European markets, and today’s positive move can’t mask the previous losses.”
The FTSE 100 was also given a boost by oil prices after a closely watched Opec meeting in Vienna concluded with a plan to cut production by 1.2 million barrels a day. Fiona Cincotta, senior market analyst at City Index, said this number was “much closer to what oil investors had hoped for”.
Shares in AJ Bell rocketed on their first day of trading as the investment firm debuted on the stock exchange. The group had initially set a price of 160p per share, but the stock opened at 162p and gained 58p to close at 220p.
Berkeley shares were in demand after the group upgraded its profit forecast, rising 35p to 3,356p. The upgrade came after the group had repeatedly warned of a profits fall next year, having previously forecast a drop of around 30 per cent. There was more bad news for the high street as Primark owner ABF warned that trading at the budget retail chain in the run-up to Christmas has been “challenging”. ABF shares closed 108p down at 2,242p.