Foot­sie fights back after dif­fi­cult week

Mar­ket re­port Perry Gourley

The Scotsman - - Markets -

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.

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