THE pound spiked against the US dollar as investors cheered an upward revision to UK growth in the first quarter.
Sterling was up nearly 1% against the greenback to trade at 1.320, having dropped to a seven-month low a day earlier as investors worried about Brexit negotiation delays.
A final reading from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) on Friday showed GDP grew 0.2% between January and March, topping previous estimates of 0.1%.
That was thanks to an upward revision in construction output, which mainly reflected improvements to the way the sector’s work is measured by the ONS.
The FTSE 100 ended the day up 0.28% or 21.3 points at 7,636.93 points, while the French CAC 40 and German DAX closed higher by 0.9% and 1%, respectively.
In UK stocks, continued to rise on news that the British defence giant won a £20bn contract to build a new fleet of Australian warships under a 30-year contract. BAE Systems shares were up 14.8p at 646.8p.
– formerly known as Trinity Mirror – rose 0.5p to 76.5p as the Daily Mirror publisher said in a trading update for the 26 weeks to July 1 that total group revenue is expected to grow by 11%.
That rise reflects the acquisition of Northern & Shell, the company behind the Daily Express and Daily Star.
slumped 1.95p to 98.95p after reporting that first-half sales slumped 10.6% and warning that profits would be knocked when it adopts healthcare contracts from Carillion.
Serco’s underlying trading profit will be between £35m and £40m, the company said, compared with £34m in the previous year.
surged 5.38p to 8.265p after the struggling budget airline outlined plans to secure emergency funding of up to US$12m (£9.1m), having earlier this week warned that it was at risk of going bust.
On Friday, FastJet said it will commence a share sale to raise US$7m (£5.4m), while its biggest shareholder, Solenta Aviation, will pump US$3m (£2.3m) into the group.
The biggest risers on the FTSE 100 were up 49.5p at
up 1,323.5p, 58.8p at 1,694.8p, up 28.6p at up 988.2p, and
14.8p at 646.8p.
The biggest fallers on the FTSE 100 were down 68p at 4,347p, down
47p at 3,830p, down 36p at 3,959p, and
down 1.4p to 157.65p.