United Kingdom

Weaker pound, miners lift FTSE 100, but still logs weekly loss

2 minute read

People walk through the lobby of the London Stock Exchange in London, Britain August 25, 2015. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett/File photo

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  • JD Sports rises after acquiring Cosmos Sport
  • UK retail sales, consumer confidence down
  • SIG soars after upbeat annual profit forecast
  • FTSE 100 up 0.2%, FTSE 250 adds 0.1%

Oct 22 (Reuters) - London's FTSE 100 rose on Friday, led by heavyweight mining and consumer staple stocks, as surveys showed the British economy unexpectedly regained momentum in October despite surging costs and worsening supply shortages.

The export-heavy FTSE 100 (.FTSE) ended 0.2% higher, with base metal miners (.FTNMX551020) and and precious metal miners (.FTNMX551030) up 0.2% and 2.4%, respectively.

Large dollar earning companies, spirits maker Diageo (DGE.L) and Dove soap maker Unilever (ULVR.L), were among top performers in the index, as the pound dipped following data that showed British retail sales unexpectedly fell for a fifth month in a row in September. read more

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Investors also digested a recent statement by the Bank of England's new chief economist Huw Pill that inflation could top 5% and the question of whether to raise interest rates was a "live" one at early November meeting. read more

"While many still argue that the price pressures are temporary, their expected duration and intensity are rising which is forcing policymakers to consider actions they'd clearly rather avoid," said Craig Erlam, senior market analyst, UK & EMEA, OANDA.

"As the PMIs have shown, supply-side issues are taking their toll on activity, which won't be helped by any surges in COVID cases as the northern hemisphere heads into the winter."

Slowing recovery, supply chain worries and rate hike fears have capped the gains on the FTSE 100 recently, with the blue-chip index slipping 0.4% this week compared with the 0.6% rise among its European peers (.STOXX).

The domestically focussed mid-cap index (.FTMC) advanced 0.1%.

JD Sports Fashion Plc (JD.L) added 1.9% as UBS also raised its price target on the stock of Britain's largest sportswear retailer after it bought Cosmos Sport S.A.

Building materials supplier SIG (SHI.L) jumped 5.6% after it forecast full year underlying operating profit to be ahead of market estimates.

London Stock Exchange Group PLC (LSEG.L) fell 6% after the financial markets infrastructure provider warned supply chain shortages could affect the timing of its technology spending. read more

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Reporting by Bansari Mayur Kamdar; Editing by Anil D'Silva and Krishna Chandra Eluri, Editing by William Maclean

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