FTSE 100 Achieves New Four-Month High


The FTSE 100 concluded a good week in strong fashion as the optimism over the trade dispute between China and the United States of America and the potential of new stimulus measures for Eurozone banks boosted the markets.

The blue-chip index of the United Kingdom rose to a new four-month high and closed 0.6 percent up for the day at 7,237 points.

European markets also improved as Benoit Coeure, a member of the European Central Bank, floated the potential of a new round of multi-year cheap loans to Eurozone banks.

However, the FTSE 100 was held back in comparison to European markets because of the pound’s rally off the back of better-than-expected retail sales.

The sterling gained 0.34 percent against the US dollar, rising to $1.2846, therefore restricting the ground that was made by the largely internationally-exposed FTSE 100.

Melrose Industries, the turnaround specialist, was considered as the leader of the biggest risers, rising up by 5.6 percent after a number of positive analyst notes.

Coca-Cola HBC, the soft drinks bottler, increased by 4 percent, following its report of an increase in appetite for sparkling drinks in its results last Thursday. It is followed by Evraz,  Tesco steel and mining firm, and the Royal Bank of Scotland, which doubled its profits and boosted its dividend with its results this morning.

On the other hand, the fallers were led by Standard Life Aberdeen, which plunged by 6 percent after a share offering was priced at a discount. It was followed by Kingfisher, the home improvement retailer, and Next.

Friday’s trading concluded a strong week for the FTSE 100.

At the start of the week, the index rallied as the traders were optimistic over the most recent round of trade discussions between China and the US as a delegation of the US made preparations to fly to Beijing.

However, it lost some of that momentum as the week moved on as the consumer and industrial stocks weighed the FTSE down but positive murmurings from China kept it in positive territory.

Some reports also emerged that Donald Trump. the President of the United States of America, was willing to push back his deadline for increased tariffs on imports from China by 60 days.

Valentine’s Day offered renewed vigour into the index, as pharmaceutical firms – led by the results of AstraZeneca- drove it upwards.

Despite the trade discussion ending today with no official statement from either side, global markets, including the FTSE 100 strongly ended the week with investors still buoyed by the optimism over a resolution to the dispute.