London’s top stocks claw back gains after week of turbulence
ondon’s FTSE 100 has clawed back gains after a turbulent week which saw it drop to a two-month low.
Ongoing jitters over US debt somewhat receded on Friday with the government edging closer to a deal before the bank holiday weekend.
Fears that the world’s largest economy’s could default on its debt spooked global investors as negotiations over its debt ceiling failed to reach a conclusion.
London’s top shares suffered earlier in the week, with the FTSE 100 dropping to the lowest level since late March.
But after a mixed session, the index managed to rebound and closed firmly in the green on Friday.
It closed 56.33 points higher, or 0.74%, at 7,627.2.
With UK and several European countries also enjoying a prolonged weekend, investors squared their positions on Friday, leading to a short squeeze and positive close on the day
Axel Rudolph, senior market analyst at online trading platform IG, said: “With US Democrats and Republicans squabbling over the last 70 billion US dollars, investors increasingly hope for a signed debt ceiling agreement before June 1.
“The question is whether it’ll be made in time as Congress breaks up for a holiday weekend?
“With UK and several European countries also enjoying a prolonged weekend, investors squared their positions on Friday, leading to a short squeeze and positive close on the day.”
Top stocks elsewhere in Europe ended the week on the front foot. The German Dax closed 1.2% higher, and the French Cac was up 1.24%.
US investors appeared buoyed by the prospect of debt ceiling talks reaching a conclusion, with the S&P 500 jumping 1% and Dow Jones up 0.9% in early trading.
The pound lifted by 0.1% to 1.234 US dollars, and was up 0.3% to 1.152 euros.
In company news, troubled online estate agency Purplebricks saw its share price surge after announcing it had received an indicative takeover proposal from its own shareholder.
The new offer from Lecram Holdings follows the firm last week agreeing to a sale for a nominal £1 to online rival Strike. It said it did not think Lecram’s offer was better than Strike’s.
Its share price was nearly 40% higher at the close.
Digital retailer Asos told investors it has raised £75 million in a fresh fundraise, after revealing losses of more than £290 million earlier this month.
The firm said the cash will be used to support its turnaround plan, which will include shaking up its approach to buying and merchandising, and giving it more financial headroom.
It replaces its existing £350 million facility which was due to expire next year.
Nevertheless, shares in Asos dipped by nearly 3% on Friday.
The biggest risers on the FTSE 100 were Rio Tinto, up 167p to 4,925p, M&G, up 6.3p to 198.35p, Antofagasta, up 39.5p to 1,389.5p, Anglo American, up 51.5p to 2,318.5p, and Endeavour Mining, up 44p to 2,010p.
The biggest fallers on the FTSE 100 were Land Securities, down 15.4p to 599p, Vodafone, down 1.59p to 79.47p, British Land, down 6.8p to 345.7p, Frasers Group, down 11.5p to 672p, and Taylor Wimpey, down 1.75p to 115.65p.