- FTSE 100 closes up 13.95 at 6,819.75
- UK consumer confidence up
- House prices inch higher
techMARK 2,851.08 +0.17%
FTSE 100 6,819.75 +0.20%
FTSE 250 15,885.72 -0.16%
The biggest London-listed stocks ended the week on an upbeat note after data-heavy session around for the UK, the Eurozone and the US.
The FTSE 100 closed 13.95 points at 6,819.75.
Data out in the UK showed that while British consumer confidence rose this month, rises are starting to flatten out and people are uncertain about their prospects.
The overall score in the GfK UK Consumer Confidence Index increased by three points to a positive reading of one in August from -2 in July and -13 a year ago. GfK said the index was entering a period of stability after several months of almost constant increase.
House prices inched just 0.1% higher in August, according to Hometrack's monthly national housing survey.
It was the second consecutive month that the gap between supply and demand narrowed, with the number of new buys down 0.9%, although this was largely due to seasonal factors.
That came as Home Secretary Theresa May said the UK terror threat level was raised from "substantial" to "severe" in the wake of ongoing conflicts in Syria and Iraq.
The new alert level, the second highest on the UK threat level scale, means Britain is "highly likely" to be subject to a terrorist organisation offence, though the home secretary stressed nothing suggested an attack was "imminent".
Meanwhile, across the Channel Eurozone consumer prices slowed to a 0.3% year-on-year rate of change in August, after a reading of 0.4% in the month before, as expected, according to figures from Eurostat.
That followed flat economic growth in the euro-area during the second quarter as activity levels in Germany came off sharply.
Speaking to Bloomberg TV earlier in the day, German finance minister Wolfgang Schaeuble insisted that the ECB can only "buy time" with its monetary policy, emphasising the need for structural economic reforms.
In the US, household purchases dropped 0.1% following a 0.4% increase in June. Analysts had predicted a 0.2% rise.
"The 0.1% rise in real disposable personal income is also a bit disappointing, but at least it comes after some rapid gains in the first half of the year," Capital Economics said.
"We expect that income growth will accelerate as employment rises further and wage growth picks-up. If so, then consumption growth should soon rise."
The University of Michigan's consumer confidence index climbed to 82.4 in August in the final report, up from a preliminary reading of 79.2 and ahead of consensus expectations of 80.1. The median inflation expectation over the next year fell 0.2 percentage points (pp) to 3.4% and by 0.1pp to 2.9% for the next five to 10 years.
British banks to review 2.5m PPI complaints, FCA says
Back in the UK, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has told banks to reassess payment protection insurance (PPI) complaints they've ignored or underpaid.
The complaints, worth a total of about £2.5m, were rejected between the end of 2012 and the beginning of 2013, mainly due to technicalities in the assessment criteria, the FCA said in a statement on Friday.
However, the UK's financial regulator has deemed the number of complaints reject to be too high and has instructed lenders to review some of the cases.
Supermarkets lead downside
Shares in Tesco fell sharply on Friday after the supermarket giant announced it expects profits to fall by as much as 27% this year and its interim dividend to be cut by 75%. New boss Dave Lewis, who due to take over from Philip Clarke, will now join the group one month earlier than planned on 1 September.
Sector peers Sainsbury and Morrison were also both under pressure.
United Utilities was in the red after it was revealed customers in England and Wales can expect their water bills to drop about 5% between 2015 and 2020 in real terms as part of Ofwat's price review. The news was announced as part of the draft determinations published by the water regulator in response to the latest business plans submitted by water companies.
Drinks giant SABMiller fell despite announcing that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Sabsa, has completed the sale of its stake in Tsogo Sun through the placing of 293,896 shares
and the sale of 7.78m shares. Tsogo Sun also repurchased the company's remaining 133.58m shares. Altogether, the disposal generated around $1bn.
Meanwhile, Astrazeneca shares jumped after it was reported that the group's treatment for colorectal cancer had advanced to the next phase in testing.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Fresnillo (FRES) 962.00p +2.29%
AstraZeneca (AZN) 4,567.00p +1.95%
RSA Insurance Group (RSA) 458.20p +1.91%
St James's Place (STJ) 717.00p +1.85%
Randgold Resources Ltd. (RRS) 5,085.00p +1.60%
Imperial Tobacco Group (IMT) 2,627.00p +1.47%
Ashtead Group (AHT) 979.50p +1.29%
Anglo American (AAL) 1,530.00p +1.16%
3i Group (III) 393.20p +1.08%
Reckitt Benckiser Group (RB.) 5,250.00p +1.06%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Tesco (TSCO) 229.95p -6.64%
Morrison (Wm) Supermarkets (MRW) 177.50p -5.03%
Sainsbury (J) (SBRY) 290.30p -4.35%
CRH (CRH) 1,397.00p -2.03%
Marks & Spencer Group (MKS) 429.90p -1.87%
United Utilities Group (UU.) 877.00p -1.35%
easyJet (EZJ) 1,335.00p -1.33%
Reed Elsevier (REL) 982.50p -1.11%
Smith & Nephew (SN.) 1,043.00p -1.04%
G4S (GFS) 265.00p -0.97%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Bwin.party Digital Entertainment (BPTY) 90.30p +12.66%
Enterprise Inns (ETI) 125.00p +4.17%
Entertainment One Limited (ETO) 354.50p +3.99%
Direct Line Insurance Group (DLG) 298.90p +3.35%
Ophir Energy (OPHR) 234.60p +3.35%
Vedanta Resources (VED) 1,011.00p +2.90%
Kazakhmys (KAZ) 296.90p +2.41%
Close Brothers Group (CBG) 1,353.00p +2.04%
COLT Group SA (COLT) 146.70p +2.02%
Brit (BRIT) 257.70p +1.86%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Exova Group (EXO) 193.00p -10.23%
Perform Group (PER) 203.80p -4.59%
Xaar (XAR) 420.00p -4.33%
RPS Group (RPS) 278.10p -3.90%
Ocado Group (OCDO) 328.30p -3.24%
Thomas Cook Group (TCG) 124.80p -3.11%
Domino Printing Sciences (DNO) 579.50p -3.01%
Cranswick (CWK) 1,327.00p -2.78%
Bodycote (BOY) 695.00p -2.73%
Telecom Plus (TEP) 1,457.00p -2.67%