- FTSE 100 closes up 48.84 points at 6,865.21
- Non-farm payrolls provide reassurance
- ECB maintains policy
techMARK 2,852.06 +0.69%
FTSE 100 6,865.21 +0.72%
FTSE 250 16,028.96 +0.83%
Stocks climbed to a positive finish after making fairly steady gains throughout what was a session packed full with economic data, the highlight of which was US non-farm payrolls figures and the European Central Bank's (ECB) meeting.
The FTSE 100 closed up 48.84 points at 6,865.21.
Chris Beauchamp, Market Analyst at IG, said: "The non-farms number smashed expectations, allaying all concerns about the US economy in the second quarter, while a drop back in the unemployment rate was a further positive sign.
"The ECB did its bit too, reassuring on interest rates and offering enough hints about quantitative easing to keep the market happy."
Non-farm payrolls jump 288k as jobless rate drops to 6.1%
The US economy added an impressive 288,000 jobs in June, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, while the unemployment rate dropped to its lowest mark in over five and a half years.
The consensus estimate was for non-farm payrolls to rise by just 215,000, though analysts had widely expected figures to beat forecasts after a much higher-than-expected reading of private-sector payrolls by ADP Research Institute.
Meanwhile, initial weekly US jobless claims ticked up last week, but continued to show a broad improvement in the labour market.
Numbers of Americans filing for unemployment benefits rose 2,000 to 315,000 in the week ended June 28th, according to the Department of Labor.
The consensus estimate was for a reading of 313,000, while the previous week was revised up by 1,000 to 313,000.
ECB decides to maintain policy
The ECB decided to keep interest rates at a record low of 0.15% after making a cut last month to address weak inflation and a stagnant recovery.
The monetary authority also maintained the deposit rate at -0.10% after taking it into negative territory for the first time in the history of any major central bank at its last meeting.
UK service sector expands in June
Back on this side of the Channel, the UK services industry continued to expand last month, although growth slowed to a three-month low, reinforcing expectations of an interest rate hike this year.
The services purchasing managers' index (PMI) from Markit and Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply (CIPS) showed a reading of 57.7 in June, down from May's 58.6 and below expectations of 58.3, but still above the 50 threshold signalling growth.
Berenberg Bank Chief UK Economist Rob Wood said the figures should result in a rate hike in November, which he described as "a key risk to the rosy outlook".
He added: "Rate hikes rising up the agenda has the potential to cause some minor wobbles in sentiment indicators over the next few months, but we do not expect a very small interest rate hike to derail what is looking like an increasingly solid recovery."
Meanwhile, soaring house prices pose the biggest risk to the UK economic recovery, the Bank of England (BoE) has said.
A sustained rise in prices outstripping people's incomes risks fuelling households' debt and sparking another crash, the BoE's Deputy Governor Jon Cunliffe told the BBC.
Sports Direct leads risers
Sports apparel retailer Sports Direct was also rising strongly after shareholders yesterday narrowly voted through a bonus scheme that will see founder Mike Ashley receive £200m in shares.
Antofagasta was boosted by reports that the group is to cut jobs and costs as it combines its El Tesoro and Esperanza mines under a new company. A director from the board said in an interview with Bloomberg yesterday that the mines, located in the Centinela region of Chile, will come under one management from next week.
Fresnillo and Anglo American were also putting in decent gains this afternoon.
Weir Group was lifted by RBC Capital, which reiterated its 'buy' rating on the engineering giant.
Meanwhile, the oil sector tracked prices lower, with Shell and BP sat at the bottom of the pile, BG Group was hit by lower gas futures.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Sports Direct International (SPD) 769.00p +5.63%
Antofagasta (ANTO) 820.00p +4.93%
Imperial Tobacco Group (IMT) 2,698.00p +3.81%
Fresnillo (FRES) 933.50p +3.21%
Weir Group (WEIR) 2,708.00p +2.93%
Anglo American (AAL) 1,525.00p +2.69%
ITV (ITV) 183.70p +2.63%
Ashtead Group (AHT) 934.50p +2.19%
Sainsbury (J) (SBRY) 321.00p +2.13%
CRH (CRH) 1,555.00p +2.10%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Coca-Cola HBC AG (CDI) (CCH) 1,336.00p -1.26%
Royal Dutch Shell 'A' (RDSA) 2,404.00p -1.07%
Land Securities Group (LAND) 1,049.00p -0.85%
BP (BP.) 516.90p -0.56%
Royal Dutch Shell 'B' (RDSB) 2,546.50p -0.51%
BT Group (BT.A) 388.90p -0.49%
Royal Mail (RMG) 477.00p -0.44%
National Grid (NG.) 853.50p -0.41%
Capita (CPI) 1,163.00p -0.34%
Tullow Oil (TLW) 847.00p -0.29%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Ocado Group (OCDO) 440.00p +8.96%
Man Group (EMG) 113.80p +6.06%
Halfords Group (HFD) 500.00p +5.00%
Ferrexpo (FXPO) 138.60p +4.29%
Drax Group (DRX) 688.00p +4.24%
Just Retirement Group (JRG) 154.40p +4.11%
Poundland Group (PLND) 341.90p +4.02%
Berendsen (BRSN) 1,029.00p +3.94%
Fidessa Group (FDSA) 2,243.00p +3.84%
Pace (PIC) 367.70p +3.81%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Balfour Beatty (BBY) 222.50p -4.51%
EnQuest (ENQ) 135.80p -4.10%
Greene King (GNK) 816.50p -3.60%
Hays (HAS) 146.70p -2.91%
Pets at Home Group (PETS) 199.80p -2.06%
Wetherspoon (J.D.) (JDW) 795.50p -1.79%
Fisher (James) & Sons (FSJ) 1,370.00p -1.79%
Enterprise Inns (ETI) 127.80p -1.69%
Marston's (MARS) 144.60p -1.63%
Spirent Communications (SPT) 95.80p -1.54%