- FTSE 100 at highest since November 29th
- GDP revised higher in UK and US
- Vedanta gains ahead of FTSE reshuffle
- BAE tumbles after missing out on UAE contract
techMARK 2,737.30 +0.08%
FTSE 100 6,606.58 +0.33%
FTSE 250 15,636.59 +0.30%
UK stocks pushed higher on Friday, sending the FTSE 100 to its highest level in three weeks, as economic growth was revised higher in the UK and US.
Markets were building on gains made yesterday as investors celebrated the Federal Reserve's move to end months of uncertainty by tapering its stimulus programme.
The FTSE 100 finished 21.88 points higher at 6,606.58, extending its weekly rise to 2.6%. It has not closed above the 6,600 level since November 29th.
"The FTSE looks set to close out the week on a positive note after the previous six weekly falls. With just over a week of trading left in 2013 there is still a chance that the index will be able to maintain the December rally that it has enjoyed every year for the last decade," said Alastair McCaig, Market Analyst at IG.
"If that does transpire, however, it will no doubt feel like a hollow victory, as the index has been sitting in the red for so long," he said.
Data revisions boost markets
The year-on-year expansion of UK gross domestic product in the third quarter was revised up to 1.9%, from an earlier estimate of 1.5% after upwards changes to historic figures.
Meanwhile, US GDP expanded by 4.1% in the three months to September, its fastest pace in two years and higher than the previous figure showing 3.6% growth.
Not all data was positive today though as Britain's deficit with the rest of the world widened to £20.7bn from £6.2bn in the third quarter, equivalent to 5.1% of GDP - its biggest share of GDP since 1989.
Data also released this morning showed that UK consumer confidence deteriorated this month. The GfK Consumer Confidence Index fell from -12 to -13 in December, surprising analysts who had expected a small up-tick to -11.
Markets were higher across Europe despite the news that Standard & Poor's has downgraded its long-term debt rating for the European Union from 'AAA' to 'AA+'. Meanwhile, Asian markets finished mixed overnight amid continuing volatility in China's money-market rates, which rose for a third straight day.
Vedanta gains ahead of FTSE 100 exit
Vedanta Resources was a high riser this afternoon as it continues to recover after its poor performance over the last month. The stock is expected to be ejected from the FTSE 100 next week in the index's latest quarterly reshuffle and will be replaced by Royal Mail.
Other miners including Anglo American and Randgold Resources, however, finished in the red.
BAE Systems was a heavy faller after the United Arab Emirates withdrew its interest in buying 60 Eurofighter Typhoon jet fighters, a major blow for the defence group which had been in talks regarding the £6bn contract for over a year.
Cruise operator Carnival Corp. extended gains after beating forecasts with its full-year results yesterday. Credit Suisse gave the stock a boost today by upgrading its rating to 'outperform' from 'neutral'.
William Hill declined after a strong surge yesterday as it confirmed that it plans to maintain its online betting base in Gibraltar despite new tax laws that are expected to cost the firm tens of millions of pounds.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Vedanta Resources (VED) 848.50p +5.14%
Carnival (CCL) 2,389.00p +3.33%
Coca-Cola HBC AG (CDI) (CCH) 1,728.00p +2.92%
Tesco (TSCO) 332.20p +2.58%
Kingfisher (KGF) 385.00p +2.07%
Travis Perkins (TPK) 1,805.00p +1.86%
Legal & General Group (LGEN) 218.00p +1.77%
Aggreko (AGK) 1,665.00p +1.71%
Schroders (SDR) 2,503.00p +1.67%
Smiths Group (SMIN) 1,452.00p +1.54%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
BAE Systems (BA.) 422.10p -4.50%
Severn Trent (SVT) 1,661.00p -1.77%
Anglo American (AAL) 1,261.00p -1.71%
William Hill (WMH) 384.50p -1.71%
Sports Direct International (SPD) 718.00p -1.31%
SABMiller (SAB) 2,999.00p -1.30%
SSE (SSE) 1,355.00p -1.24%
Randgold Resources Ltd. (RRS) 3,765.00p -1.21%
easyJet (EZJ) 1,506.00p -0.92%
BG Group (BG.) 1,247.50p -0.80%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Genus (GNS) 1,274.00p +4.51%
COLT Group SA (COLT) 130.50p +4.40%
Domino Printing Sciences (DNO) 766.50p +4.14%
Catlin Group Ltd. (CGL) 574.00p +3.99%
Lancashire Holdings Limited (LRE) 800.50p +3.76%
Beazley (BEZ) 269.20p +3.54%
Renishaw (RSW) 1,871.00p +3.54%
Balfour Beatty (BBY) 289.80p +3.50%
Hiscox Ltd (HSX) 690.00p +3.37%
Bank of Georgia Holdings (BGEO) 2,375.00p +3.35%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Menzies(John) (MNZS) 715.00p -9.03%
Dialight (DIA) 813.00p -6.07%
Essar Energy (ESSR) 68.15p -5.22%
Chemring Group (CHG) 205.00p -4.65%
Greggs (GRG) 415.00p -4.49%
Polymetal International (POLY) 493.10p -4.44%
Perform Group (PER) 217.80p -3.37%
Hochschild Mining (HOC) 123.20p -3.37%
Domino's Pizza Group (DOM) 482.90p -3.09%
Petra Diamonds Ltd.(DI) (PDL) 113.80p -3.07%