FTSE breaks through 7,000 on weaker pound amid UK manufacturing concerns

The FTSE 100 took advantage of weakness in the pound on weak UK manufacturing data which suggests the sector is at risk of falling into recession.

At close, the blue-chip index traded 0.7% higher at 7,020.

In contrast, the latest US jobs data for January smashed expectations yet the partial government shutdown led to a slight uptick in unemployment.

Investors may also be cautious about the progress on resolving the US-China trade war as the truce may be extended before a final deal can be made.

The Dow Jones led Wall Street higher with a 0.6% rise to 25,142 at around 4:45pm UK time.

Brent crude oil rallied 1.9% to $62 per barrel.

LARGE AND MID CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Broadband supplier TalkTalk slumped 4.7% to 106.3p after it warned that its annual earnings would fall short of market expectations due to investment spending and accounting changes.

Mining and trading house Glencore dipped 1% to 306.2p as it reported mostly higher annual production across the board as cobalt production surged, though oil production slipped.

Paddy Power Betfair said it had bought a 51% stake in Georgian online gambling company Adjarabet for £101m and had an option to acquire the rest of the company after three years. Its shares advanced 1.8% to £63.80.

Power utility SSE said it had agreed sell a 49.9% stake in its Stronelairg and Dunmaglass wind farms in Scotland to Greencoat UK Wind and a partner for £635m. SSE advanced 0.6% and Greencoat fell 3.3%.

Events and publishing company Informa announced it had sold its life sciences media brands portfolio to US-based MJH Associates for around $100m. Its shares rose 0.9% to 682.8p.

SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Advertising firm M&C Saatchi gained 14% to 325p on news it had sold its remaining 24.9% stake in UK media agency Walker Media, trading as Blue 449, to Publicis Groupe for £25m.

Real Good Food rose 7.5% to 6.4p on announcing that it had sold loss-making frozen desserts producer Chantilly Patisserie to its management team for £0.2m.

Storage company Lok'nStore sold its document storage business Saracen Datastore to Iron Mountain for £7.6m. Its shares added 2.1% to 411p.