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

Writer, Stock Market Wire
Friday, February 1, 2019 - 16:51

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.