FTSE Enjoys Record Closing High
The FTSE 100 closed at a record high on Friday, which means that it has made gains for five consecutive weeks. The gains came as U.S. non-farms payroll data showed growth in wages, however there were fewer jobs reported than expected.
The UK’s leading index gained 0.2 percent, up to 7,210.05 points, enjoying the first close ever above the 7,200 mark, and closing in on the all time intraday high as well.
U.S. employment has increased by less than expected over the month of December, but a rebound in wages has helped to show sustained labour market momentum, setting up the economy for stronger growth, and for further rate increases over the year.
The news was enough to boost the FTSE 100, increasing investor appetite for the index thanks to its heavy international exposure. Defence company BAE systems was the top performer of the day, gaining three percent. The company has been enjoying a lot of positive sentiment after the victory of Donald Trump in the U.S. Presidential election last year.
Meanwhile, shares in Lloyds increased by two percent after Barclays raised their rating on the stock to ‘overweight’, increasing the target price and citing that they expected to see an increase in net interest margin from the bank.
Financials collectively contributed 14 points to the index, with the sector benefiting from fresh inflation and signs of economic growth in the global economy. Meanwhile, payment processor Worldpay gained 1.6 percent after a broker upgrade from outperform to neutral.