Thu, 23rd May 2019
After a rocky week the FTS 100 is back on firm ground, having gained 58 points on Monday, while US stocks also crept higher at the start of the trading session.
The FTSE 100’s 0.8 percent gain took it up to 7,011, with oil and bank stocks some of the best performers. US stocks look strong with the Dow Jones and the S&P 500 both gaining 0.9 percent, and the Nasdaq up by 1.1 percent.
Retailers dominated the market’s attention as data started to roll in about the Black Friday weekend. Black Friday is a major event in the US, and online sales hit $6.4 billion, which is an increase of 24% on last year, according to stats from Adobe Analytics. This news helped to boost shares in Amazon and Target Corp.
Black Friday is becoming a phenomenon in the UK, and it is expected that Cyber Monday will see sales increase to £7.7 billion. UK retail stocks mostly performed well, with Marks and Spencer up 0.6 percent, and Kingfisher up 2.2 percent. Next PLC’s fortunes were not so good, however, with the high street retailer shedding 0.8 percent.
Housing stocks were also boosted, thanks in part to some better than expected mortgage figures. Trade association UK Finance said that approvals for house purchases had risen to a four month high. Gross mortgage lending is also up by 5.6% compared to the same month a year ago. While house mortgage approvals are up, remortgaging activity has fallen, but the news was still well received by investors.