London’s blue-chip share index rose on Friday as the sterling came under pressure from much weaker-than-expected retail sales data that further swayed expectations around when the Bank of England would start cutting interest rates.
The FTSE 100 climbed 0.7% by 0809 GMT, extending its recovery for a second day but still on course for a weekly loss. Data showed British retailers suffered the biggest drop in sales in almost three years during December, raising the risk that the economy entered a recession in the fourth quarter.
The sterling dipped 0.2% after the data, in turn helping dollar earners such as Shell and AstraZeneca, which draw a large part of their revenue overseas.
The domestically-focussed FTSE 250 index added 0.5% but was also headed for a weekly loss.
Among individual stocks, homebuilder Persimmon climbed 2.7% after Morgan Stanley upgraded the stock to “overweight” from “underweight”.
London stocks kick start the week higher on rising Fed cut bets
Deliveroo inched up 0.9% after the meal delivery company said its 2023 earnings would be “slightly” ahead of the 60-80 million pounds ($76-101 million) it had forecast.
Wincanton rallied 47.1% after CEVA Logistics, a unit of French shipping group CMA CGM, said it would buy the British logistics firm in an all-cash deal worth nearly 600 million pounds (about $719 million).