Friday 8 April: Oil was given a major boost ahead of the weekend, climbing above $40 p/barrel, hitting intraday highs above 7.5%. The commodity driven FTSE was therefore given a boost, overall the index makes another weekly gain. With that move it gave the FTSE enough confidence to finally breakthrough the 6200 mark. The big winners on the day were of course the miners, Anglo shares rising over 8%, BHP and Royal Dutch shares rising 4.5% and 3.9% respectively.
If had not been for the oil rally, it may have been a different story as the only other meaningful news flow came in the form of weak industrial output data. The UK’s output fell by 0.5% year-on-year in February, the biggest decline since August 2013. The ONS figures also highlighted that January’s manufacturing output was 1.1% down from January and 1.8% lower than a year earlier. As we have seen, the spotlight was firmly on oil, yet come Monday surely more debate will surround UK economic strength, with some believing Q1 growth could’ve been the weakest for a few years.
Tata steel has finally brought a glimmer of hope to the headlines today, as sources believe a deal to save the Scunthorpe site could be made as soon as Monday. If successful it would save just shy of 5,000 jobs.
As we write, American indices are also tracking higher, following Europe’s lead and Yellen’s comments from yesterday that rate hikes remain on track. The Dow Jones rides 0.5% higher and the S&P jumps by a similar amount.