The FTSE’s movements at midday were negligible is the index was completely flat. Seemingly investors had decided to consolidate gains on the back of what is the biggest weekly gain for the main index for six weeks. Oil prices just tipping over $50 per barrel have helped the FTSE higher this week, which has otherwise been filled with mixed reports and figures. We have had a lower revision to year on year GDP growth, lower service sector confidence and the second highest net migration figure on record. Furthermore clear evidence shows business investment has dropped, yet easing fears surrounding a Brexit have seemingly triumphed this week, as recent polls and bookie’s odds move in favour of a ‘remain’ vote at the EU referendum, now less than a month away. At the close the FTSE hung on for 4 consecutive days of gains, albeit Thursday and Friday barely moved but it leaves the index at 6270.8 (+0.08%) on the day.
Other than that it was a fairly quiet day all round domestically, certainly the bank holiday must have been looming among investor’s minds. Shire shareholders have approved a $32bn merger with Baxalta, with the deal expected to go through on the next week. Royal Mail shares will sit at the top of the table over the weekend, up 2.01% on the day and Anglo will finish at the bottom after oil prices began to lose momentum at the closing bell in London. As we write American markets have begun their final session of the week more positive than European indices, the Dow currently up 0.2% and the S&P sits 0.29% higher.
In other news the competition authority is to probe the Sainsbury’s takeover of Home Retail, in order to determine if it will substantially reduce competition in the UK. A decision is expected to be made by 25 July.
GBP/USD as we write is @ 1.4639
GBP/EUR as we write is @ 1.3142