10th May 2013
The FTSE 100 crashed through the 6,600 mark for the first time in five and half years in early trading on Friday, to close at 6,624.98, marking a 2% leap over the past week and the seventh consecutive day of gains writes Philip Scott.
It was a week of new highs across the Atlantic as the US’s Dow Jones broke through the 15,000 mark for the first time following last week’s news that the closely watched observed non-farm payroll update showed the US economy had created some 165,000 jobs in April, ahead of forecasts while figures for February and March were revised upwards.
The UK’s markets were also powered by its own set of positive data as figures from the Office of National Statistics concluded that industrial production in March beat expectations with industrial output jumping by 0.7 % in month.
Elsewhere leading think tank, the National Institute of Economics and Social Research has estimated UK output grew by 0.8 per cent in the three months ending in April. The news may further improve sentiment that the UK is pulling itself out of the woods.
The top flight’s highest riser was BT. The telecommunications giant reported to the market an increase in full-year profits, which before tax are 2% higher at £2.5bn. Its stock soared by 13% over the week to close at 309.5p.
However the week ended with a wobble as credit rating agency Moody’s cautioned that the Cooperative Bank, which has 6.5 million customers may need government help in bolstering its balance sheet. Moody’s downgraded the bank’s debt to junk status, prompting the resignation of its chief executive Barry Tootell.
There has been speculation over the Coop since it pulled out of a year in the making deal to purchase 630 branches from Lloyds Banking Group, up 9% over the week to 58.94p, last month. Elsewhere in the banking sector HSBC, which saw its pre-tax profits almost double to £5.4bn in the first three months of 2013, enjoyed a share price hike of 4% over the week to 744.8p, Royal Bank of Scotland charged 3% ahead to close at 299.5p and Barclays firmed 6% to 314.4p.
The FTSE 100’s steepest faller was security giant G4S. The world’s biggest security firm warned on tough trading conditions in Europe. Its shares plummeted by 19% over the week to close at 247.7p. Another big faller was Antofagasta wh suffered a 7% drop to 913p. Next week the Chilean copper miner updates the market with its first quarter results.