19th July 2013
A lack of surprises in the latest Chinese economic data and some midweek reassurance from the Federal Reserve failed to provide a strong boost for the FTSE 100 over the week.
On Wednesday, Fed boss Ben Bernanke once again tried to set minds at ease, urging there was no ‘preset course’ for ending its massive quantitative easing programme.
The reassurance sent the FTSE 100 edging towards a two-month high on Thursday.
But the UK’s top flight index only managed a 1 per cent gain over the week to close at 6,630.67 – 3.69 points lower on the day, as disappointing results from US tech firms including Google, took the shine off markets on Friday.
Chinese GDP growth slowed to a year-on-year 7.5 per cent in the second quarter, a result broadly anticipated by both economists and the markets. As a result mining stocks, sensitive to the fortunes of the world’s second largest economy, enjoyed a week of gains.
Anglo American firmed by 7 per cent over the trading week to close at 1,379p, while Fresnillo added 5 per cent at 1,029p and Glencore Xstrata also closed 5 per cent better at 272.4p.
The London Stock Exchange itself surged 7 per cent to 1,561p following the announcement of its expectation beating first quarter revenues, which jumped almost 40 per cent to £250m, up from £180 a year earlier.
Discount air carrier Easyjet rose 4 per cent to 1,402p after an upgrade from broker JPMorgan. But Royal Bank of Scotland was the highest riser over the week adding 11 per cent to 337.1p.
HSBC was 2 per cent better at 737.5p, while Barclays, hit with a $470m fine by the US electricity regulator over manipulating power costs managed a 5 per cent rise to 320p. Lloyds firmed 2 per cent at 69.25p
The fallers included home builder Persimmon, off 3 per cent at 1,255p and Imperial Tobacco, also down 3 per cent at 2,180p.
Next week sees updates from GlaxoSmithKlein, Reed Elsevier and Unilever.