London’s FTSE 100 firmed 18.3 points to 7,311 on Friday as investors latched onto White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow’s comment that current US/China negotiations are ‘very constructive’.
This was enough to drive stock markets up across the UK, mainland Europe and most of Asia. Miners Rio Tinto (RIO), Glencore (GLEN) and Anglo American (AAL) led the charge on the FTSE, supported by gains from big oil producers BP (BP.) and Royal Dutch Shell (RDSB).
Investors hung up on BT (BT.A) after Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour threatened to nationalise parts of the telecoms provider’s network if it wins power next month, in order to give everyone free broadband. BT wasn’t believed to be on Labour’s nationalisation-related radar, but the shares softened 2% to 191.3p as investors priced in the risk.
Drugs giant AstraZeneca (AZN) added 9p to trade at £73.25 after reporting that Qtrilmet, its drug to improve blood sugar levels in adults with type-2 diabetes, has been approved by the European Commission.
Premium pub and hotel business Fuller Smith & Turner (FSTA) tumbled 7.6% to 970p after warning pre-tax profit for the year ending 28 March 2020 will be ‘broadly’ flat at £31m. Fuller’s said legacy costs associated with the brewing business it has sold to Japan’s Asahi have turned out to be ‘materially higher’ than expected, although the positive news is trading is good despite cost inflation and last year’s ‘exceptionally strong comparatives’.
Publisher Future (FUTR) reversed 4.1% to £13.94 on profit-taking after a storming share price run. The FTSE 250 media group today reported outstanding full year results and upgraded current year earnings guidance amid ‘continuing strong growth’.
Elsewhere, accident-prone infrastructure group Kier (KIE) rallied 2.3% to 89.7p after reassuring that trading is in line with downgraded expectations, its cost cutting initiatives continue and the company has also clinched around £1bn of new contracts.
Sheffield-based video games developer Sumo (SUMO:AIM) charged 13.6% higher to 175p after revealing that Chinese internet titan Tencent has taken a 10% stake in the business with the aim of supporting Sumo’s growth.
Tencent is also a backer of rival video games play Frontier Developments (FDEV:AIM), bid up 3.6% to £12.70 on the news the recently launched Planet Zoo game is a hit and Frontier’s Planet Coaster title will be coming to consoles next summer.