FTSE 100 finishes higher for the third week in a row - but pound dips

 
Emma Haslett
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London Markets Plunge On Global Economy Fears
Looking up? The FTSE 100 finished higher for the third week in a row (Source: Getty)

After a day of trading in negative territory, the FTSE 100 managed to heave itself into the green in the minutes before the bell, finishing 0.2 per cent higher, at 6,669.2 points.

That meant the index finished up on the beginning of the week for the third time since the EU referendum.

Today's rise was driven by equipment rental company Ashtead Group, whose shares rose 1.8 per cent to 1,130p, and Intertek, the product testing giant, which rose 1.6 per cent to 3,601p.

But travel and tourism stocks dragged the index lower in the wake of the attacks in Nice in which 84 people died. EasyJet fell 2.65 per cent to 1,140p, while Carnival dropped 2.3 per cent to 3,473p and Tui fell 1.1 per cent to 1,288p.

Meanwhile, sterling fell against the euro, dropping 0.5 per cent to €1.1941 after Bank of England chief economist Andy Haldane advocated "muscular" stimulus measures, despite this week's decision by the Bank of England's monetary policy committee to maintain interest rates and quantitative easing.

That sent the pound down 1.1 per cent against the dollar, to $1.3196.

"A flat finish to the week might seem like a defeat for investors, but a one per cent gain since Monday for the FTSE 100 shows just how resilient the rally has been," said Chris Beauchamp, chief market analyst at IG.

"As ever, markets are liable to do the contrarian thing, rallying when the ‘wall of worry’ seems strongest.

"After their longest winning streak in four months, some weakness may be seen as the new week gets underway, but pauses in the rally since February have been frequent but short-lived.

"The conditions look good for further gains as the summer continues, barring any sudden crisis over Italian banks or a more public fallout between the EU and the new government in the UK."