FTSE 100 finishes the quarter higher (just) as pound jumps

 
Emma Haslett
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The FTSE 100 crept up during the quarter (Source: Getty)

The FTSE 100 had a muted end to the quarter today, finishing at 7,323 points - just under 150 points , or two per cent, above its open in January.

The index was dragged higher by landlords today, with British Land rising 3.1 per cent to 611.2p, while Land Securities rose 2.9 per cent to 1,057p and Intu rose 2.5 per cent to 278.8p.

Meanwhile, having been relatively flat against the dollar for most of the day, the pound jumped in late afternoon trading, rising 0.5 per cent to $1.2525, and 0.3 per cent against the euro to €1.1712.

"The FTSE ends the week with modest losses, but overall bulls can be pleased with how they have performed over the past five sessions," said Chris Beauchamp, chief market analyst at IG.

"Monday’s lows were swiftly recovered, with no doubt a little bit of quarter-end tidying up among portfolios helping matters, but the fears about a full unwinding of the Trump rally are in abeyance for now.

"A resurgence in oil prices has also proved conducive to bullish sentiment, and it shows that there is little sign yet that a bigger dip is at hand. In London, the likes of Anglo American and Old Mutual are suffering heavy losses as investors begin to worry about what the future holds for South Africa."

"There was plenty of US data for investors to deal with this afternoon; they just weren’t that interested," added Connor Campbell, financial analyst at Spreadex.

"The core PCE price index slipped... to 0.2 per cent month-on-month, while personal spending and income fell to 0.1 per cent and 0.4 per cent respectively.

"The Chicago PMI then rose to a better than forecast 57.7, something that was countered by a worse than estimated drop in consumer sentiment to 96.9.

"But, as mentioned, none of this mattered to investors, who seemed keen to end the quarter quietly. The Dow Jones trickled 0.2 per cent lower after the bell, taking the index just the wrong side of 20,700, but still up from where it was during Monday’s ‘Trump slump’."

Read more: A tour of the UK economy in five graphs

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