The FTSE 100 ended the week in much the same position as it started, closing on Friday at 7,198.28 points, an intraday gain of 0.81 per cent after starting the week at 7184.49 points.
Newly minted US President Donald Trump managed to talk down the dollar over the course of his second working week (with a little help from a slightly dovish Janet Yellen), weighing on gains for London’s blue chip index. FTSE 100 companies on the whole benefit from a stronger dollar against sterling, as earnings from abroad become more valuable.
Miners led the FTSE over the week, with Fresnillo recording a gain of 8.16 per cent to put one-year gains for investors at a massive 105.54 per cent. Meanwhile, Randgold rose by 6.15 per cent.
Paddy Power Betfair rose by 6.49 per cent since the close on 26 January, recovering almost all of its losses the week before from losing big bets.
Banks received an end-of-week boost from Trump’s economic adviser, Gary Cohn. The former Goldman Sachs chief operating officer offered the first proper statement of intent post-inauguration of the administration’s desire to slash banking regulation.
Barclays, with extensive US operations, gained 3.39 per cent over the course of Friday. Prudential recorded an increase of 3.09 per cent on similar grounds, ahead of what has been promised as a bonfire of the regulations.
Meanwhile across the Atlantic stocks approached record highs once more, as Trump’s attention turned more towards the economy after the debacle around travel bans dominated newsflow in the early part of the week.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average crossed the 20,000 mark once more, with Goldman Sachs in particular enjoying the beneficence of former colleagues who have the President’s ear. Other financial firms followed suit.
And the S&P 500, the most closely followed index by professional investors, rose back towards the 2,300.99-point mark which represents its all-time record level.