Tuesday 8 January 2019 12:00 pm

FTSE 100 hits monthly high after retail boost and fresh hopes of US-China trade deal

Reporter at City A.M. covering banking, markets and insurance

Reporter at City A.M. covering banking, markets and insurance

Follow Callum

The FTSE 100 has risen to monthly highs as investors return to retailers and US-China trade deal talks resume.

The blue chip index has climbed one per cent today after US stocks bounced last night on fresh hopes of a resolution to the trade dispute between the world’s two largest economies.

US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said there was a “very good chance” of reaching a deal before the beginning of March boosting global markets.

Next, rising 4.8 per cent, and Marks & Spencer, climbing 3.8 per cent, were among the best performers as strong Christmas retail sales boosted the sector.

But Morrisons, despite reporting a rise in sales, was the biggest faller, sliding 3.5 per cent as the UK’s fourth biggest supermarket lost more of its market share.

Pharma firm Hikma was the second biggest faller, sliding 2.1 per cent followed by mining giant Fresnillo, which dropped 1.8 per cent.

ITV led the FTSE 100’s risers – jumping more than five per cent – followed by packaging firm DS Smith and then Rolls Royce.

“Holding out for a positive resolution to the ongoing trade talks between the US and China, the FTSE added 70 points, touching 6880 for the first time in almost 4 weeks,” Spreadex analyst Connor Campbell said.

In Europe, the German DAX rose 0.7 per cent despite poor German industrial output data, which suffered its biggest decline in more than two years, and France’s CAC soared 1.4 per cent, as the US rally spread to the continent.

The euro fell 0.13 per cent against the dollar after German data fuelled fears the country entered a technical recession in the fourth quarter of 2018 and sterling fell 0.1 per cent against a strong dollar.