London’s FTSE 100 was bumped higher today by investors heading into retailers ahead of Black Friday today.
The capital’s premier index inched 0.02 per cent higher to close at 7,466.60 points, while the domestically-focused mid-cap FTSE 250 index, which is more responsive to the health of the UK economy, jumped 0.2 per cent to 19,540.34 points.
London-listed retailers received a kick from investors betting on consumers shaking off recession blues by snapping up deals on the annual discount day today.
FTSE 100 listed and Primark owner Associated British Foods climbed 1.47 per cent, while online fashion retailer and mid-cap incumbent ASOS added more than two per cent.
Analysts cautioned that strikes at Royal Mail may keep a lid on consumers’ appetite for deals.
Today “should be one of the busiest days for UK retailers but concerns about constrained budgets and the added issue of a strike by Royal Mail workers are both expected to make the affair a rather damp squib,” Dannie Hewson, financial analyst at broker AJ Bell, said.
The pound strengthened to its highest level in three months against the US dollar yesterday, meaning it has now wiped out all the losses sustained under Liz Truss’s disastrous premiership.
UK borrowing costs were broadly flat.
Wall Street was closed for the Thanksgiving holiday.
“Markets as a whole have been fairly upbeat with Wall Street closed for Thanksgiving and European investors gnawing over central bank comments rather than a bit of turkey,” Hewson added.
European markets closed higher, with the continent-wide Stoxx 600 adding 0.46 per cent.