Wall Street opened higher on Friday to reach record highs after fresh data showed the US labour market is recovering from Covid at a faster pace than first thought.
The S&P 500 and Dow Jones both hit record highs in morning trading on Friday. The former rose 0.08 per cent and the latter was up 0.35 per cent.
Investors were less buoyant on tech stocks, with the Nasdaq sliding 0.47 per cent.
The US economy added 943,000 jobs in July, helping to push down the unemployment rate 0.5 per cent to 5.4 per cent, the US Bureau of Labour Statistics said on Friday.
Economists had expected the US economy to add 870,000 jobs in July.
Yields on 10-year Treasuries rose to 1.29 per ent on the news.
FTSE 100 inches up as energy price hike to squeeze Brits
London’s FTSE 100 edged up in afternoon trading after the UK’s energy watchdog announced a hike in energy prices would go ahead in October to end the week in the green.
The capital’s premier index rose 0.15 per cent to 7,130 during the closing session of the week.
The UK energy regulator, Ofgem, announced the price cap for baseline energy prices will increase to offset higher costs for suppliers, meaning millions of Brits are set to face at least a £139 increase in their energy bills.
The hike comes as many UK households are struggling to cope with greater financial strain caused by the Covid crisis.
The domestically-focused FTSE 250 slipped 0.21 per cent, while AIM shares bucked the trend to add 0.42 per cent.
Winners and losers
The London Stock Exchange topped the morning’s biggest risers on the FTSE 100, climbing 5.52 per cent to 7,880p after it published results showing it swung back to the black in the first six months of the year.
Bookmaker Flutter came second, rising 3.24 per cent to 12,760p, and insurer Prudential ranked third, up 3.06 per cent to 1,432p.
Hikma Pharmaceuticals topped the table of the morning’s worst performers, sliding 6.36 per cent to 2,474p despite registering a rise in profits over the first half of 2021.
Credit score checker Experian was the second worst performer, dropping 4.12 per cent to 3,094p and Coca-Cola lost 3.06 per cent to 2,693p.
Around the world
Asian markets crept into the green in overnight trading, indicating they are set to finish the week in positive territory.
Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK, said: “In Asia this morning equity markets look set to close out the week in modestly positive fashion.”
Japan’s Nikkei added 0.33 per cent and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng closed up 0.01 per cent. However, China’s CSI 300 slipped 0.55 per cent.
European shares also look set to finish the week on a high – the Stoxx 600 was up 0.37 per cent during early exchanges.