London’s flagship index ended the week with a gain of around 0.63 per cent after ONS figures this morning showed GDP edged 0.1 per cent higher in the three months to March.
Beazley shares closed the day up around three per cent after a 4.8 per cent jump this morning, fuelled by a positive update after and “good headline growth” in the first three months of the year.
JD Sports and Airtel Africa were also among the sharpest risers on Friday, climbing 2.46 per cent and 3.2 per cent respectively.
A move by GSK to offload £804m worth of shares in its spun-off healthcare business Haleon was positively received by investors, with shares in the firm closing the up over two per cent.
Spring in its step
UK GDP figures showed the economy had squeezed out some growth in the first quarter despite a sluggish March. Analysts at Hargreaves Lansdown said the signs of some growth had buoyed markets this morning.
“The FTSE seems to be signing off the week with a spring in its step, despite mixed economic messages,” said equity analyst Sophie Lund-Yates.
“The notion that the UK has eked out economic growth should bode well for businesses, while the continued trend of a tight labour market means people feel more financial secure, despite the erosion in spending power brought about from higher interest rates.”
She added that big names in London’s flagship index will all be benefiting from an expanding economy although the length of the rally “hinges on the trajectory for inflation and could be short lived.”
Shares in engineering giant Rolls Royce rallied today after falling sharply yesterday following its AGM. The firm rose over two per cent today.