Friday 19 February 2021 6:46 pm

Wall Street indexes follow FTSE 100 rise to end week on a high

The S&P 500, Nasdaq and Dow Jones indexes an Wall Street are all higher this afternoon.

The S&P 500 technology and communication shares were among the smallest gainers in early trading, while blue-chip financials, industrials, energy and materials rose more than one per cent.

Microsoft, Facebook, and Netflix fell between 0.5 and one per cent, sticking to a trend seen for most parts of the week.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.33 per cent to 31,596, the S&P 500 was up 0.27 per cent at 3,924.56, and the Nasdaq rose 0.47 per cent to 13,931.15.

Earlier, London’s FTSE 100 has turned positive despite PMI data showing February was another month of contraction and January retail sales data also highlighted the consequences of the latest national lockdown.

The FTSE 100 has closed at 6,624.02, trading up 0.1 per cent, while the domestic-focussed FTSE 250 index has closed at 21,035.96, up 0.49 per cent.

The FTSE 100 has also been stifled by a stronger pound sterling, now above $1.40, since many of its constiuents report earnings in a now-weaker US dollar.

UK retail sales fell deeper than expected last month as non-essential shops were forced to close again.

Sales dipped 8.2 per cent in January compared to December’s level, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said today.

Market movers

Today’s biggest winners on the FTSE 100 are Rolls-Royce and Antofagasta, which have closed up at £98.66 and 1,838p respectively.

Evraz has closed at £556.60.

The biggest FTSE 100 fallers this afternoon include pharmas GSK and AstraZeneca.

GSK closed at £1,215.20 and AstraZeneca at £7,226.

Earlier NatWest tumbled to an annual loss for 2020 after Covid-19 restrictions crunched household spending.

Shares in the bank have rebounded and closed at £180.15.