Friday 30 August 2019 11:56 am

FTSE edges higher as relief over deflating trade war tensions sinks in

Britain’s FTSE100 stock index nudged higher this morning as a relief rally over China deflating trade war tensions entered a second day.

The blue-chip index was given a further boost by a continued slide in the pound’s value, which helped to boost exporters.

China’s foreign ministry said this morning that it was continuing to hold in talks with the US, ahead of planned tariff escalations that will begin from this Sunday.

The materials and tech sectors, which are both highly exposed to global security, were in high demand this morning, helping the FTSE 100 edge up nearly 0.7 per cent just before noon, but the index still trailed behind its European peers.

Germany’s benchmark Dax index was up 1.11 per cent, while France’s CAC 40 climbed 0.93 per cent. The pan-European Stoxx 600 index was up just under one per cent.

Despite today’s modest climbs, the FTSE100 has had a tough month overall, and is on track for its biggest monthly drop since 2018.

“Investors continue to focus like hawks on any news relating to the US/China trade war, hoping for a resolution,” said AJ Bell investment director Russ Mould. “Therefore comment from China’s Foreign Ministry that the two countries continue to engage in talks has given some optimism to markets.”

Biggest FTSE 100 risers

Micro Focus: + 6.87 per cent, 1,123.50p – the software and IT firm has bounced back slightly after a mega drop yesterday
NMC Health: + 5.50 per cent, 2,457.5p – the volatile healthcare provider is having one of its frequent upwards wobbles
Rio Tinto: +2.44 per cent, 4,141p – the mining group is benefiting from a weak pound
Ashtead Group: +2.34 per cent, 2,274.5p
Rolls Royce Holdings: +2.28 per cent, 771.4p

Biggest FTSE 100 fallers

Direct Line Insurance: – 0.52 per cent, 285.05p – a drop for the insurance firm keeps it at high risk of relegation from the FTSE 100 next week
JD Sports: – 0.48 per cent, 616.20p
AstraZeneca: – 0.48 per cent, 7.329.5p
Hargreaves Lansdown: – 0.42 per cent, 1,889p – the investment platform announced it had cut its stake in struggling litigation funder Burford Capital
Fresnillo: – 0.41 per cent, 730.2p – the gold miner tends to dip when markets are bullish, as the price of gold falls

Main image credit: Getty