The UK stock market continues to recover from the sell-off at the start of the month, although the pound is down after weak retail sales figures.
The FTSE 100 extended yesterday’s gains, adding 47 points or 0.7% to 7,282. At this level it will record its first positive week in a month with an advance of 190 points or 2.7%.
However, the pound fell 0.2% to $1.4064 against the dollar and edged lower against the euro after Britons curbed spending after the Christmas splurge with retail sales up just 0.1% in January, below forecasts of a monthly rise of 0.5%.
Our exclusive Accumulator data table shows the UK’s blue-chip index regained 1.2% in the week to yesterday’s close but remained 5.5% down this year.
Global markets mounted a stronger rally, with the FTSE World up up 3.7% in sterling terms in the week to Thursday, reducing the index’s year-to-date fall to 2.2%.
‘We believe it is too early to call the end of the bull market,’ said Larry Hatheway, group chief economist at fund manager GAM.
‘We are still in an environment of strong global growth and rising earnings, particularly in Europe, the emerging economies and in Japan, which should support further equity gains. However, we are entering a new phase that will be characterised by more volatility and further corrections,’ he commented, driven, he said, by growing uncertainty in the macro economy and monetary policy caused by accelerating inflation.
Segro (SGRO), the industrial and warehouse property developer, shot to the top of the FTSE 100 with a 6.5% gain to 591p after its full-year results beat expectations and the company forecast further growth from the boom in e-commerce.