The FTSE 100 was back on the front foot today, closing 26 points or 0.3% up at 7,542 after good UK wage growth data and a positive opening on Wall Street.
The better than expected wage growth figures were offset by a jump in unemployment benefit claimants last month, but anxieties over the impact of Brexit on the economy weakened the pound, which traded at $1.3178, boosting shares in blue-chip overseas companies.
Pearson (PSON) added another 3% to 675.6p as the education group continued to rally after telling investors that its US business had started to recover.
But Rio Tinto (RIO) dropped nearly 3% to 110.5p after UK regulators fined the mining group £28 million and the US Securities and Exchange Commission accused it and two former executives of fraud over the delayed write down of its Mozambique acquisition seven years ago.
Reckitt-Benckiser (RB) retreated 2.5% to £69.81 after cutting its full-year sales forecast. It has been a bad year for the consumer goods firm which has been hit by a cyber attack and a safety scandal in South Korea.
Sainsbury’s (SBRY) shed 1.5p to 246.3p on plans to cut 2,000 back office jobs following last year’s takeover of Argos for £1.4 billion.
However, Flybe (FLYB) was the big faller, diving 9p or 20% to 35p after the regional airline warned that higher maintenance costs and intense competition would hit half-year profits.
A strong opening in the US bolstered sentiment in London this afternoon. The Dow Jones industrial average broke over the 23,000 level for the first time, up 0.6% at 23,143, helped by a good earnings report from IT heavyweight IBM. Its shares jumped 9% after resuming growth.