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FTSE climbs to month high after rebound in UK GDP

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London’s markets made a strong finish to the week as the FTSE 100 floated to a month high after traders welcomed evidence that the economy rebounded in April.

The Office for National Statistics said GDP bounced 2.3% higher after a number of lockdown measures were eased.

Strong commodity stocks, which were partly buoyed by higher copper prices, also helped to offset a poor session for leisure firms amid caution over plans to ease virus curbs further on June 21.

The FTSE 100 closed 45.88 points higher, or 0.65%, at 7,134.06 on Friday.

Chris Beauchamp, chief market analyst at IG, said: “The week draws to a close with stronger performances for European markets while Wall Street remains subdued.

“The FTSE 100 has been trying to break 7100 for the best part of a month, but finally achieved its goal today as it looked to end the week at a one-month high.

“Brexit concerns seem to have been shrugged off while the strength on the continent suggests that investors continue to prefer the lower valuations on offer in Europe to the pricier ones in the US.”

Elsewhere in Europe, the other major markets also made gains during a largely calm Friday trading session.

The German Dax increased by 0.78% and the French Cac moved 0.83% higher.

Across the Atlantic, the Dow Jones dipped ahead of the latest Fed meeting next week, with investors hoping for a step-change by the central bank likely to be disappointed.

Meanwhile, sterling nudged marginally lower as it continued its recent subdued spell.

The pound was 0.05 lower versus the US dollar at 1.412 and decreased by 0.02% against the euro to 1.166.

In company news, FTSE 250-listed asset manager Sanne was among the day’s top performers after it said Cinven has tabled a £1.4 billion takeover offer.

Sanne said it has already turned down four approaches by private equity giant Cinven but will now hold talks over the latest move.

Shares in the company leapt by 68p to 840p at the close of play as a result.

Naked Wines slipped as it posted widening losses for the past year despite seeing sales supercharged by the pandemic.

The retailer said its losses for the year to March almost doubled to £10.7 million despite a 68% jump in revenues for the period.

It closed 78p lower at 715p.

Biotech firm Avacta saw shares rally after it told investors it has had its lateral flow test registered for use in the EU.

Shares rose by 40p to 259p after investors welcomed the news, which came days after UK regulators approved the test.

The price of oil moved higher as it neared two-year highs amid hopes that international travel could rebound this summer.

Brent crude increased by 0.25% to 72.7 dollars per barrel.

The biggest risers on the FTSE 100 were Thungela, up 32p at 158p, Melrose, up 4.95p at 168.85p, Intermediate Capital Group, up 66p at 2,289p, and Glencore, up 9.2p at 329.1p.

The biggest fallers on the FTSE 100 were Informa, down 14.6p at 543.2p, Just Eat Takeaway, down 134p at 6,491p, BT Group, down 3.35p, and Imperial Brands, down 16.5p at 1,608.5p.