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FTSE edges higher despite losing steam amid disappointing GDP

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The FTSE 100 nudged higher after London trading lost steam from a strong start to the session.

Markets had jumped in early trading despite UK GDP growth slowing to a trickle, heavily disappointing the City’s economic experts.

London’s top flight closed 4.99 points, or 0.07%, higher at 7,029.2 on Friday.

Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK, said: “European markets have ended what has been another negative week on a mixed note, with both the FTSE100 and DAX both finishing lower for the second week in succession.

“Today’s more resilient tone has been largely driven by a rebound in basic resources and industrials, and has come in spite of a disappointing UK GDP number for July, which showed that economic activity almost stalled, due to a number of different issues, including the ‘pingdemic’ and shortages of materials.

“Despite today’s attempts to recover this week’s losses, the price action would suggest that there is increasing anxiety amongst investors over the growth outlook.”

Europe’s other key markets also had a mixed day, with French traders in a slightly more upbeat mood as they shrugged off Delta variant concerns.

The German Dax decreased by 0.09% and the French Cac moved 0.68% higher.

In the US, the markets rebounded after three days of consecutive decline were ended by the first conversations between President Biden and China’s President Xi were well received.

Nevertheless, positive sentiment ebbed during the session amid concerns over rising prices.

Meanwhile, sterling drifted against a strong dollar but made gains against the euro after positive comments from Andrew Bailey on Thursday.

The pound was down 0.03% versus the US dollar at 1.385 and was 0.1% higher against the euro at 1.172.

Despite a quiet day for corporate news, the travel and leisure sector continued to face pressure over concerns about virus case rates, sending British Airways owner IAG to the foot of the FTSE 100 for the day.

In company news, Cineworld dipped after the chain said it will pay 170 million US dollars (£122.5 million) to shareholders in its US arm Regal.

It came after a lengthy claim from shareholders of Regal Entertainment who were disgruntled by the chain’s price when it was taken over by London-listed Cineworld in 2017.

Shares were 0.68p lower at 62p at the close of play after confirming the payout.

Elsewhere, Franco Manca owner Fulham Shore made gains after the restaurant group said that it is making many more sales than before the pandemic.

It saw shares rise by 0.6p to 18.75p on Friday after it said that between August 17 and September 5 revenue from all of its restaurants was 27% ahead of the same period in 2019.

Shares in gold mining specialist Panthera Resources increased by 1.75p to 14p after it said initial drilling has shown additional gold mineralisation in a project in Mail.

The price of oil lifted higher, receiving a boost from the morning’s reports of the phone call between President Xi of China and President Biden.

Brent crude increased by 2.02% to 72.89 dollars per barrel.

The biggest risers on the FTSE 100 were Antofagasta, up 49p at 1,448.5p, Evraz, up 18p at 603.6p, Weir Group, up 50p at 1,759p, and Experian, up 83p at 3,335p.

The biggest fallers of the day were IAG, down 6.16p at 145.32p, Vodafone, down 2.12p, Land Securities, down 12p at 696.2p, and Rolls-Royce, down 1.84p at 109.18p.

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