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Markets higher in London on global rally

·3-min read

Markets in London traded as usual on Friday, and saw shares and the pound trade higher.

The London Stock Exchange confirmed that it planned to maintain normal opening hours after the death of the Queen, but would close during any public holidays.

The FTSE 100 joined an international rally, which saw global markets break out into a sea of green after recent spells of poor performance.

It comes after the European Central Bank (ECB) on Thursday upped its interest rate by 0.75 percentage points to help tackle inflation across the eurozone.

It brings the rate to its highest point since 2011.

“Investors have put the ECB hike and Powell’s warning about more rate increases firmly behind them, and the rally of the past two days has gathered strength,” said Chris Beauchamp, chief market analyst at online trading platform IG.

“While the broader bear market most likely has further to run, it looks like the next bear market rally has also kicked into action.”

But what happens with UK interest rates has been thrown into turmoil by two events on Thursday.

The Bank of England’s decision makers were already likely to have to deal with new information after Prime Minister Liz Truss announced an enormous energy support package for households and businesses.

The Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee was due to meet next week, but due to the death of the Queen it postponed that meeting for seven days.

“UK investors will no doubt be feeling somewhat conflicted given the current events, and the BoE has followed the lead set by other institutions by postponing its rate increase,” Mr Beauchamp said.

“But otherwise it is very much business as usual, and next week will still see a significant focus on the UK with CPI (Consumer Prices Index inflation) and employment data, although it is unlikely to provide a real change in trend for sterling, which still looks to be on a downward path against the dollar.”

The FTSE ended the day up 1.2% at 7,351.07 points, a rise of 89.01. In Europe the Dax and Cac 40 both closed up 1.4%.

On Wall Street the S&P 500 had gained 1.3% and the Dow Jones was up 1% shortly after European markets closed.

Sterling rose 0.9% to 1.1600 against the dollar, and 0.4% to 1.1544 euros.

In company news, Asos warned on profits after sales undershot expectations in August. Customers are tightening their belts and not shopping as much for clothes, the business said.

June and July were good months, the business said, and it expects sales for the year to the end of August to meet expectations. But the autumn and winter are going to be tougher, and profits will be “around the bottom end of company guidance”.

Shares, however, rose by 1.2%.

The biggest risers on the FTSE 100 were Centrica, up 4.12p to 86.9p, Anglo American, up 132p to 2,926.5p, Antofagasta, up 44.5p to 1,195.5p, Glencore, up 17.25p to 488.4p, and Standard Chartered, up 21.4p to 614.2p.

The biggest fallers on the FTSE 100 were Avast, down 3.6p to 726.6p, BAE, down 3p to 784.4p, JD Sports, down 0p to 126.1p, AstraZeneca, down 12p to 10,500p, and HSBC, down 1p to 525p.