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Strong gains for FTSE 100 as consumer firms push higher

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The London markets rebounded firmly as strong sessions by consumer and industrial firms helped the FTSE march higher.

London’s top index finished the week in positive territory despite periods of weak sentiment as concerns over the impending economic slowdown and potential recession continued to linger.

The FTSE 100 ended the day up 188.36 points, or 2.68%, at 7,208.81.

Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK, said: “After a pretty poor couple of days, European markets have seen a decent rebound today, with the FTSE 100 looking set to post its first positive week since after three weeks of declines.

“The Dax also looks set to reverse a series of three weekly declines.

“This week’s recovery off the lows has been helped in some part by a sharp slide in bond yields, which has offered some respite to more defensive areas of the market, although it has lagged behind the likes of the CAC 40 and FTSE 100 today.”

The German Dax increased by 1.71% by the end of the session, while the French Cac fell 3.44%.

Across the Atlantic, Wall Street rose after the final University of Michigan inflation expectations survey gave up the gains that prompted the Fed to pivot towards its sharp rate rise.

Meanwhile, sterling shrugged off another record low for consumer confidence, as well as a disappointing set of retail sales numbers to stay fairly stable.

The pound was up 0.05% against the dollar at 1.229 and was down 0.08% against the euro at 1.164.

In company news, Ultra Electronics shares shot higher after the Government said it was set to clear the firm’s £2.6 billion takeover by private equity-owned Cobham.

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said on Thursday night that he was minded to accept the takeover of Ultra after both firms put forward solutions to address national security concerns.

Shares leapt by 378p to 3,448p as it appeared to bring an end to the 10-month inquiry into the deal.

Plumbing giant Ferguson made gains after the company announced plans to buy back £375 million worth of stock.

The company, which is US-focused and was previously known as Wolseley, said it has completed the latest tranche of its previously announced two billion dollar (£1.6 billion) share buyback programme. It closed 474p higher at 9,200p.

Naked Wines suffered another drop after the damning reaction to Thursday’s warning over both its sales and earnings outlook bled into another session.

The online wine retailer declined by 9.9p to 152.2p at the end of trading.

The price of oil moved higher as concerns that interest rate rises could impact energy demand waned among City traders. Brent crude increased by 3.1% to 113.41 US dollars per barrel when the London markets closed.

The biggest risers on the FTSE 100 were Hikma, up 90.5p at 1,637p, Ashtead Group, up 192p at 3,551p, Croda, up 338p at 6,304p, Spirax-Sarco, up 514p at 9,700p, and Dechra Pharma, up 180p at 3,428p.

The only four fallers of the day were Centrica, down 1.7p at 81.16p, Rolls-Royce, down 0.91p at 80.94p, Aveva Group, down 11p at 2,463p, and Endeavour Mining, down 4p at 1,743p.

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