British shares set for weekly gains; Barratt surges

Aiding sentiment was a quarterly poll of British chief financial officers by Deloitte that showed the biggest improvement in optimism since the survey started in 2007, boosted by the prospect of mass vaccinations and growth. Signature Aviation dropped 3.9% even as Blackstone Group Inc on Friday pushed ahead with its proposal to buy out the private jet servicing company in a deal worth $4.29 billion, securing the support of biggest shareholder Bill Gates in the face of a rival approach from Carlyle.

Reuters | Updated: 08-01-2021 15:05 IST | Created: 08-01-2021 15:05 IST
British shares set for weekly gains; Barratt surges

Britain's FTSE 100 index rose on Friday and was on track to end the week with gains of more than 6% as investors bet on a swift economic recovery, while Barratt Developments surged on plans to resume dividend payouts next month. The UK's biggest homebuilder jumped 3.8% to the top of the FTSE 100 index after it also posted a rise in forward six-month sales.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 gained 0.1%, led by consumer discretionary and energy stocks. "Investors are getting more comfortable wading further out into risk-on waters, considering that the spillover from last year's downside risks has subsided, including Brexit concerns and the U.S. election cycle," said Han Tan, an analyst at FXTM.

British blue-chips have gained nearly 38% from their record lows hit in February last year and is 10.6% away from its 2020 highs, as huge global stimulus measures boosted risk sentiment. Energy and mining stocks were set to be the top gainers for the week, adding nearly 15% each as commodity prices rallied on hopes of quicker revival in demand.

The domestically focussed mid-cap index rose 0.9% as data showed Britain's job market in December strengthened for the first time in three months. Aiding sentiment was a quarterly poll of British chief financial officers by Deloitte that showed the biggest improvement in optimism since the survey started in 2007, boosted by the prospect of mass vaccinations and growth.

Signature Aviation dropped 3.9% even as Blackstone Group Inc on Friday pushed ahead with its proposal to buy out the private jet servicing company in a deal worth $4.29 billion, securing the support of biggest shareholder Bill Gates in the face of a rival approach from Carlyle. Signature Aviation's stock jumped 65% in the three weeks since it confirmed talks with Blackstone.

Clothing retailer Marks & Spencer fell 1.0% after its CEO said the company is likely to see a further deterioration in sales in its clothing and homewares division in the current quarter due to the latest national lockdown.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


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