London’s top flight index regained its composure today after a sharp rise in business optimism in the eurozone’s powerhouse German economy.
The FTSE 100 index slumped by more than 100 points or 1.5% on Thursday as the minutes of last month’s US Federal Reserve meeting showed that a number of members were concerned about the cost and risks of carrying out further asset purchases.
The slump proved short-lived in London however, with the FTSE 100 Index retracing steps towards its recent five-year high, closing up 44.2 points at 6,335.7.
Among the many blue chip risers, Sainsbury’s was 7.2p higher at 345p after Citigroup introduced a buy rating on the stock because of the retailer’s stable near-term outlook and the consistent performance of the chain under the leadership of chief executive Justin King.
Security group G4S dropped 2.7p to 287.1p however, after HSBC downgraded its rating on the stock to underweight.
Outside the top flight, shares in housebuilders were making progress ahead of the sector’s forthcoming results season.
Persimmon topped the FTSE 250 Index risers board with a gain of 47p to 909.5p, while Taylor Wimpey was 2.5p higher at 79.4p.
The biggest FTSE 100 risers were CRH up 58p to £13.94, Polymetal International ahead 36.5p to 982.5p, Serco 20p higher at 588p and Sage up 10.1p to 343p.
The biggest FTSE 100 fallers were GKN down 3.3p to 252.1p, Rio Tinto off 42.5p to £34.76 and Randgold Resources 60p lower at £53.90.
Stuart Lamont, of investment manager and financial planning specialist Brewin Dolphin in Aberdeen, noted FirstGroup up 3.2% to 186.2p, Faroe Petroleum rose 3% to 142.75p and Lloyds Banking Group gained 1.7% to end at 54.86p.
Among the day’s fallers, Cairn Energy closed down 0.7% to 274.8p, the Royal Bank of Scotland gave up 0.4% to 345p and Weir Group edged 0.1% lower to £21.56.