• FTSE 100 up 0.2% to 6,730
• Gold up 1.0% to $1,237.01/oz
• £/$ – 1.6418
The FTSE 100 edged higher on Friday after a host of positive economic figures lifted investor confidence.
Retailers led the way in gains. Fashion chain Next added 10.0%, while Marks & Spencer was 3.9% higher.
However, at the other end of the index, paper and packaging maker Mondi fell 1.8%.
In Europe, the Paris CAC 40 rose 20 points to 4,247, and the German Xetra Dax gained 35 points to 9,435.
In the US, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.2% to 15,469, the S&P 500 slipped 0.6% to 1,831, and the Nasdaq Composite was 0.3% lower at 4,131.
Overnight in Asia, Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell 2.4% to 15,908, and the broader Topix index lost 0.8% to 1,292. And in China, the Shanghai Composite fell 1.8% to 2,045, and the CSI 300 slid 2.3% to 2,238.
In the forex markets this morning, sterling was trading against the US dollar at 1.6375 and against the euro at 1.2027. The dollar was trading at 0.7347 against the euro and 104.53 against the Japanese yen.
And in the UK, accountancy firm BDO has reported that the high street had an “underwhelming” Christmas. Like-for-like sales were down 2.2% compared to December 2012.
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