Markets: FTSE 100 shrugs off threat of recession

The FTSE 100 ended the week in the black on Friday, despite poor manufacturing and services data pointing to potential recession for the UK economy.

  • FTSE 100 up 0.5% to 6,730
  • Gold down 0.65% to $1,322.73/oz
  • £/$ 1.3109

Vodafone was the day's top performer, up 4.9%. Pharmaceuticals firms Hikma and AstraZeneca added 2.7% and 1.9% respectively, while, builder's merchant CRH gained 2.6% and drinks firm Diageo rose 1.5%.

In Europe, the Paris CAC 40 rose 0.1% to 4,381 and the German Xetra Dax slipped 0.1% to 10,147.

In the US, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.3% to 18,570, the S&P 500 added 0.5% to 2,175, and the Nasdaq Composite was 0.5% higher at 5,100.

Overnight in Japan, the Nikkei 225 lost seven points to 16,620 and the broader Topix index fell 0.2% to 1,325. And in China, the CSI 300 rose 0.2% to 3,230, and the Shanghai Composite was 0.1% higher at 3,015.

Brent spot was trading at $45.55 early today, and in New York, crude oil was at $44.05. Spot gold was trading at $1,318 an ounce, silver was at $19.47 and platinum was at $1,073.

In the forex markets this morning, sterling was trading against the US dollar at 1.3133 and against the euro at 1.1977. The dollar was trading at 0.9120 against the euro and 106.27 against the Japanese yen.

And in the UK, gambling firm William Hill has a received an offer of a merger from rivals 888 and Rank, in a deal that could be worth £3bn. William Hill has been finding business tough recently; a trading update in May reported an 11% fall in revenue, and its share price has fallen over 20% this year.

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