London close: Stocks close higher after relatively quiet Friday
London stocks managed to break through the waterline to close marginally higher on Friday, as investors mulled the economic impact of coronavirus restrictions following news on England’s post-lockdown tiers.
The FTSE 100 ended the session up 0.07% at 6,367.58, and the FTSE 250 added 0.34% to 19,462.71.
It was a relatively quiet session, with US markets opening for a half session, having been closed for the Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday.
“Yesterday the US celebrated Thanksgiving and global markets were very quiet as a result and today isn’t much different,” said CMC Markets analyst David Madden.
“Global equities were given a lift during the week on the back of the news that AstraZeneca-Oxford University’s possible Covid-19 drug was reported to have a high effective rate.
“On top of that it is believed to be very cheap when compared with other drugs, and it can be stored at roughly -3 degrees, which makes it attractive from a transportation and manufacturing point of view.”
Madden noted that recently, there had been questions over the effectiveness of the drug and some medical experts questioned if the US regulators would approve the product.
“AstraZeneca shares are flat on the day.”
Brexit was also in focus, with face-to-face talks due to resume at the weekend.
“Michel Barnier is heading to London in a bid to help break the deadlock in Brexit talks today, with just five-weeks to overcome a seemingly insurmountable fish-shaped wall in negotiations,” said analysts at IG.
“Unfortunately, the evident desire to reach a deal from both sides has not been matched by a willingness to compromise, and thus there is little to indicate we will overcome the final hurdles.
“The issues of fishing right, state aid, and future dispute resolution remain a trio of hurdles which remain the three major sticking points which could ultimately lead the UK out of the EU without a deal.”
In equity markets, housebuilders were mixed after all falling earlier, with Barratt Developments flat, Persimmon up 0.26%, and Taylor Wimpey 1.04% lower.
J D Wetherspoon reversed earlier losses to close up 1.15%, after the pub said half of its pubs would remain closed under the UK government's tiered system when the national lockdown ends on 2 December.
The company, headed by outspoken chief executive Tim Martin, said 366 pubs would be shut and accused the government of extending lockdown "by stealth".
On the downside, opioid addiction treatment maker Indivior tumbled 19.82% after saying it had been made aware of a £1bn claim made against it by consumer goods company Reckitt Benckiser.
Indivior was spun off from Reckitt in 2014.
Marks & Spencer was knocked 2.15% lower by a downgrade to ‘neutral’ at Goldman Sachs.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Rightmove (RMV) 624.00p 2.90%
GVC Holdings (GVC) 1,042.50p 2.66%
Smith & Nephew (SN.) 1,452.50p 2.58%
Fresnillo (FRES) 1,112.00p 2.16%
Scottish Mortgage Inv Trust (SMT) 1,109.00p 2.12%
Smith (DS) (SMDS) 338.10p 1.93%
Smurfit Kappa Group (SKG) 3,214.00p 1.84%
Compass Group (CPG) 1,424.00p 1.83%
Schroders (SDR) 3,234.00p 1.79%
B&M European Value Retail S.A. (DI) (BME) 475.00p 1.78%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Severn Trent (SVT) 2,381.00p -2.53%
DCC (DCC) 5,676.00p -2.34%
International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 160.85p -2.31%
Land Securities Group (LAND) 665.10p -1.83%
United Utilities Group (UU.) 899.20p -1.64%
Experian (EXPN) 2,585.00p -1.64%
Legal & General Group (LGEN) 256.30p -1.61%
Smiths Group (SMIN) 1,467.50p -1.48%
Homeserve (HSV) 1,053.00p -1.31%
Reckitt Benckiser Group (RB.) 6,516.00p -1.30%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Pets at Home Group (PETS) 423.80p 6.38%
Cineworld Group (CINE) 58.70p 6.34%
Carnival (CCL) 1,413.00p 5.68%
Avon Rubber (AVON) 4,490.00p 5.40%
Renishaw (RSW) 5,590.00p 5.08%
Dechra Pharmaceuticals (DPH) 3,324.00p 4.59%
TI Fluid Systems (TIFS) 232.40p 4.29%
Gamesys Group (GYS) 1,106.00p 4.14%
Apax Global Alpha Limited (APAX) 181.40p 4.00%
888 Holdings (888) 276.00p 3.70%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Indivior (INDV) 99.75p -19.82%
Energean (ENOG) 697.00p -4.43%
Henderson Smaller Companies Inv Trust (HSL) 937.00p -3.90%
Hochschild Mining (HOC) 212.80p -3.62%
CMC Markets (CMCX) 374.00p -3.36%
Trainline (TRN) 454.20p -3.11%
Fisher (James) & Sons (FSJ) 941.00p -2.99%
TBC Bank Group (TBCG) 1,212.00p -2.88%
Rank Group (RNK) 142.80p -2.86%
BMO Commercial Property Trust Limited (BCPT) 69.30p -2.84%