FRIDAY MARKET CLOSE: FTSE edges closer to record high

Share this article
Have your say

The top-flight index took a further step towards a record high as investors were cheered by a strong session in Japan and the long-awaited completion of Vodafone’s mega deal to sell its stake in a US joint venture.

Despite disappointing economic data coming out of the US, the FTSE 100 ended the session up 25.06 points at 6,838.06 – bringing the intra-day high of 6950.6 reached in December 1999 firmly into view.

Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets, said: “This week has seen the FTSE 100 outperform the rest of Europe quite strongly as it looks to push back concerns about a slowdown in economic growth across the globe.”

Leading the buoyant mood was mobile phone giant Vodafone, which gained 6.9p, or 3 per cent, to 236.5p as investors awaited their £51 billion windfall from the sale of its 45 per cent interest in Verizon Wireless.

IG market analyst David Madden said: “Vodafone shareholders are in a win-win position; the pay-out from the Verizon deal will come in the form of a dividend and Verizon shares. What is left of Vodafone could become a takeover target.”

Royal Bank of Scotland added 4.4p to 360.1p amid speculation that next week’s results could bring heavy job losses as part of a radical restructuring, while Barclays closed up 2.75p at 258p.

Broadcaster ITV, which also delivers full-year results next week, was among the biggest blue-chip fallers despite upbeat analyst sentiment, dropping 3.6p to 204.2p.

Royal Mail fell 9p to 600p after regulator Ofcom opened an investigation into a complaint by TNT Post UK about changes to Royal Mail’s access contracts, which are due to come into effect from the end of next month.

Back to the top of the page