Friday’s market close: Hopes over QE sees upbeat trading

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Optimism over the prospect of the US Federal Reserve continuing its massive asset buying programme saw blue-chips record a positive end to the week.

Oil stocks were among the winners in the wake of reassuring comments about quantitative easing (QE) from incoming Fed boss Janet Yellen, as Brent crude rose to more than $108 a barrel.

The FTSE 100 index lifted 27.31 points to 6,693.44 and exchanges in France and Germany were also on the front foot following strong gains yesterday.

In London, oil stocks flooded the risers board, with energy explorer Tullow Oil notching up a 12p gain to 897p and Shell up 35.2p to 2177.8p. BP was 4.8p higher at 488.1p.

The improved sentiment over global share prospects also benefited a clutch of mining stocks, with Fresnillo up 26.5p to 941.5p, Anglo American climbing 19.5p to 1,430p and Antofagasta up 8p to 812p.

But fellow miner Vedanta was the biggest faller in the Footsie – down 6.7 per cent or 68.5p at 955.5p – after half-year revenues dropped by 17 per cent to $6.2 billion (£3.9bn).

Elsewhere, an profits upgrade from British Airways owner International Airlines Group failed to help its shares take off as investors banked profits, sending the stock down 10.8p to 362.2p.

Meanwhile, traders were relatively unmoved over the prospects of 1,700 job cuts at UK branches of Barclays, with the bank’s shares off 0.55p to 249.45p.

In the FTSE 250 index, Frankie & Benny’s owner The Restaurant Group dropped 11.5p to 544.5p as it said it would ramp up expansion next year, despite a slow down in sales growth over the period since the end of the first half.