FRIDAY MARKET CLOSE: Footsie cheers strong US job creation

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The FTSE 100 finally bounced back after a week of steady decline as it shrugged off taper fears and celebrated solid US job numbers with a rise of almost 1 per cent.

There had been fears that a better-than-expected figure from the non-farms payroll would draw a negative reaction because it increases the likelihood that the Federal Reserve will start to trim its bond-buying programme soon. Instead the Footsie climbed 53.66 points to close at 6,551.99.

David Madden, market analyst at IG, said: “Good news is once again good news; traders welcomed the strong jobs report from the US and aggressively bought into the equity market after unemployment dropped to its lowest level in five years.”

Upmarket builder Berkeley put the construction sector on the front foot after it guided its full-year earnings towards the top end of expectations. The group, which is focused on London and the south east of England, saw its own shares climb 11 per cent or 255p to 2,537p.

Its strong performance rubbed off on fellow builders – which were also buoyed by figures from the Halifax that showed house prices leapt 7.7 per cent higher over the last year. Persimmon climbed 29p to 1,183p, Barratt Developments was up 13.2p to 337.9p, Bellway added 44p to 1,440p and Bovis Homes was 23p ahead at 777p.

BP and Royal Dutch Shell were buoyed after a positive note from HSBC. Rising oil prices also helped as Shell lifted 3 per cent or 61p to 2,157p, while BP added 2.3p to 477.4p.

Domino’s Pizza was out of favour after chief executive Lance Batchelor announced plans to leave. He will remain with the group until the end of April, but shares fell 9 per cent, or 49p, to 480p.