The trading week ended with a sigh of relief as Europe’s powerhouse economy returned to modest growth in the third quarter, while oil prices recovered slightly after days of declines.
Germany avoided a technical recession with expansion of 0.1 per cent for the three months to September, compared with the previous month’s contraction of 0.1 per cent.
With France’s GDP growth of 0.3 per cent beating expectations, the Cac 40 in Paris and Germany’s Dax inched narrowly into positive territory, while the FTSE 100 Index closed up 18.92 points at 6,654.37. Alastair McCaig, market analyst at IG, said: “In a turn up for the books, better-than-expected economic data from both France and Germany look to be contributing to the FTSE staying in the green.”
Generator hire firm Aggreko led the blue-chip risers after unveiling a rise in underlying sales and sealing a deal to buy an English rival. Shares in the Glasgow-based group finished the day up 52p, or 3.4 per cent, at 1,594p.
The wider market been pulled down earlier in the session by weak commodity prices weighing on mining and oil stocks. But the latter recovered later in the session as Brent Crude bounced back slightly after dipping below $77 a barrel, later climbing towards the $79 mark.
BP edged up 1.85p to 431.8p, while Royal Dutch Shell added 22p to 2,295p and Tullow Oil recovered from a sharp early fall to close just 0.2p lower at 463.8p.
A volatile week for supermarket stocks finished with the major players on the front foot. Tesco rose 3.85p to 195p and Morrisons gained 2.7p at 179.5p, while Sainsbury’s closed 5p higher at 270.1p.
Outside the top flight, Frankie & Benny’s parent Restaurant Group was under pressure after it reported lower sales growth since the end of August. Shares ended the day down 30.5p, or 4.5 per cent, at 654p.