Markets: Black Friday brings joy to retailers

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Retailers enjoyed a strong run as America’s “Black Friday” rush brought the industry into focus, helping the FTSE 100 Index close its strongest week of the year.

Market strategist Ishaq Siddiqi, at ETX Capital, said: “Retailers are in focus as shoppers take to stores in the US, snapping up bargains – the UK’s retail sector performed reasonably well on the back of this with traders hopeful the Christmas shopping season will bump up profits.”

B&Q parent Kingfisher, which updates on trading next week, rose 3.7p to 280.7p, Marks & Spencer added 2.7p to 380.7p, while Argos parent Home Retail Group moved 2.8p higher to 109.7p in the FTSE 250.

The Footsie was 28.11 points or 0.5 per cent higher at 5,819.14, meaning Britain’s blue-chip shares gained about £54 billion in value this week as they recovered most of the ground they lost the week before.

Morrisons’ shares fell after broker Nomura downgraded prospects for European supermarkets. It cut its stance from bullish to neutral owing to low or no volume growth, margin pressure and weak balance sheets in the sector. Morrisons dropped 1.7p to 261.7p.

Sainsbury’s and Tesco had also suffered share falls early in the session, but later recovered to stand 1.2p higher at 333.6p and 0.7p up at 318p respectively.

Brewer SABMiller continued pushing higher after having its price target nudged up by a number of brokers.

The group, which owns Grolsch, Miller Lite and Peroni, reported a 12 per cent hike in half-year profits on Thursday. Shares were 33p ahead at 2,834p last night.

Outside the top flight, shares in London Pride brewer Fuller, Smith & Turner were also up. It added 24p to 750p.

NEW YORK: US stocks extended gains, with all three key indexes climbing 1 per cent, as technology shares led the way in thin trading ahead of an early, post-Thanksgiving close for equity markets.

The Dow Jones industrial average gained 133.01 points, or 1.04 per cent, to close at 12,969.90 while the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index rose 14.52 points, or 1.04 per cent, closing at 1,405.55. The Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 36.11 points, or 1.23 per cent, to 2,962.67.