FTSE 100 rises after Trump eases off China in trade dispute

The London markets rose as investor sentiment was buoyed as trade tensions between the US and China appeared to ease.

The FTSE 100 closed the day up 18.04 points at 7,328.92 points.

Stocks across Europe rallied on the back of news that the US has granted Huawei a 90-day extension before its ban will be implemented.

David Madden, market analyst at CMC Markets UK, said: “This is seen as a sign the US administration don’t want to turn up the heat on China just yet, but the ball is in Beijing’s court.

“The trade standoff is still very much alive, but this appears to be a slight reduction in hostilities, and some traders are taking the opportunity to snap up equities.”

Optimism spread across the continent, as European stocks took the move as a positive signal regarding the future of the long-running trade dispute.

The German Dax jumped by 0.85% and the French CAC rose by 0.5%.

The pound jumped higher on the back of Theresa May’s announcement that MPs will be offered a vote on a second referendum.

Sterling had slumped to its lowest since January earlier on Tuesday, but recovered after the Prime Minister offered the possible Brexit reprieve.

The pound rose 0.08% to 1.273 versus the US dollar and increased 0.12% to 1.141 versus the euro.

In stocks, high street stalwart WH Smith rose marginally after its boss Stephen Clarke revealed plans to step down at the end of October after six years at the helm of the retailer.

He will be replaced as group chief executive on November 1 by Carl Cowling, who is currently managing director of the group’s high street arm.

Shares in the retailer rose by 4p to 2,032p.

Halfords remained flat after it reported lower annual profits, as the retailer warned that a transformation plan would take longer than expected amid current levels of consumer uncertainty.

Profit before tax dropped 24% to £51 million at the business, with lower motoring sales, high investment and weak sentiment in the run-up to Christmas all contributing to the decline.

Halfords shares closed at 239p after holding firm.

Builder Galliford Try surged in value after it revealed plans to axe up to 350 jobs amid an overhaul of its under-pressure construction business.

Shares in Galliford Try jumped by 82.5p to 619p.

Majestic shares rose on its confirmation that a number of potential buyers are circling its retail business, after it kicked off a sale process last month.

Shares in the wine retailer rose 14p to 280p.

The price of oil remained fairly subdued, falling marginally as political tensions between the US and Iran continue to heat up.

The price of a barrel of Brent crude oil fell by 0.3% to 71.8 US dollars.

The biggest risers on the FTSE 100 were Sainsbury’s, up 9.3p at 207.1p, Coca-Cola HBC, up 97p at 2,769p, Persimmon, up 62p at 2,108p and Taylor Wimpey, up 4.35p at 175.8p.

The biggest fallers on the FTSE 100 were Rolls Royce, down 23.2p at 918p, Pearson, down 15.4p at 785.2p, IAG, down 9.2p at 493.2p, and Paddy Power Betfair, down 58p at 5,756p.