UK markets close higher after Wall Street boost

The FTSE 100 has ended the day higher, after a positive performance by Wall Street helped to buoy the UK markets.

London’s top flight closed higher, up 23.09 points to 7.184.8 points.

The Dow Jones pushed higher, driving up the UK markets after they started the week in decline amid the arrival of US president Donald Trump.

The FTSE 100 started Monday firmly in the red and stayed there for most of the morning after being weighed down by disappointing UK manufacturing data, which showed a contraction for the first time in almost three years.

David Madden, market analyst at CMC Markets UK, said: “It has been an impressive turnaround seeing as the major indices were offside this morning, and traders seem to have shrugged off the negative sentiment.

“Tensions between the US and China, and the US and Mexico are still high – the highest they have been recently, so today’s move might turn out to be a relief rally, as the political standoff continues.”

The European markets were also buoyed by positivity in the US, to push higher throughout the day’s trading.

The German Dax rose by 0.49% and the French CAC jumped by 0.57%.

The pound remained steady despite negativity surrounding new manufacturing, falling only marginally against the dollar.

The pound declined by 0.07% to 1.261 versus the US dollar and decreased 0.44% to 1.126 versus the euro.

In stocks, embattled construction firm Kier saw shares dive after it issued a shock profit warning, with bosses revealing that profits are set to be £25 million lower than expected

The company said the highways, utilities, housing maintenance and buildings divisions will be particularly affected and revenues will be flat at about £2.5 billion.

Shares in Kier slid by 114.4p to 204.2p at the close of trading.


Drugs giant AstraZeneca saw shares rise after it revealed positive results for a new cancer drug.

Bosses said Phase Three trials of Lynparza, a treatment for pancreatic cancer in a joint venture with US pharma business Merck, had shown that patients on the drug went 7.4 months without their illness worsening, compared with 3.8 months for those on a placebo.

Shares in the pharmaceutical firm lifted 111p to 5,944p at the close of play.

Elsewhere, shares in East Yorkshire telecoms firm KCOM surged after the firm’s board threw its weight behind a new £563 million offer to buy the company.

KCOM shares closed higher, up 13p at 110p.

Metro Bank shares slumped after reports that it has dramatically reined in its lending to real estate clients in a bid to rebalance its portfolio.

Shares in the retail bank fell by 58p to 625.5p, as it also saw shareholders approve its £375 million share placing.

The price of oil moved higher after Saudi Arabia suggested that production curbs may stay in place longer than initially expected.

The price of a barrel of Brent crude oil fell by 0.1% to 61.7 US dollars.

The biggest risers on the FTSE 100 were NMC Health, up 98p at 2,351p, Fresnillo, up 28.8p at 796.8p, Evraz, up 14.6p at 602.6p, and BAE Systems, up 10.1p at 462.5p.

The biggest fallers on the FTSE 100 were Tui, down 32p at 698p, Auto Trader, down 20p at 579.4p, Schroders, down 75p at 2,844p and Standard Life, down 6.3p at 261p.