FTSE 100 buoyed by easing trade tensions between US and China

The FTSE 100 closed the day higher as US-China trade tensions appeared to wane slightly.

London’s leading index closed higher, up 29.49 at 7,214.29 points, on President Trump’s second day in the UK.

UK markets were buoyed by the Chinese Ministry of Commerce, which said the trade spat with the US will need to be worked out with additional talks.

David Madden, market analyst at CMC Markets UK, said: “In the era of heightened trade tensions, any language that isn’t hostile, and advocates further dialogue, is seen as a step forward.

“The situation is far from diffused, but the absence of aggression has promoted traders to snap up stocks.”

Despite closing higher, the FTSE 100 lagged behind its continental counterparts, with other European markets reporting larger gains.

The German Dax rose by 1.51% and the French CAC jumped by 0.51%.

In the US, the Dow Jones jumped higher after sprinting out of the gates at the start of trading on Tuesday following the positive trade comments.

Sterling was boosted by President’s Trump’s appearance in the UK, with his promise of a lucrative trade deal offering a glimmer of hope to pound traders.

The pound was up 0.13% to 1.267 versus the US dollar and increased 0.17% to 1.128 versus the euro.


In stocks, FirstGroup shares dipped marginally after the train and bus business launched a scathing attack on the company’s biggest shareholder, calling it an “opportunistic, self-interested player that is only focused on short-term gains”.

FirstGroup said activist investor Coast Capital’s demands to split UK and US assets and quit the rail industry were “inconsistent” and “irresponsible”.

Shares in the transport business closed down 0.1p at 109.8p.

Shares in Neil Woodford’s listed investment trust plunged after investors were blocked from pulling out money from its multibillion-pound sister fund.

Woodford Patient Capital Trust (WPCT) saw shares tumble amid concerns of knock-on effects from the suspension on Monday of the flagship Woodford Equity Income Fund after an exodus of investors.

The trust’s share price slid by 5.5p to 71p on Tuesday.

Online gambling firm 888 Holdings has cheered an “encouraging” start to the year after UK revenues surged by nearly a fifth.

The group posted an 18% jump in UK like-for-like revenues between January 1 and May 18, with sales largely thanks to an increase in recreational customers.

Shares in the company closed up 10.4p at 142.5p.

Electricals retailer AO World saw shares dive as it revealed another annual loss after an ill-fated TV advertising campaign failed to boost flagging website sales and amid woes in its European arm.

Shares in the retailer plunged by 10p to 100p at the close of trading.

The price of oil remained fairly subdued, although worries about future demand levels have continued to persist, lifting prices slightly.

The price of a barrel of Brent crude oil rose by 1.2% to 61.6 US dollars.

The biggest risers on the FTSE 100 were Standard Life Aberdeen, up 14p at 275p, Aviva, up 14.7p at 417.8p, EasyJet, up 30.2p at885p, and Tui, up 24.6p at 722.6p.

The biggest fallers on the FTSE 100 were Ocado, down 59p at 1,112.5p, Hargeaves Lansdown, down 102p at 2,126p, Pearson, down 21.8p at 769.2p, and Sage Group, down 17.6p at 733.2p.