US jobs data hits pound while FTSE falls into the red
Strong jobs data from the US weighed on the pound on Friday, while London’s top-flight shares ended the week in the red.
Non-farm payrolls for June beat expectations, with more than 220,000 jobs added to the American economy.
The US dollar reacted positively to the news, but this was bad news for sterling which dropped 0.55% on the greenback to just under 1.251.
The pound had an otherwise quiet day, despite another set of disappointing productivity figures. The currency was almost flat on the euro at 1.115, up 0.08%.
It rounded off a dud week for Britain’s currency.
Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK, said this was “largely as a result of the expectation that the next move in rates is likely to be lower, given this week’s disappointing economic data, while at the same time investors are slowly waking up to the fact that a no-deal Brexit is becoming a much more probable outcome.”
Meanwhile, the FTSE 100 lost 50.44 points, dropping 0.66%, to close at 7,553.14.
Fiona Cincotta, senior market analyst at City Index, said: “Housebuilders and mining companies are weighing on the FTSE, the latter sliding because of a drop in metals prices over the last few days, the former because of a 0.3% decline in UK house prices in June.”
In London, shares in Just Eat were riding higher after Amazon’s investment into its rival Deliveroo was put under scrutiny by the competition watchdog.
The food delivery group gained 17.4p to 642.2p, putting it at the top of the FTSE 100 risers.
Airport services and support business John Menzies revealed profits will land below expectations, sending shares down 45p to 413p.
Building materials supplier SIG saw shares slump after it blamed a marked slowdown in the construction industry for lower like-for-like sales in the first half of the year.
Shares were down 7p to 125.4p.
The boss of children’s entertainment business Live Company Group has turned down his annual bonus, as he said the firm would exceed its event target for 2019. Shares dropped by 1p to 47.5p.
Shares in Superdry were trading 17.8p higher at 455.2p ahead of the company’s results next week. The clothing brand is expected to report a slump in profits, but is now under new management with a fresh strategy which analysts said could put it on the path to greater profitability.
Oil prices were supported by tensions in the Middle East, after an Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander said on Twitter that the country should seize a British ship in retaliation for the capture of an Iranian tanker.
A barrel of Brent crude oil was trading at 64.10 US dollars, up 1.46%
The biggest risers on the FTSE 100 were Just Eat up 17.4p to 642.2p, Sainsbury’s up 4.8p to 205.3p, Tui up 10.8p to 802p and Vodafone up 1.72p to 134.64p.
The biggest fallers on the FTSE 100 were Rio Tinto down 188p to 4,723.5p, Evraz down 24p to 629p, Aveva Group down 132p down 3,930p and Antofagasta down 26.6p to 882.8p.