Strong US jobs numbers boost markets across Europe

Good jobs figures in the US helped drive up shares on the other side of the pond, as the FTSE 100 pushed higher to finish the week on a win.

The UK blue chip index closed up 0.75%, or 54.04 points to 7,302.42, with miners leading the way to help the FTSE end the week around 20 points below where it started on Monday.

The US added 128,000 jobs last month, way ahead of the 89,000 which had been forecast, meanwhile the figure for September was revised upwards from 136,000 to 180,000.

This “added to the bullish sentiment,” said David Madden, an analyst at CMC Markets UK.

“The news jolted stocks higher as it is clear the largest economy in the world is still in good health,” he said.

He added: “Continental equity markets rallied in October on the back of the Brexit deal, so today’s positive announcement from the US ensured that November got off to a good start.”

Germany’s Dax was up 0.73%, while France’s Cac rose 0.56% on the day.

The pound was relatively flat against the dollar, rising 0.03% to 1.2929. Against the euro, it fell 0.09% to 1.1579.

In company news, the Thomas Cook brand name will live on after the Chinese conglomerate Fosun snapped up the rights from liquidators of the bust travel firm.

Fosun will pay £11 million to use the Thomas Cook name and website, along with hotel brands Casa Cook and Cook’s Club.

Royal Bank of Scotland’s new boss has said complexity is getting in the way of delivering customer service and value.

Speaking to staff as she stepped up to the role as RBS chief executive, Alison Rose pledged to simplify the bank’s processes.

The chief executive of car dealership business Lookers departed the company after 19 years as the firm warned the challenging car market is continuing to hit the business.

The company, which had already issued a profit warning in July, said trading since mid-September had “been much more challenging than expected”.

Marks and Spencer is set to unveil a bloodbath in its clothing and home divisions when it announces half-year results on Wednesday.

But the key difference this time for the high street stalwart is that investors will be prepared, with management softening up the City weeks in advance, thanks to a series of soul-searching presentations to analysts last month.

International oil standard Brent crude was up 2.47% to 61.13 dollars per barrel.

The top risers on the FTSE 100 included Glencore, which rose 8.3p to 240.95p, Rio Tinto, up 154p to 4,168p, Anglo American, up 61.9p to 2,043.5p, Johnson Matthey, up 102p to 3,172p and Evraz, which rose 12.4p to 379.6p.

The biggest fallers included Auto Trader, down 18p to 544.2p, Hargreaves Lansdown, down 35p to 1,737p, Centrica, down 1.28 to 71.28p, Rightmove, down 10.2p to 588.4p, and British Land, down 9p to 611.6p.

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