Markets continue subdued streak ahead of bank holiday weekend

Shares in London continued their unremarkable performance of the last four days on Friday as the city’s top index finished close to last week’s final figure.

The FTSE 100 ended the day at 7,022.61 points, just marginally ahead of the 7,018 that the index was at a week earlier.

The 0.04% rise marks the end of a week without any major swings. The FTSE never reached above 7,062 points or below 6,999.

Traders will likely be pleased that the index only spent a few minutes below 7,000. It crossed that line last month for the first time since the pandemic started.

Yet it has struggled to consistently stay above 7,000 until this week.

Friday’s quiet performance did, however, conceal a little drama among some of the FTSE’s members.

The day’s rise could largely be attributed to the biggest housebuilders in the country, which bounced back from Thursday’s slide, after Taylor Wimpey said it needed more money to cover a defective London tower block.

Friday’s biggest losers included many of the index’s mining companies, including Antofagasta, Evraz and Fresnillo.

Other global stock indices were less subdued on Friday. The Dax in Germany ended the week with a rise of 0.7%. The Paris-based Cac index rose by 0.8%.

In the US the S&P 500 had added 0.3% when markets were closing in Europe while the Dow Jones was trading up a little under 0.4%.

Sterling also had a fairly uneventful day. By the end of European trading one pound bought 1.4178 dollars – unchanged compared to Thursday. Against the euro it fell in value by less than 0.1% to 1.1634.

The lack of movement on the FTSE was matched by a lack of big news from listed companies in London.

Despite concerns from some green groups, shareholders overwhelmingly backed HSBC’s new climate plan at its annual general meeting and its shares rose by a little over 1%.

AG Barr said trading has been encouraging recently as hospitality sites reopened, adding its last four months have been as expected. It released no firm data on its performance, however, and shares dipped by around 1.4%.

For Fulham Shore the day was more positive. The owner of the Franco Manca pizza chain reported that all but two of its 73 sites had reopened and sales in the first week of indoor dining were 92% of the same period in 2019, before the pandemic. Shares rose 4.8%.

The biggest risers on the FTSE 100 were London Stock Exchange, up 220p to 7,574p, Taylor Wimpey, up 4.4p to 171.4p, Croda International, up 166p to 6,988p, Persimmon, up 75p to 3,160p, and Barratt Developments, up 17.2p to 756.4p.

The biggest fallers on the FTSE 100 were Antofagasta, down 34.5p to 1,544.5p, Evraz, down 14.2p to 637.6p, Ashtead, down 102p to 5,148p, Ocado, down 36.5p to 1,889p, and Polymetal, down 30p to 1,696.5p.