By Helen Reid
LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s top stock index rose on Friday after a tumultuous week during which global stocks sold off and investors in UK stocks fretted about a parliamentary vote on Brexit next Tuesday.
Britain’s FTSE 100 <.FTSE> rebounded from Thursday’s plunge to gain 1.5 percent. Financials, consumer stocks and oil majors boosted the index.
Investors and analysts remained unconvinced the gains represented a change in sentiment, though.
“Are people going to put new cash to work convincingly now, thinking this is the low? I can’t see there’s any urgency to do that now really,” said Ian Williams, analyst at Peel Hunt.
“It does look like a bounce from an extreme technical oversold level, but I don’t think it means we’re out of the woods yet by any means,” he said.
Shares in Associated British Foods <ABF.L> fell 2.4 percent after the Primark owner said trading at its budget fashion chain was challenging in November.
“The next three weeks will be critical, and there may be a chance to reverse the trend if the weather normalises,” Credit Suisse analysts said.
Marks & Spencer <MKS.L> shares also underperformed the market, up just 0.6 percent, as traders said Primark’s weaker performance reflected broader challenges for retail.
Shire <SHP.L> fell 1.7 percent, the second worst-performing FTSE 100 stock. Japan’s Takeda Pharmaceutical <4502.T>, the company acquiring Shire, suffered a 5 percent slide in its shares overnight.
Multinationals British American Tobacco <BATS.L>, Diageo <DGE.L>, Unilever <ULVR.L> drove much of the FTSE 100 gains as the dollar recovered from Thursday’s slide.
Mid-caps saw some big moves.
Intellectual-property investment firm IP Group’s shares <IPO.L> fell 7 percent after Jefferies cut its rating on the stock to “underperform” from “hold”.
“Against our earlier hopes for second-tier portfolio companies to step up to diversify dependence on Oxford Nanopore, hopefuls have largely failed to deliver, the listed portfolio drags and the market remains largely uninterested – ominously with the next significant funding beginning to loom,” Jefferies analysts said.
Shares in tour operator Thomas Cook <TCG.L> fell a further 3.5 percent, having suffered sharp falls this week.
Genus <GNS.L> fell 4.7 percent after the company announced a placing of 3 million new shares.
On their first day of trading, shares in retail investment platform AJ Bell <AJBA.L> surged 36 percent. The firm’s IPO valued it at 651 million pounds.
(Reporting by Helen Reid, editing by Larry King)