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FTSE rises on upcoming U.S.-China talks

FTSE rises on upcoming U.S.-China talks
Signage is seen outside the entrance of the London Stock Exchange in London, Britain. Aug 23, 2018. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls -
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(Reuters) - UK shares rose early on Friday as news of a new round of talks between China and the United States raised hopes of a resolution to their protracted trade spat which shook the global markets for most of last year.

The FTSE 100 <.FTSE> was up 0.6 percent and the FTSE 250 <.FTMC> rose 0.9 percent by 0847 GMT, ahead of consumer credit data scheduled later in the morning.

The blue chips were on track for their biggest weekly gain in two months, showing some resilience to a slew of bad macroeconomic and corporate news from China and the United States in the first few days of 2019.

Beijing said it would hold vice ministerial level trade talks with Washington next week, pushing Asian shares higher and easing nerves of investors who have worried the tussle between the world's two largest economies will slow the global economy.

British stocks with more exposure to Asia rose as a result, with HSBC <HSBA.L> and Standard Chartered adding 1.2 percent and 2.4 percent, respectively, while luxury goods maker Burberry <BRBY.L> gained nearly 1.1 percent.

Whitbread <WTB.L> shares rose 2.4 percent after Barclays raised its rating and said the restaurant and hotel owner was its preferred hotel pick, while J Sainsbury <SBRY.L> fell 2 percent after a HSBC downgrade.

Oil prices also edged up after news of the upcoming trade talks, boosting heavyweights BP <BP.L> and Shell <RDSa.L> by 2.2 percent and 1.4 percent.

Miners saw some comeback after a dismal last session, with Glencore <GLEN.L>, Rio Tinto <RIO.L>, BHP <BHPB.L> and Antofagasta <ANTO.L> all gaining on the back of higher copper prices.

Sentiment was largely positive among the mid-caps too with oil firms topping the gainers.

Circassia Pharmaceuticals <CIRCI.L> tanked as much as 16 percent to record lows after the small-cap stuck to its 2019 targets ahead of a shareholder meeting later in the day.

Elsewhere, house-builder shares shrugged off a dismal house price data and gained on the Times report that said demand may improve if a Brexit deal is struck.

Persimmon <PSN.L>, Berkeley <BKGH.L>, Barratt <BDEV.L> and Taylor Wimpey <TW.L> all rose 1.6-2 percent on the main index while mid-caps Bovis Homes <BVS.L>, Crest Nicholson <CRST.L> rose 3.4 percent and 2.4 percent, respectively.

British house prices rose at their slowest annual pace in nearly six years in December, raising further concerns about a housing market that has cooled since the Brexit vote in 2016.

(Reporting by Muvija M and Shashwat Awasthi in Bengaluru; editing by Josephine Mason)

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