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FTSE 100 up on strong commodities and UK recovery

The FTSE 100 steamed ahead on Friday, fueled by a surge in mining stocks and positive UK economic data. The blue-chip index climbed 1% by 11:00 GMT, defying expectations of a slowdown. Leading the charge …

The FTSE 100 steamed ahead on Friday, fueled by a surge in mining stocks and positive UK economic data.

The blue-chip index climbed 1% by 11:00 GMT, defying expectations of a slowdown.

Leading the charge were industrial metal miners, up 3% as metal prices soared in Shanghai. This surge was driven by increased investment in commodities as a hedge against inflation. Precious metal miners also enjoyed strong gains, with gold prices hitting historic highs and the sector rising a stellar 3.3%.

Gold surges to new highs as geopolitics trump strong US data
Geopolitical tensions fuel record gold prices despite strong US economy.

Adding to the positive sentiment was news that the UK economy grew 0.1% in February, exceeding expectations and signalling an escape from a short-lived recession. This data paves the way for the Bank of England to potentially cut rates in the latter half of 2024, as they seek to balance economic growth with inflation control.

Meanwhile, individual stocks saw mixed results. BP gained 2.3% on rumours of potential acquisition interest, while R&Q Insurance plummeted 45.4% after announcing a significant pre-tax loss forecast.

Petrofac shares plunged over 25% after the company revealed it was in discussions regarding a major debt restructuring. The talks could result in a significant portion of Petrofac’s debt being swapped for an ownership stake in the company.


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