FTSE Close: Lacklustre Black Friday for London markets

The FTSE 100 closed up just 0.1% on Black Friday, ending the week down 0.2% as sterling surged against the dollar. The FTSE 250 fell 0.1% and is down 0.6% on the week, while the AIM All-Share dropped 0.2% and is off 0.4% over the past five days.

The pound jumped to $1.2605 as strong economic data lifted rate hike expectations. UK PMI indicated surprise expansion and GfK consumer confidence rose 6 points, though still at -24.

Retail stocks saw gains amid Black Friday discounts. Tesco and Kingfisher rose 1.4%, while clothing firms Frasers, Next and JD Sports advanced on increased holiday sales hopes. BP and Shell closed up on oil price gains.

Barclays added 1.1% despite restructuring plans that may cut 2,000 jobs. Sage Group dropped 2.7% as Canaccord downgraded it to “sell.”

Legal & General edged up 0.7% after agreeing to a £4.8 billion full buy-in for Boots’ pension scheme, securing 53,000 members’ benefits in the UK’s largest single transaction by premium size.

On AIM, Team17 plunged 46% as it slashed earnings guidance on game delays and overspends. It now sees adjusted EBITDA of at least £28.5 million, including impairments of £11.5 million, down 41% from 2022.