FTSE Today: Mixed close for London stocks, BT and Currys buck the trend

London’s stock market closed with a mixed performance on Friday, as soft US employment data reinforced indications that central banks are currently holding off on interest rate hikes. The FTSE 100 index ended the day down by 0.4% at 7,417.73 points, while the FTSE 250 saw a gain of 1.2% closing at 17,983.84 points. The AIM All-Share index also closed on a positive note, up 1.0% at 697.25 points.

Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that the US economy added 150,000 jobs in October, falling short of the expected 180,000. Additionally, the unemployment rate rose to 3.9%, higher than the previous month’s 3.8%. This subdued jobs report followed the Federal Reserve’s decision to maintain the federal funds rate range between 5.25% and 5.50%.

In London, major oil companies faced losses, with Shell down by 3.8% and BP down by 2.1% following their quarterly results announcement earlier this week. Conversely, telecoms giant BT continued its positive momentum, closing up 5.3% after reporting a rise in revenue to £10.41 billion and a 29% increase in pretax profit to £1.08 billion for the six months ending September 30.

Meanwhile, consumer electronics retailer Currys saw a 4.1% jump in its stock value. The company announced the sale of its Greece and Cyprus retail business, Dixons South East Europe, to Public Power Corp SA for £175 million, simplifying its structure and enabling a focus on larger markets like the UK & Ireland and Nordics.

On the AIM market, Surface Transforms plummeted 33% due to ongoing challenges in its production line, impacting sales guidance for 2023, which was revised down to £8.6 million. In contrast, Capital Metals recorded a remarkable surge of 21% after securing more than one billion advertising impressions, marking a significant milestone for the company.