LONDON, U.K. – UK shares rose sharply at the last trading day of the week on increased hopes that the US and China are nearing phase one of the agreement to end the trade war, but pounds has slipped for the day.
Trade hopes prevailed after the hopeful comments from US President Trump in the market player’s perspective. Trump said in an interview on Thursday that the trade negotiations with China are moving right along, and the two sides continue to have major talks, and it has boosted most stocks in the global market, including shares in the UK.
However, when he was asked if he will go ahead with the new tariff hike on billions worth of Chinese imports scheduled for December 15, which has left investors at the edge of their seats a couple of weeks, the president refused to comment.
The benchmark FTSE 100 tracked around 0.85% gains on Friday, going up by 60 points towards 7,198. The gain as the trading week ends was very optimistic for the index after its recorded 0.7% decline during the last trading session.
Among the top gainers in the UK stock market is the Phoenix Group Holding, with its shares rising around 1% following the company agreeing to purchase ReAssure Group Plc, a UK insurance unit of the Swiss Re AG.
FirstGroup also tracked 0.9% gains on Friday following the acceptance of a competition watchdog for its remedies towards the competition issues on the West Coast Rail franchise, while BP Plc was also seen advancing by 0.7% on Friday after its agreement with the Lightsource BP.
Vodafone Group also recorded modest gains for the day, following its statement on taking a lot of initiatives, which includes eco-friendly accessories and half-sized SIM cards to help reduce the amount of plastic they use and reduce their environmental impact.
The Primar-owner Associated British Foods also tracked around 1% gains on Friday, in line with the company saying that they are expecting progress for both the reported and adjusted basis for IFRS 16.
Overall, most of the stocks in the UK are on the way to end the last day of the trading week on a more positive note.
On the other hand, the British pound wasn’t seen riding the highs on the increasing trade optimism as the UK shares did. The currency slipped on Friday, going down from its seventh-month record high it gained on Thursday. The decline was mostly caused by the high probability that the Conservative Party will take the majority seats in the parliament for the election scheduled for next week. The increasing possibility that the Brexit will deliver has caused the British pound slipped.