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FTSE 100 hits best day for two months as Friday 13 proves lucky for traders

Shares soared in London on Friday (Jonathan Brady/PA)
Shares soared in London on Friday (Jonathan Brady/PA)

Any superstitious concerns that Friday 13 might add to a run of bad luck for London’s traders proved unsubstantiated as the City’s top index notched up its best day since early March.

On a buoyant day the markets were turned into a sea of green as all but five companies on the FTSE 100 gained ground.

By the end of the day the index had gained 184.81 points, bringing it to 7,418.15, a rise of 2.6%.

“For those of a superstitious nature, and after the week we’ve seen in equity markets, perhaps a hint of apprehension wasn’t surprising as we came to the final day of trading for this week on Friday 13,” said CMC Markets analyst Michael Hewson.

“As it turns out, the price action today has been fairly orderly, as well as positive to boot, with broad gains across the board as we look to cap a week of gains for European markets, closing at the highs of the week.”

The best performers in London included gambling groups Flutter and Entain, while financial companies including Abrdn, Prudential and Scottish Mortgage were all flying high.

Danni Hewson, a financial analyst at AJ Bell, said: “And just like that the FTSE 100’s fairy godmother waved her magic wand and London’s blue-chip index is back in the black and up a teeny tiny bit on where it was at the start of 2022.

“No mean feat when you consider what the year has dropped on investors so far. Generally, markets seemed determined to put the last week behind them and end on a positive note, even if the consensus is that positivity will be short-lived.”

A 3.2% rise in the price of Brent crude oil – to 110.94 dollars per barrel – helped lift oil giants BP and Shell as well.

London’s strong performance after a tricky week was echoed elsewhere across the globe.

In Germany the Dax index had gained 2.1% by the end of the day, and France’s Cac 40 rose 2.5%.

On Wall Street shortly after European trading ended the S&P 500 was up 2.4% and the Dow Jones 1.5%.

At the same time, on currency markets one pound would buy 1.2243 dollars or 1.1761 euros, up 0.19 and 0.04 respectively.

In company news it was revealed that Tesco’s boss got a £4.7 million pay packet over the last year, 224 times the overall pay of the average Tesco worker.

Ken Murphy has been chief executive since October 2020, and was handed a £3.2 million bonus over the last year.

Shares in the supermarket rose by 2.6%.

The biggest risers on the FTSE 100 were Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust, up 55p to 805.8p, Flutter Entertainment, up 476p to 8,944p, Compass Group, up 90.5p to 1,808p, Intermediate Capital Group, up 70p to 1,426p, and Prudential, up 45.4p to 336.6p.

The biggest fallers on the FTSE 100 were Pearson, down 12p to 743.6p, Vodafone, down 1p to 117.82p, Avast, down 3p to 495.9p, and Aveva, down 9p to 2,130p.

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