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FTSE ends week on a high after strong US jobs report

Shares in the City rose on Friday (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)
Shares in the City rose on Friday (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

Shares in London ended the week up again as they were buoyed by signs that the US labour market remains strong.

The FTSE 100 rose 40.75 points, or 0.54%, to end the day at 7,554.47, leaving the index around 25 points higher than it ended last week.

Data from the US on Friday afternoon showed the country added 199,000 new jobs in November, up from 150,000 the month before.

In Europe, shares were also up. At the end of the day, Frankfurt’s Dax index rose 0.78% while the Cac 40 in Paris had closed up 1.32%.

“Markets in Europe are seeing yet another positive week with the Dax up for the sixth week in a row, while the FTSE 100 is back at its highest level since October 19, after the latest US jobs report came in better than expected and unemployment unexpectedly fell to 3.7%,” said CMC Markets analyst Michael Hewson.

Both sides of the FTSE’s leaderboard on Friday were sandwiched by mining companies. Antofagasta led with a 4.2% rise in the price of its shares.

On the other end was a troubled Anglo American, down nearly 21% after flagging that its production is set to drop 4% next year. The drop wiped billions off its market value.

“A decline in Anglo American shares is taking some of the edge off today’s FTSE 100 gains after the miner warned that it plans to make production cuts next year as a means to reduce costs and boost prices,” Mr Hewson said.

“For 2023, production increased by 3%, however costs rose by 5%. This appears to have prompted a rethink on copper production and that they would be reducing capex (capital expenditure) next year by 800 million dollars (£638 million).”

In New York shortly after markets had closed in London the S&P 500 was trading down 0.03% while the Dow Jones was 0.01% higher.

Sterling dropped 0.5% against the dollar to 1.2525 and was largely flat at 1.1660 euros.

In company news, Berkeley Group said its pre-tax profits were up 4.6% at £298 million in the six months to the end of October.

Shares in the business dropped by 3.7%.

The biggest risers on the FTSE 100 were Antofagasta, up 61.5p to 1,514p, Intercontinental Hotels Group, up 240p to 6,830p, Ashtead, up 147p to 5,032p, RS Group, up 21.8p to 801.4p, and Airtel Africa, up 2.9p to 116p.

The biggest fallers on the FTSE 100 were Anglo American, down 421.9p to 1,802.6p, Berkeley Group, down 200p to 4,740p, Imperial Brands, down 36.5p to 1,820p, Hikma Pharmaceuticals, down 31.5p to 1,751.5p, and BT, down 2.25p to 132.15p.