FTSE 100 ends the week higher but tech stocks weigh Wall Street down
The FTSE 100 and European stock markets were slightly up on Friday with the BT (BT-A.L) merger approval driving sentiment.
The FTSE 100 (^FTSE) was up 0.2% to 7,290 as trading closed across Europe, while the CAC (^FCHI) advanced 0.38% in Paris. In Germany, the DAX (^GDAXI) rose 0.28%.
Wall Street was on the back foot, with tech firms leading the decline after dismal results for Snap (SNAP) and Twitter (TWTR).
The Dow Jones (^DJI) was treading water while the S&P 500 (^GSPC) dropped 0.48% to 3,979 and the tech-heavy Nasdaq (^IXIC) lost 1.23% to 11,915.
London's benchmark index was buoyed by the announcement that BT Group and Warner Bros Disovery Inc's (WBD) joint venture (JV) had been approved by the UK’s competition watchdog, allowing the creation of a new sports channel in the UK and Ireland.
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Miners led the gains in London, with Rio Tinto (RIO) advancing 1.56% and Glencore (GLEN.L) gaining 1.18%. Insurer Admiral (ADM.L), battered earlier this week by a profit warning, retreated 0.69%
Haleon (HLN.L), the consumer health spin-out from GSK (GSK.L) and Pfizer (PFE), rose 0.73%.
Meanwhile, oil prices are in the green, with Brent crude (BZ=F) hovering around $104 a barrel.
"Volatility was the winner overnight, with a multitude of data points and events leaving market price action messier than a teenager's bedroom. The European Central Bank (ECB) surprised markets by lifting policy rates by 0.50%, ending over a decade of negative interest rates," Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst, Asia Pacific, at OANDA, said.
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"The euro has already been rallying, but its gains were tempered by the collapse of the Italian government, and post the ECB meeting, German/Italian bond spreads started widening noticeably. The ECB’s Lagarde said policy decisions would be made on a meeting-by-meeting basis going forward, tossing their forward guidance out," he added.
In Asia, Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 (^N225) advanced 0.4% to 27,914 while the Hang Seng in Hong Kong (^HSI) climbed 0.3% to 20,635. The Shanghai Composite (000001.SS) was muted, inching just 0.06% to close in the green, at 3,273.