The UK’s top share index held its ground on Friday, outperforming a broadly negative European market, as global trade uncertainty and political troubles closer to home spurred demand for defensive stocks and earnings filtered through.
The STOXX 600 fell 0.1 percent as earnings streamed in with several big disappointments causing shares to slide.
Earnings updates were the main focus on Thursday as Britain’s top share index inched higher, but it stayed within recent tight ranges as caution over the outcome of Brexit talks predominated.
Earnings updates were the main focus for investors in British shares on Thursday as the country’s top FTSE 100 index inches higher, although remaining within recent tight ranges on caution over the outcome of Brexit talks.
World stocks hit a one-month high on Wednesday as a bullish outlook from the head of the U.S. central bank and rising company earnings buoyed the mood, lifted the dollar and sent safe-haven gold to a one-year trough.
Europe’s tech index rose more than 2 percent, leading sectoral gainers in the region, with Ericsson and ASML surging 9 percent and 5 percent respectively.
U.S. stock index futures fell on Tuesday as Netflix’s weak subscriber numbers weighed on high-flying technology stocks and health insurer UnitedHealth Group’s (UNH.N) results failed to impress investors.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index was down 0.2 percent by 0725 GMT. Trading was however subdued ahead of Powell’s speech due at 1400 GMT.
World stocks rose for a second consecutive week on Friday as investors prepared for an expected run of strong earnings in the United States, although fears about the U.S.-China trade conflict kept gains in check and pushed the dollar higher.
Britain’s leading share index rose on Friday, buoyed by a weaker pound which slipped after U.S. President Donald Trump threw cold water on a hopes for a U.S. trade deal.