Markets stay positive on back of US rate rise
Thur: Markets continued their upward trajectory following the US interest rate hike, the FTSE 100 gaining 0.69% to close at 6,103 points.
Better-than-expected UK retail data helped give the index a further lift. Sales rose 1.7% in November, beating economists’ expectations for a 0.5% increase as shoppers made the most of ‘Black Friday’ bargains.
The Office for National Statistics report also showed sales on the year comfortably beat estimates, up 5% against expectations for a 3% rise.
Meanwhile, investors continued to weigh the Federal Reserve’s decision to raise interest rates for the first time in nearly a decade on Wednesday by 25 basis points to 0.50%, as expected by analysts.
Fed chairman Janet Yellen assured the market that any future interest rate hikes would be gradual and said the decision was made to increase rates as any delay could have been forced it to implement a more aggressive increase.
Old Mutual continued to rebound as political issues in South Africa subsided.
J Sainsbury rose on the back of data from Kantar Worldpanel earlier this week that the supermarket has increased sales and is growing its market share.