May and Macron drive FTSE to record
Britain’s top share index rose to another record close today as investors continued to pile into equities on the back of growing confidence in Europe, following Emmanuel Macron’s victory, and continuing momentum behind Theresa May’s Conservatives.
The FTSE 100 closed 49 points or 0.66% higher at 7,435.39 points, a record close and close to its record intraday levels of mid-March.
A 1.9% uplift on the week was its biggest weekly gain since December. The FTSE 250 on the other hand ended down 0.17% to 19,762.97.
AstraZeneca led the risers today, jumping 9% after its key immunotherapy drug durvalumab was shown to reduce the risk of death from lung cancer in a trial.
A big European telecoms merger helped stimulate the sector with BT and Vodafone rising 2.7% and 2.3% respectively.
A broker upgrade gave shares in Standard Life a lift, up 1.9%. RBC analysts believe the insurance business will be sold, unlocking value in the asset management operation.
Oil services provider Petrofac slumped 14% after it was confirmed that the Serious Fraud Office is questioning chief executive Ayman Asfari and the company’s chief operating officer in connection with an ongoing investigation into the Monaco-based Unaoil.
Lloyds Banking Group (down 1.44%) was under the cosh following a report that it may have to pay £80m to compensate customers in a fresh mis-selling scandal. The lender is writing to more than 7,000 customers of the bank and its investment arm Scottish Widows.