London shares move higher on economy hopes
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4.30pm: London higher
Markets begin the week on the front foot following encouraging data on the economy on Friday. Unemployment, wages and inflation data for November and December, will be published tomorrow and Wednesday.
The FTSE 100 closed 16 points higher at 7,860.07.
Financial markets in the US are closed for Martin Luther King day.
Private sector weakens
Scotland’s private sector saw the number of people in employment falling for the first time in almost two years, according to the Royal Bank of Scotland.
The continued drop in business and challenging conditions have resulted in the first fall in employment for 21 months, said the bank’s monthly purchasing managers’ index (PMI) for December.
Job were shed across Scotland at a slightly faster pace than the UK average, which similarly reported a fall in payroll numbers for the first time in 22 months.
Investment manager Ashmore posted a 2% rise in second-quarter assets under management to $57.2bn. This comprised a positive investment performance of $3.8bn and net outflows of $2.6bn.
The company hailed a strong performance from emerging markets, reflecting a positive shift in investor sentiment against a backdrop of light positioning and “highly attractive” valuations.
The Chinese economy remains a concern. China’s economic growth for 2022 is expected to have been among its weakest in four decades after the twin crises of the pandemic and property woes, analysts said ahead of the release of official figures on Tuesday.
However, the Shanghai Composite was up 1%, while the Hang Seng index in Hong Kong was down 0.6% and Japan’s Nikkei 225 index was down 1.1%.