Market report

FTSE 100 surges again as growth beats forecast

London and financial services
Reaching new heights: the FTSE 100 has soared this week (pic: Terry Murden)

More talk of interest rate cuts and confirmation that the UK exited recession saw housebuilders and consumer-focused stocks lead the stock market to new heights.

Traders were in bullish mood after the UK economy grew by 0.6% in the first quarter of this year, according to Office for National Statistics figures.

It represented the strongest quarterly growth since the fourth quarter of 2021, and came in ahead of expectations.

Crest Nicholson was up 7p to 206.25p while Persimmon gained 18p to 1424].5p, and Berkeley Group rose 80p to 5245p.

Also benefiting from the potential for more consumer spending power was Marshalls, the landscaping and building products firm which rose 17.5p to 310p.

Miners were in the ascendancy on the back of firmer metal prices. Glencore ended the day 12.5p higher at 476p while Antofagasta picked up 25p to finish at 2252p.

British Airways-owner International Consolidated Airlines said its earnings soared in recent months thanks to higher sales and lower fuel costs. IAG said it was continuing to see a rebound in leisure travel. Its shares rose early on Friday, before slumping later in the afternoon to finish 0.88% down.

The session ended with yet another closing high for the FTSE 100, which rounded off a strong week with a gain of 52.41 points to hit a new record of 8,433.76.

Over the week the index, which has reached new highs for six straight sessions, was up 220.27 points, or 2.7%.

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