(Reuters) -The FTSE 100 index rose on Friday, led by gains in heavyweight miners and a jump in Vodafone shares on strong results, while Ultra Electronics surged on a takeover bid from aerospace manufacturer Cobham.
The blue-chip index gained 0.7%, with miners Rio Tinto, Anglo American and Glencore among the top boosts.
Mobile operator Vodafone jumped 2% and was the third largest gainer on the FTSE 100 after it reported a better-than-expected 3.3% rise in first-quarter service revenue.
Aiding sentiment was a jump in British retail sales in June, which sent shares of retail stocks up by nearly 1.0%.
“The FTSE 100 has had a reasonably decent recovery... and the lag in its growth compared to its market peers is in part due to a stronger pound that has weighed on export focused stocks and lower bond yields which have weighed on banks throughout the week,” said David Madden, an analyst at Equiti Capital.
Banking stocks were set to end the week flat, while export-focussed stocks Unilever and Reckitt Benckiser were on course to fall 6.1% and 4.5%, respectively, this week.
The FTSE 100 has gained 8.5% so far this year led by dovish central bank policies and government stimulus, but has underperformed its wider European and local mid-cap peers due to inflation concerns and rising coronavirus infections.
The domestically focussed mid-cap index rose 1.1% on strong earnings updates from insurer Beazley, while Ultra Electronics jumped after Cobham’s takeover offer.
However, Britain’s rapid economic bounce-back from the pandemic slowed sharply in July as a new wave of cases forced hundreds of thousands of workers to self-isolate under government rules to limit the spread of the disease.
Among other stocks, Britain’s NatWest Group rose 2.5% after it agreed to sell assets from its Irish arm to Permanent TSB.
Reporting by Shashank Nayar in Bengaluru; Editing by Uttaresh.V and Shailesh Kuber