The London FTSE 100 stock index rose last week to move ahead of French and German rivals.
Financial markets can change rapidly. In fact, change is really the only constant in today’s trading landscape. The UK’s top equity index the FTSE 100 has certainly seen some highs and lows in the past few months, but last week’s trading has seen it edge upwards as other European rivals have fallen.
Although the index managed to hit its highest level in over 14 years in May, when it hit 6,894.99 points, the FTSE has declined to the point of being 1.3 per cent down since the beginning of 2014.
Concerns over political instability in some key global regions have knocked investor confidence, leaving the index at a slight loss.
But recent decisions from the Bank of England have helped to buoy stocks. Ahead of its decision to keep interest rates stable for another month, the central bank said in its quarterly inflation report that it expects wages to rise by just 1.25 per cent this year – halving its earlier projections. That has kept investors away from the pound, but helped to maintain interest in stocks.
At the same time, European markets have suffered as economic data has failed to impress investors. News emerged last week that the eurozone economy saw no growth in the April-June quarter.
Perhaps surprisingly, it was powerhouse Germany that held growth back, as the EU’s biggest economy contracted by 0.2 per cent. France, meanwhile, saw no growth at all.
With the UK expected to grow faster than any other developed country this year, according to figures from the International Monetary Fund, the UK will continue to be an attractive place for investors. It could be that further gains are ahead for the FTSE.
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