FTSE 100 Gains Despite Record Slump In UK GDP

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The FTSE 100 pared back its losses this afternoon despite data showing the UK economy shrank by a record 9.9 per cent last year.

The figures reflect the damaging economic nature of national lockdowns imposed to curb the spread of coronavirus.

Mining and financial stocks led the declines, as the FTSE 250 also dipped by 0.07 per cent.

Data on Friday also showed Britain’s GDP grew 1 per cent between October and December, avoiding heading back towards a recession at the end of the year.

Read more: UK GDP: How City analysts reacted to the record economic slump

Market movers

The afternoon’s biggest winner wealth manager St James’s Place which gained 3.2 per cent, followed by DS Smith which rose 2.6 per cent.

Holiday company Jet2 fell 7.5 per cent as it raised £422m through a new share issue, equivalent to 20 per cent of its share capital before fundraising.

Hospitality and leisure stocks continued to take a battering with British Airways owner IAG and Intercontinental Hotels among the FTSE’s biggest fallers, both down 1.6 per cent.

Read more: UK GDP suffers largest contraction on record in 2020

Wall Street opens lower

The tide seems to be turning on Wall Street, with all three main indices opening lower at the open dragged down by energy stocks.

The S&P 500 dropped 0.09 per cent to 31,395 while the Dow Jones and Nasdaq shed 35 points and 34 points respectively.

All three indexes hit record highs this week and were on course for their second consecutive weekly high.

Elsewhere, Asian shares hovered just below a record high on Friday as mixed US economic data caused some investors to show restraint.

Read more: Online retail sales record five years growth in 12 months due to pandemic