US jobs figures and rising commodity prices boost FTSE



The FTSE 100 enjoyed a solid day’s trading on Thursday as investors reacted to strong jobs news in the US.

obless rates fell again and this encouraged traders to pour into traditional risk on investments.

As a result, it helped the FTSE 100 lift up by 65.89 points, or 0.92%, to 7,207.71 at the close of play, while Wall Street’s main markets also leapt higher on the opening bell.

London stocks were also buoyed once again by commodity firms which rose on the back of soaring prices for copper, aluminium, oil and natural gas.

“The FTSE 100 has managed to get back near to its recent range highs, led by the likes of Anglo American, Antofagasta and Glencore, while oil prices are helping to support the likes of BP and Royal Dutch Shell,” commented Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK.

In company news, recruiter Hays said September was its best month since the pandemic struck as firms worldwide scramble to secure talent amid a skills shortage.

The group saw like-for-like fees jump 41% in its first quarter to the end of September, helping shares close up 4.9p at 167.2p.

The bosses of Rolls-Royce, Shell and Airbus called for more work to reduce the carbon impact of flying.

Warren East, chief executive of the aircraft engine maker Rolls-Royce, said that, to avoid aviation becoming an even bigger share of global emissions, the sector must move ahead of United Nations targets.

Investors in London-listed Rolls and Shell gave a more muted response to the calls. Rolls-Royce finished 0.12p higher at 143.44p, while Royal Dutch Shell A rose by 23.8p to 1,744.8p.

Domino’s Pizza announced plans to recruit 8,000 riders for the busy festive season, as bosses revealed sales in the 13 weeks to September 26 were up 8.8% on a like-for-like basis to £375.8 million.

Orders collected from stores – a key area of growth for the business – were up 40.3% and stand at 82% of pre-pandemic levels.

Nevertheless, shares closed 16p lower at 370p.

National Express attempted to reassure investors over the hikes in fuel prices, confirming it has already bought all the fuel it needs until part-way through 2023 via hedging.

Shares closed 2.6p higher at 231.8p.

And high street homewares giant Dunelm revealed an 8.3% increase in first-quarter sales compared with the same period a year ago, when sales soared by 36.7% thanks to pent-up demand following the initial Covid-19 lockdown.

This was a sharp slowdown in sales growth, given the tough year-on-year comparison, but Dunelm said sales jumped 48% on a two-year basis.

Shares closed 2p lower at 1,298p.

Bingo hall and casino owner Rank Group revealed soaring revenues up 69% for the past three months a strong recovery for its venues.

The company, which owns Mecca Bingo and Grosvenor Casinos, saw shares lift on Thursday to close up 3.8p at 163.2p, with its Grosvenor casino sites particularly benefiting from the easing of remaining lockdown restrictions in July.

The biggest risers on the FTSE 100 were BHP Group, up 71p at 1,992p, Rio Tinto, up 181p at 5,111p, Anglo American, up 95.5p a 2,879.5p, and Glencore, up 12.55p at 384.4p.

The biggest fallers were Tesco, down 3.35p at 266p, London Stock Exchange, down 96p at 7,834p, Admiral, down 31p at 2,976p, and Flutter, down 125p at 14,325p.



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