LONDON (Reuters) - The UK’s top share index rose on Friday, shrugging off any worries over global trade after U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods took effect.
The U.S. imposed tariffs on $34 billion in Chinese imports, with Beijing saying it had no choice but to respond in kind.
While the uncertainty surrounding the tariffs and their impact on growth has weighed on market sentiment, the reaction across European stocks was relatively sanguine with the broad market also closing in positive territory.
Some analysts suggested the tariffs had already been priced in by the market, as the FTSE has posted a slight loss in June and is down 0.3 percent so far in July.
“A lot of the bad news was already factored in,” David Madden, market analyst at CMC Markets UK, said, also pointing to an improvement in sentiment between the U.S. and Brussels.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Thursday she would support lowering European Union tariffs on U.S. car imports in response to an offer from Washington to abandon threatened levies on European cars in return for concessions.
On the day, shares in more defensive sectors such as telecoms, utilities and healthcare added the most points to the FTSE, suggesting investors were still cautious about jumping into more cyclical sectors such as financials and energy, which have been particularly hit by the uncertainty caused by tension in global trading relationships.
ITV (ITV.L) shares were the biggest individual gainers on the index, up 4.3 percent.
The UK broadcaster was boosted by a double upgrade from Societe Generale, whose analysts moved their rating on the stock to “buy” from “sell”, saying the majority of the headwinds ITV faced had now passed.
However, a more negative note from Barclays on UK motor insurers hit shares in Direct Line (DLGD.L), which was among the biggest fallers with a 3.7 percent decline, while a slew of price target downgrades from major brokers weighed on AB Foods (ABF.L), down 4.3 percent.
Deal-related news spiced things up among mid caps, with shares in Inmarsat (ISA.L) dropping 8 percent after the British firm rebuffed a $3.2 billion takeover approach from U.S. satellite group EchoStar (SATS.O).
Reporting by Kit Rees; Editing by Mark Potter