(Reuters) - Britain’s main index gained ground on Friday as a profit beat buoyed HSBC and miners recouped recent losses ahead of Chinese-U.S. trade talks next week, while upbeat U.S. jobs data kept investors happy.
The FTSE 100 ended 0.4 percent higher, following three sessions of decline, and the FTSE 250 overturned earlier losses to close up 0.1 percent.
HSBC was the biggest support to the main bourse, rising 2 percent to its highest level in over eight months as its profit surpassed analysts’ expectations thanks to a surge in income from its core Asian business.
Miners snapped a seven-day losing streak with a 1.1 percent jump as metal prices picked up with China and the United States set to resume trade talks next week.
Online grocer Ocado also inched up by 2.6 percent following bullish comments from Peel Hunt, whose analysts said the British company’s technology was ahead of retail giant Amazon’s when it comes to speed and efficiency.
Markets welcomed some positive news overseas, as data showed U.S. job growth surged in April and unemployment rate dropped to an over 49-year low. Both pointed to sustained strength in economic activity.
However, the blue-chip index’s gains were capped as sterling strengthened after Labour party’s Jeremy Corbyn said parliament must get a Brexit deal done.
All but two sectors were in positive territory on the FTSE 100, though weakness in oil majors on swelling U.S. inventories and concerns of global economic health still left the index bagging its steepest weekly loss in two months.
Midcaps also joined Friday’s rally but Intu Properties kept a lid on gains with a 4.6 percent drop.
Intu stock tumbled to a record low after the company lowered its rental income forecast, blaming retail collapses and a slowdown in new lettings due to Brexit uncertainties.
Rivals Hammerson and British Land also suffered, losing 1.5 percent and 1.3 percent respectively.
However, medical products maker ConvaTec added 5.3 percent after it reported in-line first quarter and stuck to annual targets.
Defence contractor Ultra Electronics jumped 5.3 percent after the company said 2019 will be a year of good underlying progress.
Reporting by Muvija M, Shashwat Awasthi and Yadarisa Shabong in Bengaluru; Editing by Mark Heinrich and Mark Potter