London markets were up on Friday, despite new data showing a British economic slowdown and fresh Brexit worries.
What did markets do?
The U.K.’s FTSE 100 UKX, +0.35% gained 0.4% to 6,968.15, after finishing up 0.5% on Thursday. The pound GBPUSD, +0.4549% dropped to $1.2765 from $1.2749 late in New York Thursday.
What is driving the markets?
Britain’s economy slowed in the three months leading to November, official data from the Office of National statistics showed on Friday. Expansion was at its slowest pace in six months as factories suffered from difficult trade conditions ahead of Brexit, Reuters reported.
An influential lobby group for U.K. businesses will on Friday warn that a crash-out Brexit would shrink the country’s economy by 8% and put thousands of jobs at risk. On Thursday , the ratings agency S&P Global Ratings said it could reassess its guidance on U.K. banks if the country is forced into a disorderly exit from the EU.
Elsewhere, Ford Motor Co. F, -0.57% has launched an overhaul of its European business. It will include thousands of job cuts, plant closures and the cancellation of low-profit models amid poor performance at the global car maker, The Wall Street Journal reports. In the U.K., no decision has been made over whether to close engine and component plants in Dagenham and Bridgend.
Trade talks between China and the U.S. are still progressing, with China’s top trade officials expected to visit the U.S. later this month for more negotiations.
What stocks are active?
British housebuilding company Taylor Wimpey PLC TW., +3.93% gained 3% and Persimmon PLC PSN, +3.30% added just over 2%, after Taylor Wimpey PLC’s TW., +3.93% strong results on Thursday.
Rolls-Royce Holdings PLC RR, +2.09% gained 2%. Meanwhile, heavyweights Royal Dutch Shell PLC A added 0.5% and BP PLC BP., +0.44% rose 0.7%
Software company Sage Group PLC SGE, -2.25% dropped 2%.
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