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FTSE 100 gains in broad based stocks rally, GBP soft following PMI data

EconomyJul 23, 2021 16:36
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Key Points

  • FTSE 100 closing price of 7028.5, +0.86%
  • Stocks rally continues, Nasdaq breaches 15,000
  • GBP soft after PMI data
  • Oil steady after choppy week
  • Bitcoin remains above $32,000

By Samuel Indyk

Investing.com – The FTSE 100 gained on Friday amid a global equity rally that saw the Nasdaq 100 breach 15,000 for the first time in history. The US tech sector benefitted from strong earnings from Snap (NYSE:SNAP) and Twitter (NYSE:TWTR), ahead of Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) and Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG) earnings next week.

In UK specific stocks news, Vodafone (LON:VOD) shares rallied after the company posted a better than expected rise in Q1 service revenue.

In the mid-cap FTSE 250 index, Ultra Electronics (LON:ULE) was the best performing stock after competitor Cobham (LON:COB) upped their bid for the company. Ultra Electronics said they would engage with Cobham about a potential deal.

In FX markets, GBP was weak after the economic recovery in the UK looks set to slow amid the “pingdemic”. On Thursday, the ONS reported that over 600,000 were told to self-isolate in the latest week, while Friday’s PMI data was the first evidence that the rising Covid cases are having an impact on activity. IHS Markit’s flash composite PMI fell to 57.7 from 62.2, the lowest level since March.

“July saw the UK economy's recent growth spurt stifled by the rising wave of virus infections, which subdued customer demand, disrupted supply chains and caused widespread staff shortages, and also cast a darkening shadow over the outlook,” said IHS Markit Chief Business Economist Chris Williamson.

WTI and Brent crude futures softened after a choppy week that saw a dramatic fall on Monday following the OPEC+ decision to increase output, before a rebound later in the week lifted WTI back above $72.00 per barrel. Rising global Covid cases have also impacted oil but there are hopes that the global vaccine rollout will mean the demand recovery doesn’t stall.

“There will continue to be intermittent disruption to the recovery to oil demand until vaccination rates in the rest of the world are relatively equitable with Europe and the United States,” writes StoneX Energy Analyst Kevin Solomon. “But on a positive note, the recovery in oil demand is expected to overshadow any localised COVID-19 disruption.”

Cryptocurrencies were broadly stable with Bitcoin holding above $32,000 and Ethereum remaining above the psychological $2,000 threshold. However, Bitcoin remains around 50% below its all time high hit earlier this year and there are fears that the rebound week may have already run its course.

Nevertheless, with Elon Musk announcing that Tesla Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) may start accepting Bitcoin as payment again, some analysts have argued that the near-term bottom in Bitcoin may be in.

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FTSE 100 gains in broad based stocks rally, GBP soft following PMI data
 

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