- FTSE 100 closing price of 7,045.1, +1.17%
- Indian variant Covid cases rise, reopening on track
- USD falls after soft retail sales, industrial production
- Crude oil bounces from Thursday’s sell off
- Dogecoin rallies following Coinbase admission, Musk tweet
By Samuel Indyk
Investing.com – The FTSE 100 reclaimed the 7,000 handle on Friday as global stocks looked set to end the week on a high note.
In the UK specifically, an increase in the number of cases of the Indian variant of Covid-19 have continued to spook some but the government has tried to allay fears of a rapid spread. Cases of the B.1.617.2 strain, declared a “variant of concern” this week by Public Health England, have risen in recent weeks and there are fears it could delay the steps in the reopening. The next of these is set to occur on Monday when pubs and cinemas can open their doors to inside patrons.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is scheduled to speak at 17:00BST with the Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty where they will detail steps to combat the spread, which could include focusing extra doses of the vaccine in specific areas of concern to boost immunity among the local population.
However, the Prime Minister is not expected to make any changes to the lockdown plans at this juncture.
In individual stocks news, shares in Sanne Group (LON:SNNS) increased over 21% after the company said it was subject to a takeover approach from private equity group Cinven. Sanne rejected the offer, saying that it significantly undervalued the company.
The US Dollar Index was weaker after the two main US data points missed expectations. Firstly, retail sales disappointed, stagnating in April versus expectations of a 1% increase. Industrial production also missed expectations, rising just 0.7% versus expectations of 1.0% growth.
WTI and Brent crude futures both regained some of the lost ground from Thursday amid the weaker USD. Oil prices were also supported after Fed officials played down inflationary fears late on Thursday, stressing they would not be tightening policy any time soon.
In the world of cryptocurrencies, Dogecoin stood out as the outperformer after the Coinbase (NASDAQ:COIN) CEO said they plan on adding the coin to its exchange in the next 6 to 8 weeks. Separately, Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) CEO Elon Musk stated he was working with the developers of Dogecoin to improve system transaction efficiency.
The tweet came a day after Musk said Tesla would stop accepting Bitcoin as payment for vehicles due to the environmental impact.
FTSE 100 regains 7,000, USD softens after data, Dogecoin rallies
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