Pound jumps on strong retail figures

Search company or market
Search company or market:
Refresh this page Launch Marketwatch ticker
London | Wall Street | Asia

FTSE 100 Index

Last Updated at 23 Mar 2018, 16:36 GMT *Chart shows local time FTSE 100 intraday chart
value change %
6921.94 -

Top winner and loser


4984.00 p +

Smiths Group

1468.50 p -
value change %

FTSE 250 Index

19319.48 -

FTSE 350 Index

3874.01 -

FTSE All Share Index

3830.25 -

FTSE Techmark Index

4174.38 -
Trader in London Image copyright Getty Images

(Close): The pound jumped by more than a cent against the dollar after strong retail sales figures eased fears that the economy could be losing momentum.

Sales volumes jumped 1.2% in April after warmer weather encouraged shoppers to snap up summer clothes.

The pound jumped 1% against the dollar to $1.5686, and was 0.67% higher against the euro at €1.4093.

Martin Beck, senior economic adviser to the EY Item Club, said April's sales figures were "no flash in the pan".

"After a lengthy squeeze on household incomes, UK consumers are clearly enjoying the freedom afforded by falling prices on the High Street and accelerating wage growth," he said.

"We expect these factors to remain in place throughout the year, ensuring that consumer spending continues to offer strong support to GDP growth."

On the stock market, the FTSE 100 index was very slightly ahead at close, up 6.21%, or 0.09%, at 7,013.47.

Earlier, mining shares had pushed the market higher, after weak factory data from China raised hopes of more stimulus measures from the government.

China is the world's largest importer of raw materials, and among the mining firms shares in BHP Billiton rose 0.64%.

Royal Mail shares were virtually unchanged at £5 after its latest results. Underlying operating profits rose 6% to £740m.

In the FTSE 250, shares in cash and carry firm Booker jumped 11.84% after it announced it was buying convenience store chains Londis and Budgens.

Booker is paying £40m to buy the chains from Irish food wholesaler Musgrave Group.