Business

Shares lifted by strong US jobs figures

Traders in London Image copyright AFP

(Close): UK shares rose as stronger-than-expected US jobs figures helped to lift financial markets.

The US economy created 287,000 jobs in June, rebounding strongly from disappointing growth in May.

London's FTSE 100 closed 56.85 points, or 0.9% higher, at 6,590.64, while US stocks opened higher with the Dow Jones also up 0.8%.

In London, property shares were doing well after Swiss bank UBS said the sell-off in the sector was "overdone".

Shares in property-related firms fell sharply after the UK voted to leave the EU, and the sector was hit again earlier this week as a succession of fund managers suspended trading in their property funds.

However, on Friday, shares in Taylor Wimpey shares rose 7.7% while Barratt Developments added 6.9%. In the FTSE 250, Bovis Homes was up 12% and Bellway was 9% higher.

Overall, the more UK-focused FTSE 250 was up 278.9 points, or 1.8%, at 17,781.42.

On the currency markets, the pound rose 0.4% against the dollar to $1.2958 and was 0.6% higher against the euro at €1.1736.

The pound touched a 31-year low against the dollar earlier this week, and has remained under pressure following the UK's vote to leave the EU.

"It looks like the pound has found its level for now but could pitch lower on more weak data or fresh worries about the UK economy. All the bad news is priced in - for now," said Andrew Edwards of ETX Capital.

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