FTSE 100 rose ahead of UK government’s retail report

Economy | Fri 16 Feb | Author – Business & Finance

UK stocks rose following the government’s report on retail sales for last month.

The FTSE 100 was up 0.6%. All sectors rose and on top of that pile is the telecommunications and utility groups.

The pound bought $1.4129, up from $1.4100 late Thursday in New York. The US has played a significant role in stopping the rot, with UK and European markets taking their inspiration from Wall Street, as stocks on Thursday finished higher for a fifth straight session.

This set the Dow Jones back up above 25,000.

The Office for National Statistics‘ (ONS) retail report for January 2018 showed an increase in the buying quantity of 0.1%. However, this is the lowest growth since April 2017.

Comparing this figure to January 2017, the quantity bought last month rose by 1.6%; a slowdown on a year-by-year basis, where January 2017 saw an increase of 2.4%.

Rhian Murphy from the Office for National Statistics Senior Statistician, said: “Retail sales growth was broadly flat at the beginning of the New Year with the longer-term picture showing a continued slowdown in the sector. This can partly be attributed to a background of generally rising prices.

“Growth in the quantity of sporting equipment, games and toys being bought was offset by falling food sales when compared with the same month a year earlier.

“Sporting equipment sales have grown more than usual in January 2018, following an increased uptake for gym wear.”