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.
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.”