FTSE edges higher in quiet trade, USD falls after data, Bitcoin jumps

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imageEconomy21 hours ago (Aug 13, 2021 16:38)

© Reuters.

Key Points

  • FTSE 100 closing price of 7,219.18, +0.36%
  • Babcock shares rise after unit disposal
  • Avon falls following profit warning
  • USD declines after data
  • Oil steady amid light news flow
  • Bitcoin rallies, Cardano outperforms

By Samuel Indyk

Investing.com – The FTSE 100 edged higher on Friday in quiet trade. The blue-chip index had its fourth consecutive weekly gain, its longest run since November.

The FTSE 250 hit a record high, supported by Babcock (LON:BAB) whose shares rallied after they disposed of their Frazer-Nash Consultancy subsidiary to KBR (NYSE:KBR) for £293 million. The defence company said the sales is part of the targeted disposal programme which aims to generate at least £400 million of proceeds in the next 12 months.

At the other end of the spectrum was Avon Protection (LON:AVON), whose shares plunged after warning that order delays would impact revenue this financial year and next. The company, recently known as Avon Rubber, has cited the impact of COVID-19 as part of the reason for the lower revenue forecast.

The US Dollar was on the back foot after the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index dropped to its lowest level since 2011 and recorded one of the largest drops on record.

“Over the past half century, the Sentiment Index has only recorded larger losses in six other surveys, all connected to sudden negative changes in the economy: the only larger declines in the Sentiment Index occurred during the economy’s shutdown in April 2020 (-19.4%) and at the depths of the Great Recession in October 2008 (-18.1%),” wrote Surveys of Consumers Chief Economist Richard Curtin.

“Consumers have correctly reasoned that the economy’s performance will be diminished over the next several months, but the extraordinary surge in negative economic assessments also reflects an emotional response, mainly from dashed hopes that the pandemic would soon end.”

WTI and Brent crude futures were trading marginally lower amid light news flow towards the end of the week. The monthly oil market reports from OPEC and the IEA have done little to support prices with both showing concern that the spreading Delta variant could impact demand in the second half of the year.

Bitcoin and other major cryptocurrencies rallied heading into the weekend. Bitcoin is one again approaching the 50% Fibonacci retracement level from the April high to July low around $47,000.

Cardano outperformed ahead of an expected protocol upgrade. The cryptocurrency’s founder, Charles Hoskinson, is expected to announce the date when smart contracts will launch on Cardano as part of the Alonzo hardfork.

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FTSE edges higher in quiet trade, USD falls after data, Bitcoin jumps

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