FTSE 100 storms to 11-month high
A raft of positive data announced this morning has turbocharged the FTSE 100, sending it through the 6,700 level.
At the time of writing, the index of the UK’s 100 biggest companies stood at 6,716.96, which is the highest it has been since August 2015, when it touched 6,764.
One of the main factors for this jump is UK unemployment data out this morning, which shows that the number of unemployed adults currently stands at 1.65 million, down 54,000 from the previous quarter. This is a fall of 4.9%.
The employment rate of people aged 16 to 64 at 74.4% is also at its highest level since comparable records began in 1971.
Further boosting the market’s confidence in the UK is news from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), which reveals that average weekly earnings in the UK have risen by 2.3%.
The pound also rose against the dollar today, up by more than a cent at 1.3166. This even led to the Bank of England saying there is “no clear evidence” that a sharp slowdown is evident following the referendum result.
However, mining companies dragged on the FTSE 100, particularly Anglo American which fell 7.45%.
A market-weighted index of the 100 biggest companies by market capitalisation listed on the London Stock Exchange. It is often referred to as “The Footsie”. The index began on 3 January 1984 with a base level of 1000; the highest value reached to date is 6950.6, on 30 December 1999. The index is “weighted” by how the movements of each of the 100 constituents affect the index, so larger companies make more of a difference to the index than smaller ones. To ensure it is a true and accurate representation of the most highly capitalised companies in the UK, just like football’s Premier League, every three months the FTSE 100 “relegates” the bottom three companies in the 100 whose market capitalisation has fallen and “promotes” to the index the three companies whose market capitalisation has grown sufficiently to warrant inclusion. Around 80% of the companies listed on the London Stock Exchange are included in the FTSE 100.