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UK’s FTSE 100 muted ahead of long holiday weekend

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UK’s FTSE 100 was flat on Friday, after a drop in the previous session on fears of higher-for-longer interest rates and ahead of an extended weekend for the holidays.

The export-oriented FTSE 100 shed 0.01%, while the domestically oriented FTSE 250 lost 0.08% by 0827 GMT.

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Banks dropped 0.3%, but gains in healthcare firms such as GSK and the consumer staples sector helped limit losses.

The FTSE closed lower on Thursday after data showed the U.S. economy rebounded faster than previously estimated in the third quarter, while another set of data showed the labor market remained strong, which stoked fears the Federal Reserve would stick to its aggressive monetary policy stance.

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At home, data showed UK car production rose 5.7% in November but remained below pre-pandemic levels as global chip shortages and supply chain issues continue to hurt the sector.

The automobiles and auto parts index is the worst hit this year, skidding over 60% year-to-date. The index was up 0.4% on Friday.

Among single stocks, Hurricane Energy Plc rose 4.9% after activist investor Crystal Amber Fund sent a notice to the group to convene a general meeting proposing leadership change.

The London Stock Exchange will shut at 1230 GMT and will be closed on Monday and Tuesday for the holidays. (Reporting by Johann M Cherian in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D’Souza)

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