The FTSE 100 was becalmed on Friday morning despite the storms overnight in the US where weak results from AT&T and a negative response to Tesla’s numbers, released after hours a day earlier, helped drag down stocks.
AJ Bell investment director Russ Mould said: “The newly demerged Dowlais, essentially the automotive part of GKN demerged from Melrose, was the top riser on the index of leading UK shares with the shares chugging higher as investors react to the potential opportunities provided by the transition to electric vehicles in the industry it serves.
“UK retail sales fell 0.9%, not helped by a soggy March, and missed forecasts by a fair chalk. Somewhat counterintuitively a reading of consumer confidence reached its highest point since before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. This tentatively suggests there could be better news on retail sales soon.
“There appears to be no let-up in the appeal of UK-listed companies to private equity firms, the latter feeling increasingly flush as they eye a potential reduction in borrowing costs as the rate hiking cycle nears its peak.
“UK compliance and energy services group Sureserve has agreed to a bid from France’s Cap10, while Brookfield emerged as a rival bidder for Middle East and Africa payment solutions provider Network International.
“While UK investors may welcome outside endorsement that the British shares are undervalued, and the potential for a quick return from a takeover, it is not good for the long-term health of the London market to see so many names disappearing.”