Despite war continuing to rage in Ukraine the FTSE 100 managed decent gains on Friday as investors make slightly queasy calculations about the extent to which the economic and market impact of Russia’s invasion will be contained.
AJ Bell investment director Russ Mould: “The index took its cue from a dramatic reversal in the US overnight. Results from Russian steel producer Evraz provided an indication of the tricky spot firms with links to Russia are in – with the company just barely acknowledging the conflict, or ‘geo-political situation’ as it euphemistically dubs it, in a statement so thinly worded as to be meaningless.
“However, after some extremely heavy selling in recent days its shares and those of other firms in the firing line like gold miner Polymetal bounced back.
“Metals markets are surging, lifting the mining sector as a whole, and wheat prices are at a 13-year high – reflecting the fact that both ‘bread basket of Europe’ Ukraine and Russia are major producers of the crop.
“Along with higher energy prices, we are getting almost constant reminders that war will only add to the current inflationary pressures.
“The weakest UK consumer confidence number since April 2020, right in the teeth of the pandemic, certainly fits the downbeat mood.”