The FTSE 100 was on course to close out its best week in months in solid fashion on Friday as June retail sales beat expectations.
AJ Bell head of financial analysis Danni Hewson said: “The impressive resilience of Britons’ spending appears to have been boosted by last month’s hot sunny weather, but the more unsettled weather in July has been matched by a drop in consumer confidence as the clouds of surging mortgage costs and stubborn inflation draw in.
“A weak performance for Netflix and Tesla overnight as investors reacted to mixed quarterly updates from both businesses late on Wednesday put pressure on the wider Nasdaq index. This shows the risk for the US market from a tech sector reporting earnings into elevated expectations and toppy valuations. Next week, when the likes of Alphabet, Amazon, Meta and Microsoft all report, could be a key one for the trajectory of stocks across the pond.
“In the UK Glencore shares came under pressure as it posted lower production volumes for the first half. While this was in line with expectations and the company anticipates an improvement in output will help it meet full-year estimates, firms often come a cropper when they look for a second-half recovery to get them out of trouble.
“Transport outfit FirstGroup trundled higher on a brief in-line trading update – a solid performance achieved despite the ongoing impact of industrial action – and extended its buyback scheme to return cash to shareholders.”