By Carla Mozee, MarketWatch
U.K. blue-chip stocks edged higher Friday, enough for the market to close at a second consecutive record high, as focus turned to the Group of 20 meeting of finance chiefs in Germany.
The FTSE 100 /zigman2/quotes/210598409/delayed UK:UKX +0.72% finished up 0.1% at 7,424.96. The oil and gas, telecom and consumer-goods sectors led the advance, but those moves were nearly offset by losses in financial, health-care and utility shares.
Still, the advance was sufficient to knock out Thursday’s record of 7,415.95.
For the week, the FTSE 100 closed up 1.1%, the second weekly advance in three weeks.
G-20 talks: Investors moved with caution Friday as the G-20 meeting of finance ministers and central bankers from the world’s largest economies kicked off in the German spa town of Baden-Baden.
“Whilst these events have had little impact on markets in recent years, a little more attention may be paid this time given it will be the first meeting attended by new U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin,” said Investec economist Victoria Clarke in a note.
“Much of the discussion will likely be on trade and currencies, particularly in light of reports that the communiqué will drop pledges to avoid competitive [foreign-exchange] devaluations and resisting all forms of protectionism.”
The pound /zigman2/quotes/210561263/realtime/sampled GBPUSD -0.4001% bought $1.2387, up from $1.2361 late Thursday in New York. The U.K. currency recaptured the $1.23 handle on Thursday after the Bank of England showed a slightly hawkish tone, as one of its nine board members voted to raise the benchmark rate to 0.25%.
Stock movers: Capturing attention Friday was AIM-listed Panmure Gordon & Co. PLC as its shares rocketed up 65% to 98 pence. The surge came after the stockbroker accepted a £15.5 million ($19.2 million) cash buyout offer from former Barclays PLC Chief Executive Bob Diamond and a Qatari investment group.
After hefty gains Thursday, miners listed on the FTSE 100 closed mixed on Friday. Fresnillo PLC /zigman2/quotes/201300065/delayed UK:FRES +2.85% notched a 0.1% gain, reversing earlier losses to keep a six-session winning streak alive. But fellow precious metals producer Randgold Resources PLC ended lower by 0.4%.
Insurer Admiral Group PLC /zigman2/quotes/201079056/delayed UK:ADM -0.79% and ConvaTec Group /zigman2/quotes/204036468/delayed UK:CTEC +0.91% , which makes dressings to cover wounds, topped the blue-chips index as shares of each closed up 1.9%.
The yield on the 10-year gilt /zigman2/quotes/211347177/realtime BX:TMBMKGB-10Y +8.82% rose 1 basis points to 1.24%, according to electronic-trading platform Tradeweb.
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