Bulletin
Investor Alert

New York Markets Close in:

London Markets Archives | Email alerts

May 21, 2021, 7:50 a.m. EDT

Blowout U.K. retail sales data lift pound and keep a lid on FTSE 100

new
Watchlist Relevance
LEARN MORE

Want to see how this story relates to your watchlist?

Just add items to create a watchlist now:

  • X
    British Pound (GBPUSD)
  • X
    FTSE 100 Index (UKX)
  • X
    Glencore PLC (GLEN)

or Cancel Already have a watchlist? Log In

By Barbara Kollmeyer

More strong economic data came through for the U.K. on Friday, and included in that was a sharp rise in retail sales that boosted the pound.

The pound /zigman2/quotes/210561263/realtime/sampled GBPUSD +0.1944% rose 0.3% against the dollar to $1.4228, a move that kept a lid on gains for the FTSE 100, as many big blue-chips earn revenue overseas. The index /zigman2/quotes/210598409/delayed UK:UKX +0.34% was flat at 7,0165 after rallying 1% on Thursday.

A string of upbeat data showed retail sales surging 9.2% in April, as coronavirus restrictions eased, said the Office for National Statistics. That beat estimates for a rise of 4.5% though, against a year-ago level of 5.4%. Retail sales rose 42.4% on an annual basis, and 37.7% excluding petrol prices for cars.

“With 2020 having seen a massive buildup in savings, we are finally seeing signs that consumers are heading out to draw down those savings to the benefit of U.K. PLC,” said Joshua Mahony, senior market analyst at IG, in a note to clients.

Added to that, U.K. consumer sentiment rose further in May , according to data from market-research firm GfK. Its consumer-confidence barometer registered minus 9 in May, a six-point gain from April, and matched a year-ago reading, before the COVID-19 pandemic plunged the U.K. into lockdowns.

Europe and the U.K. also got flash purchasing managers index readings from IHS Markit. The U.K. manufacturing figure of 66.1 was the highest since January 1992. “The month-on-month nature of this survey means that we are likely to see continued strength as restrictions are withdrawn,” said Mahony.

But retailers weren’t boosting the FTSE 100, which was kept afloat by gains for mining stocks, with shares of Glencore /zigman2/quotes/201400686/delayed UK:GLEN +1.01% , BHP /zigman2/quotes/203323256/delayed UK:BHP +0.68% /zigman2/quotes/208108397/composite BHP +1.87% and Rio Tinto /zigman2/quotes/208934945/delayed UK:RIO +1.05% /zigman2/quotes/202627887/composite RIO +2.19% up just over 0.5% each.

Shares of Travis Perkins /zigman2/quotes/200858511/delayed UK:TPK -0.84% rose over 1%, after the U.K. building-materials retailer said it has sold its plumbing and heating distribution unit to an affiliate of investment firm HIG Capital LLC. for £325 million ($461.1 million) in cash. It will return cash to shareholders.

Shares of Trainline /zigman2/quotes/212885666/delayed UK:TRN +3.45% continued to fall, dropping 2.6% a day after the U.K. government outlined a railroad infrastructure plan that would include operating a rival ticketing app.

Read: George Soros and Citadel among the winners as Trainline shares plunge

/zigman2/quotes/210561263/realtime/sampled
US : Tullett Prebon
1.3914
+0.0027 +0.1944%
Volume: 0.0000
Aug. 3, 2021 2:19p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210598409/delayed
UK : FTSE UK
7,105.72
+24.00 +0.34%
Volume: 553,064
Aug. 3, 2021 4:59p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/201400686/delayed
UK : U.K.: London
330.10 p
+3.30 +1.01%
Volume: 23.74M
Aug. 3, 2021 4:35p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
2.61%
Market Cap
£43.54 billion
Rev. per Employee
£765,499
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/203323256/delayed
UK : U.K.: London
2,365.00 p
+16.00 +0.68%
Volume: 2.67M
Aug. 3, 2021 4:35p
P/E Ratio
22.11
Dividend Yield
4.87%
Market Cap
£133.56 billion
Rev. per Employee
N/A
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/208108397/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 79.88
+1.47 +1.87%
Volume: 1.14M
Aug. 3, 2021 2:19p
P/E Ratio
28.87
Dividend Yield
3.91%
Market Cap
$185.62 billion
Rev. per Employee
N/A
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/208934945/delayed
UK : U.K.: London
6,281.00 p
+65.00 +1.05%
Volume: 1.25M
Aug. 3, 2021 4:35p
P/E Ratio
7.41
Dividend Yield
9.97%
Market Cap
£103.74 billion
Rev. per Employee
£732,787
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/202627887/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 89.22
+1.92 +2.19%
Volume: 1.80M
Aug. 3, 2021 2:19p
P/E Ratio
7.69
Dividend Yield
7.68%
Market Cap
$144.18 billion
Rev. per Employee
$947,003
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/200858511/delayed
UK : U.K.: London
1,706.50 p
-14.50 -0.84%
Volume: 657,844
Aug. 3, 2021 4:35p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
0.00%
Market Cap
£3.83 billion
Rev. per Employee
£214,472
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/212885666/delayed
UK : U.K.: London
341.60 p
+11.40 +3.45%
Volume: 743,636
Aug. 3, 2021 4:35p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
£1.59 billion
Rev. per Employee
£111,807
loading...

Get news alerts on British Pound — or create your own.
This Story has 0 Comments
Be the first to comment
More News In
Markets

Story Conversation

Commenting FAQs »

Partner Center

World News from MarketWatch

Link to MarketWatch's Slice.