London’s FTSE 100 traded higher throughout the session on Thursday buoyed by positive company earnings but fell slightly at the end of the trading session, dragged down by tobacco companies that took a hit after US regulators proposed a ban on menthol cigarettes.
The blue-chip index closed flat but in the red at 6961, down just two points after trading above 7,000 for most of the session. Meanwhile, the domestically focused FTSE 250 ended flat at 22,393, down by 46 points.
After positive earnings, shares of Standard Chartered Bank, Smith and Nephew and Unilever were the top gainers on the FTSE 100, while the two of the world’s largest tobacco companies, British American Tobacco and Imperial Brands, fell sharply making it to one of the biggest losers.
The US stocks ended broadly higher after a series of corporate earnings from companies like Amazon and positive data amid hopes of economic recovery.
The S&P 500 pushed higher to another record high, up 0.7 per cent, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average also rose 0.7 per cent each.
The Nasdaq Composite closed 0.2 per cent higher, ending a losing streak of two days.
However, on Thursday Asian markets had a mixed opening with major indexes trading in the red around noon.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 is 0.46 points lower amid Japan’s Golden Week holiday, while stocks in mainland China dragged after the government’s escalation of a crackdown on the nation’s technology giants to rein in financial risks. A government report today also showed Chinese manufacturing slowed more than expected this month.
The Hang Seng index also fell lower by 1.53 per cent and Kospi was down 0.55 per cent.
The Indian market opened lower on Friday amid mixed global cues with Sensex 0.81 per cent or 404 points down and Nifty down 1 per cent.