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FTSE 100 flat as energy rally offsets consumer discretionary drop

by Reuters Journalist
London Stock Exchange.JPG - Banner image

UK's blue-chip shares were flat on Friday as a rally in energy stocks offset losses in consumer discretionary companies, with all eyes on U.S. labour data to make bets on the Federal Reserve's policy path.

The FTSE 100 edged 0.07% higher, while the mid-cap FTSE 250 shed 0.3% by 0727 GMT. However, both indices are set to end the week higher, snapping a three-week losing run.

Oil major Shell and BP rallied 0.3% and 0.7%, respectively, after sliding on Thursday when Shell said its third-quarter profit would be pressured by falling refining margins.

Crude oil prices set to log a weekly gain also helped. [O/R]

However, weighing on sentiment was a survey that showed only one in three businesses in Britain are confident their profits will increase in the coming year, while 39% expect a decline.

British fashion group Superdry jumped 6.6% after it returned to profit in the year to April 30, but said that it was cautious in the near term due to economic factors, including high inflation.

Globally, a risk-off sentiment prevailed ahead of U.S. labour data, due at 1230 GMT. The aggressive policy tightening by the Fed, along with other major central banks, including the Bank of England, have hit risk assets this year. [MKTS/GLOB]


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