U.K. stocks up as miners cheer Chinese data
LONDON (MarketWatch) -- Resource stocks boosted the U.K. stock market Friday, following the release of Chinese GDP data that confirmed a slowdown in economic growth but met forecasts.
The FTSE 100 (UKX) ended the week on an upswing, rising 1% to 5,666.13 and closed the week with a 0.1% gain.
Resource firms led the index higher as commodity prices rose, after Chinese growth for the second quarter slowed to 7.6%, in line with forecasts. Read more about Chinese growth data.
The growth figure pleased investors as an "aggressively higher [number] would have been widely disbelieved and have quashed expectations of further stimulus measures," Michael Ingram, market commentator at BGC Brokers said in a note.
"A much lower number would have sparked panic as the market would have assumed that the real number was actually lower still and policy-makers even further behind the curve," he added.
Ingram further highlighted that China has more policy easing options open to it to support growth than most of the developed world. "Ironically, markets seem happier to price in the prospect of more support than actually getting it."
Mining firms were also on the rise, recouping territory lost Thursday, when shares dropped on concerns that the gross-domestic-product figure from China would disappoint investors by showing a sharper slowdown than anticipated.
Banks were also helped by an announcement from the Bank of England and the British Treasury that released details of the Funding for Lending Scheme, which is hoped to boost lending to the real economy through cheap funding costs for banks. Read more about the Funding for Lending Scheme
Among other notable gainers,
Shares of information-services firm