The FTSE 100 was up by a paltry eight points at 7,126.44 on the day, miners were in the winners but consumer goods stocks weighed.
Rio Tinto (RIO) rose by 2.0%, Anglo American (AAL) and Antofagasta (ANTO) gained 1.6% with BHP Billiton (BLT) and Glencore (GLEN) both up by 1.5%. The miners were up as President Trump signed a presidential memorandum on Thursday prioritising an investigation of the effect of foreign steel imports on US national security. US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin also announced that he promised major tax reform would be released soon. Mike van Dulken, an analyst at Accendo said: “A move by Trump to challenge steel imports and positive tax reform rhetoric from Mnuchin revived hopes for the fabled Trump ‘reflation trade’, while oil holding firm and rebounds for copper and iron ore have helped boost sentiment towards the commodity sector.”
Marks & Spencer Group (MKS) shares were up by 1.8%. following an “overweight” rating by Barclays. The bank believes that M&S management have set out viable plans for growth as it shifts towards food and reassesses it clothing and home division.
Reckitt Benckiser (RB.L) was the top loser, down 1.2% after its first-quarter sales matched expectations. The consumer goods giant said it expects its growth trajectory to improve, and it is still moving in the right direction to meet its revenue growth target for 2017. The company also expects to finalise its acquisition of Mead Johnson in the US by the end of the third quarter.
Unilever (ULVR.L) also dropped 1%.
Sterling was steady against the dollar at $1.284 and down against the euro by 0.08% at 1.1948 euros.