FTSE 100 sags into weekend after soft US session

The FTSE 100 dipped on Friday after a poor session in the US translated into a weaker start for European stocks.

A lack of fresh catalysts and no major corporate stories culminated in a quiet session for UK stocks. The FTSE 100 traded down marginally at 8,410 shortly before midday.

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“After notching up new record intraday highs yesterday, US markets ran out of steam towards the end of the session and left Wall Street limping towards the finish line,” said Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell.

“A sea of red at the market close left US markets below where they started and that negativity set the tone for European markets on Friday. The FTSE 100 struggled to find direction while key indices in France and Germany slipped.

“Asia was in a better mood, helped by Chinese industrial production figures coming in significantly ahead of expectations, although there was a big miss for retail sales in the country – hardly a surprise on the latter given negative signals from the likes of Apple and Burberry in their recent updates about consumer spending in that part of Asia.”

The better sounds from China helped the mining sector to rise, with Rio Tinto among the few gainers.

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A steady yet convincing rally is underway in housebuilders as markets gear up for rate cuts. Barratt Developments added to recent gains as shares ticked 1% higher.

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