Pound and FTSE boosted by services data

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The FTSE 100 and sterling ticked higher in early trading on Friday, boosted by higher-than-expected services data.

The UK services sector, which accounts for most of the UK economy, grew by its fastest rate in six months in October.

The benchmark FTSE 100 share index rose 22 points, or by 0.3%, to 7,577.27.

Sterling also ticked up against the dollar and euro, adding 0.05% to $1.30650 and 0.18% to €1.12210 respectively, partially reversing Thursday’s sharp falls.

The pound had fallen to a near five-month low against the dollar on Thursday following the Bank of England’s first interest rate hike in ten years.

The Bank of England had reiterated that it would take a “very gradual” approach to raising interest rates further.

‘One-and-done’

“A lot of speculation has been put to bed by the tone of the BoE yesterday.

“The signals that we got was that it’s probably a ‘one-and-done’,” said Jane Foley, senior currency strategist at Rabobank.

The top winner on the FTSE 100 was private healthcare provider NMC Health. Its shares rose almost 3% following an upgrade from Deutsche Bank.

Airline shares were some of the biggest fallers with EasyJet losing almost 3% and British Airways owner International Consolidated Airlines Group dropping 1.6%.

The falls follow a 9% drop in Air France-KLM shares, which analysts linked to the airline’s unclear guidance on costs next year.

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