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UK’s FTSE 100 index jumped on Friday after hitting its lowest level since February 26 on Thursday. Germany’s DAX index, as well as Euro STOXX 50, nudged higher after the release of the ECB monetary policy statement. French CAC 40 index was also up.

UK’s Economic Sentiment

The FTSE 100 index went up after the release of weak GDP data for May. According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the monthly real gross domestic product (GDP) was up 0.8% in May 2021. UK’s GDP has been on an uptrend for four consecutive months due to the easing of lockdown restrictions.

Despite an increase in May’s GDP, it was still lower than April’s GDP which was up by 2.0%. Overall GDP rose 3.6% in three months to May 2021. This was boosted by strong retail sales, increased school attendance, and reopening of food and beverage service sectors.

UK’s GDP is still 3.1% below its pre-pandemic levels in February 2020. Services were the main contributor to the recovery of May’s GDP. Services output rose 0.9% in May 2021. However, it was 3.4% below its pre-pandemic levels.

Construction was the only sector with output levels that surpassed its pre-pandemic levels. The construction sector has been in the red for two consecutive months. It was down 0.8% in May 2021, however, was 0.3% higher than February 2020.

Output in the production sector increased 0.8% in May 2021. This was driven by adverse weather conditions in May which boosted output in electricity, gas, and air supply.

Manufacturing output levels of transport equipment hit their lowest level since April 2020. It slumped 16.5% due to microchip shortages which hampered car production.

FTSE 100 Performers

EVRAZ Plc was the best performer in the FTSE 100 index. The mining company gained 2.85% in its stock price. The company has been generating gains since the election of a new administration.

Burberry Group Plc was also among the best performers in the index. The fashion company snapped from its losing streak and spiked 2.52% higher. The company announced the exit of its CEO Marco Gobbetti, a week ago.

Bunzi plc stock price was up 2.43%. The distribution company’s shares have been on an upsurge for three consecutive months.

On the flipside, B&M European Value Retail SA was the worst performer in the index. The company slipped 1.35% in its stock earnings. The British discount retailer reported a fall in its core sales.

Royal Dutch Shell inched 1.11% lower. The company announced on Wednesday that it will boost shareholder returns through buybacks and dividends. This was after oil prices hit all-time highs only to fall later.

BP’s gains were short-lived after a decline in oil prices. The oil company recorded large gains after a surge in oil prices.

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