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FTSE 100 at the close: Rio Tinto, AstraZeneca, Taylor Wimpey

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By Patrick Munnelly, Market Analyst, Tickmill

UK stocks experienced gains following unexpected growth in retail sales during April, indicating the resilience of consumer spending despite high inflation. The retail sales volumes rose by 0.5% in April, rebounding from a 1.2% decline in March. The three-month period leading up to April witnessed the most significant growth in sales volumes since mid-2021, as reported by official data. The retail sector as a whole increased by 0.2%, with ASOS Plc leading the gains. The pound also saw a slight increase of 0.1% following the release of the retail sales data.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 index rose 56 points on the day; but still managed to record its worst week in over a month. The index closed the week on 7627.20.

FTSE 100 biggest movers

Concerns over unexpected domestic inflation and uncertainties surrounding the US debt ceiling this week have strained market sentiment but positive sentiment has returned to the index in time for the Bank Holiday weekend.. Mining company Rio Tinto [LON:RIO] saw a notable surge of 3.6% after brokerage firm Morgan Stanley  upgraded its outlook on the company, turning bullish on its prospects, Antofagsta [LON:ANTO] (3.2%+), Anglo American [LON:AAL] (2.4%+) moved higher in sympathy. AstraZeneca [LON:AZN] also experienced a 1.2% increase after announcing positive results in a late-stage trial of its cancer drugs combined with chemotherapy, specifically in patients with advanced or recurrent endometrial cancer.

On the negative side of the ledger Homebuilders, led by Taylor Wimpey [LON:TW.] -1.5%+, are experiencing declines amid concerns that increasing mortgage rates could impede the delicate recovery in the housing market. These companies are among the prominent fallers in the sector.

In addition, Persimmon [LON:PSN] saw a decline in its share price this morning after Deutsche Bank reduced its price target from 1,267p to 1,212p and maintained a ‘sell’ rating on the stock. However, the stock rallied after lunch and closed the day up 0.25%.

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This article does not constitute investment advice. Do your own research or consult a professional advisor.

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