UK FTSE 100 holds gains after US payrolls data but posts weekly loss

By Khushi Singh and Bansari Mayur Kamdar

(Reuters) -London’s FTSE 100 closed higher on Friday supported by energy and financial stocks, but logged a sharp weekly loss as soaring government bond yields on expectations of higher interest rates roiled global equity markets.

The main FTSE 100 index rose 0.6% by 1600 GMT, while the mid-cap index added 0.8%.

Financial sectors such as banks and insurers gained 1.4% and 2.7%, respectively.

Shares in Aviva shot up 5.3%, after sources told Reuters it was among a small handful of insurers exploring bids for the British consumer operations of rival RSA.

Oil majors BP and Shell climbed 1.3% and 1.9%, respectively, tracking firm crude prices, while miners added 1.3% as traders prepared for the re-opening of China markets on Monday after the Golden Week holiday.

Nevertheless, both the main UK indexes recorded weekly losses amid fears about central banks keeping interest rates elevated, with the latest blow-out U.S. jobs report adding to concerns.

“A strong (U.S.) payroll report this morning will continue to put pressure on equity markets, which will likely look past the moderating wage growth and focus on ‘too-hot’ job creation,” said Matt Peron, director of research at Janus Henderson Investors.

“This will keep rates higher for longer and challenges the equity market soft-landing narrative as well as valuations.”

In company news, banknote printer De La Rue forecast half-year adjusted operating profit marginally ahead of its previous expectations, taking the shares up 1.5%.

Metro Bank rose 20.7% after touching a record low on Thursday on reports that the mid-sized lender was exploring options to raise as much as 600 million pounds ($731.1 million) in debt and equity.

Meanwhile, data showed British house prices fell at the fastest pace since 2009 over the 12 months to September, echoing a slowdown in the housing market following a jump in interest rates.

(Reporting by Khushi Singh and Bansari Mayur Kamdar in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich and Dhanya Ann Thoppil)