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U.K. Shares Gain Following Better-than-expected Q4 GDP

Jan, 26th 10:36

U.K. stocks rose in Thursday’s morning session after the Office for National Statistics reported Britain’s economy grew faster than expected in the fourth quarter of 2016.

According to a preliminary GDP release from the ONS, U.K. GDP grew by 0.6% in the three-month quarter ending December, in line the consensus forecast of an increase of 0.5%. On a yearly basis, growth advanced at the pace of 2.2%, also above expectations of 2.1%.

Growth in the quarter was largely spurred by a booming services sector, which grew 0.8% on a quarterly basis. Services make up roughly 80% of the UK economy. The data, which reflected the second full quarter of activity after Britain’s historic vote to leave the European Union, dispelled initial predictions of economic doom.

The FTSE index added 0.24% to trade at 7178.46, led by shares of the maker of Johnnie Walker whiskey and Smirnoff vodka, Diageo, and Royal Bank of Scotland PLC which soared more than 4% each.

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