FTSE 100 ends week lower on higher for longer rates outlook
Sept 22 (Reuters) - Britain's FTSE 100 edged higher on Friday, but logged weekly declines after the Bank of England joined other central banks this week in signalling interest rates will remain higher for longer.
AstraZeneca gained after its breast cancer drug met its main trial goal.
Pharma and biotech shares (.FTNMX201030) led gains among sectors, as AstraZeneca (AZN.L) climbed 1.5% after the drug maker said its experimental precision drug slowed the progression of breast cancer in a late-stage trial.
Industrial metal miners (.FTNMX451010) rose 0.7% as prices firmed against the greenback, while energy shares (.FTNMX601010) added 0.6% following a rise in oil prices after Russia's fuel export ban stoked supply concerns.
Goldman Sachs and J.P.Morgan expect the BoE to keep rates at 5.25% in November after the central bank held interest rates steady this week, but signalled elevated interest rates for longer.
"The UK economy appears to in reasonable shape given everything that is being thrown at it and sharp eyes will remain on the data as we monitor the impact of all the interest rate increases we have seen," said Neil Birrell, chief investment officer at Premier Miton Investors.
British retail sales partially recovered in August after a rainy July washout, data showed, adding to signs that the country's consumers were mostly coping with the cost-of-living squeeze.
UK consumers are their most optimistic since the start of 2022 as they turn more hopeful about the economy with inflation on the wane and wages growing, a survey showed.
Among other stocks, Phoenix Group (PHNX.L) fell 1.6% after brokerage J.P. Morgan downgraded the stock.
Ocado Group (OCDO.L) bounced back 6.7% after the British online supermarket had its worst day in 11 years on Thursday.
Reporting by Siddarth S and Shubham Batra in Bengaluru; Editing by Varun H K and Alex Richardson