LONDON — Britain’s FTSE 100 was the only gainer of Europe’s biggest bourses on Friday, after a big boost from consumer goods brand Unilever.
Unilever, the monolithic company behind the likes of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, Hellmann’s mayonnaise and Dove, rejected a takeover bid from fellow consumer goods giant firm Kraft Heinz, both companies confirmed on Friday. That sent the firm’s shares — which are listed on the FTSE — skyrocketing, pulling the index as a whole higher.
Unilever ended the day up by more than 13.4% and was the sole reason the FTSE 100 closed higher by 0.27% at 7,297.25 points.
Next best on the index was Coca-Cola Hellenic — one of the world’s largest bottlers of Coca-Cola — which gained 4.1% as it continued to ride the coattails of a strong set of results on Thursday.
Here is the FTSE’s chart for Friday:
“A double digit surge to record highs in Unilever shares as well as a weaker pound meant the FTSE 100 outperformed European peers. The British pound dipped but there was a mixed reaction in retail stocks after UK retail sales fell for a third month. The prolific pace of consumer spending since the EU referendum was never going to be sustainable month after month,” Jasper Lawler, senior market analyst at London Capital Group said in an emailed statement.
Elsewhere in Europe, major stock indexes like Germany’s DAX, France’s CAC 40, and Italy’s FTSE MIB all lost ground, although the Euro Stoxx 50 broad index ended just in the green, as the scoreboard below illustrates: