Asian stocks were mostly lower, led by an afternoon sell off in the Chinese market as brokerages declined after authorities launched probes for alleged violations of trading rules. The Nikkei 225 fell 0.3%, although volumes were low as Wall Street, closed for Thanksgiving, failed to provide its catalyst effect in the region.
US stock markets were closed on Thursday for the Thanksgiving holiday, but will open for a shorter trading session today.
UK stocks closed up 55.5 points at 6,393.13, with shares in mining giant Glencore up 5.8%. Tesco shares rose 0.9% after the supermarket said it had paid $12m (£8m) to settle a US lawsuit. Severn Trent shares rose nearly 1% after the water company reported flat half-year revenues of £896m and a 2.6% rise in underlying profits to £218m.
UK house-price growth slowed to a five-month low in November, according to Nationwide Building Society, which also noted a shortage of properties for sale. The average price of a home rose 0.1% to £196,305, the slowest pace since June, following a revised 0.5% gain in October. The annual rate of growth cooled to 3.7% from 3.9%.
China’s stocks declined after disclosing regulatory probes. The crackdown in the finance industry comes as the government widens an anti-corruption campaign and seeks to assign blame for a $5 trillion stock-market decline. Authorities are also testing a bull-market rebound by lifting a freeze on initial public offerings and scrapping a rule requiring brokerages to hold net-long positions.
UK retailers hope for record sales as stores opened their doors early and cut-price deals were put online overnight as the Black Friday sales got under way.