StockMarketWire.com - London's blue chip index closed marginally in the red on Friday as US added less jobs than expected last month.

The US added 145,000 jobs in December, which was below the 160,000 forecast. However, the figures were tempered by unemployment remaining at 3.5%, a 50-year low.

The UK's benchmark FTSE 100 index closed 10.27 points, or 0.14%, lower at 7,587.85.

LARGE AND MID CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Luxury carmaker Aston Martin Lagonda surged 15.3% to 470p after a report in the Financial Times suggested Chinese company Geely is in discussions about investing in the business.

Online food delivery service Just Eat moved 0.58% higher to 889p after 80% of its shareholders agreed to Takeaway.com's £5.9bn all-share offer, passing a 50% threshold that was needed to make the offer unconditional.

Athleisure retailer JD Sports gained 0.56% to 832p after it said in a trading update full year performance is expected to be in the 'upper quartile' of current market expectations.

Value retailer B&M European Value Retail (BME) reported softer than expected festive trading with like-for-like sales growth in the UK rising 0.3%. Its shares dropped 6.1% to 373p.

Budget airline Ryanair increased 9.23% to €16.64 after it raised its full year guidance following stronger-than-anticipated Christmas trading.

The company said that forward bookings for January to April were running 1% ahead of the same period last year.

Investor expectations are that other airlines may also have benefited from similar trends. Easyjet moved 4.21% higher to £14.99, while Wizz Air jumped 6.77% to £41.19 and British Airways owner International Consolidated Airlines increased 4.63% to 664p.

Packaging group Mondi confirmed its CEO Peter Oswald will depart at the end of March. The company's shares eased back 1.99% to £16.78 as investors responded to the announcement.

Ventilation product supplier Volution also announced a change in leadership at the end of March, with Peter Hill stepping down as chairman.

Non-executive director Paul Hollingworth is to take the helm following Mr Hill's departure. Volution's shares dipped 0.85% to 233p following the announcement.

SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Fashion retailer Superdry continued its recent struggles, with shares falling by more than 6.7% to 440p after weak Christmas trading.

Fellow fashion brand Joules added to woes in the sector with shares trading down 21.24% to 178p following a profit warning.


Story provided by StockMarketWire.com