FTSE-100 gains as traders digest mixed economic news and Andrew Bailey's Bank of England actions

The FTSE-100 Index made modest gains in early trading after a mixed run of economic news left investors with plenty to digest. Most of the rise in retail sales was seen in DIY stores, but B&Q owner Kingfisher remained flat - not surprising given that it already had numbers out this week, and a new strategy plan, that boosted the shares. With little corporate news around, there were few patterns of note among buys and sells, with the biggest five gainers on the FTSE-100 being Schroders, Diageo, Taylor Wimpey and HSBC, all up 1-2%. The Bank didn’t even discuss cutting interest rates into negative territory and said GDP looked set to be less bad in the second quarter of the year than feared. Traders were keeping an eye out for any comments at an EU summit today about Europe's response to the pandemic, particularly the fiscal boost planned for taxpayers to pump e500 billion into the worst-hit regions. An update will be sought on the views of those northern countries known as the Frugal Four, Sweden, Holland, Denmark and Austria, who don't want to put their hands intheir pockets.