Friday 15 December 2017

London underperforms Euro markets

The London Stock Exchange
The London Stock Exchange

Donal O'Donovan/Reuters

UK shares underperformed European stocks yesterday, giving up early gains after a drop in commodity-related assets intensified and banks turned lower following the Bank of England's latest financial stability report.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 index ended the day down 0.58 points, flat in percentage terms, at 6,105.90 points by the close, lagging blue-chip Eurozone stock market indexes.

Fallers included big mining companies, with Glencore, Antofagasta, Anglo American, Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton all down between 3pc and 5pc, tracking a dip in the price of copper.

Oil and gas stocks also took a hit after Brent crude fell over 3pc, below $40 a barrel.

In all, energy and basic material shares trimmed 20 points off the FTSE 100.

Bank shares turned lower after opening the session with gains.

Generally European stock markets rose yesterday, as stronger insurance shares offset weaker commodity-linked stocks, which fell in tandem with lower metals and oil prices.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index closed up 0.5pc while the Eurozone's blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index advanced 0.6pc.

In Dublin the Iseq closed up 1.14pc at 6,295.

The STOXX Europe 600 Insurance index climbed 0.8pc, making it one of the best-performing sectors.

Deutsche Bank and Barclays raised their target prices on RSA Insurance, sending its shares up 1.6pc. Aviva and Standard Life also gained.

At home GameAccount Networks shares were unchanged after announcing that it had signed a deal with a major US casino operator, pending regulatory approval.

Irish Independent

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