Sunday 18 February 2018

Federal Reserve disappointment knocks Britain’s FTSE lower

BRITAIN’S top share index fell on Thursday, led by weak commodity stocks and banks, as investors cut their exposure to riskier assets on uncertainty over whether the U.S. Federal Reserve will launch more stimulus measures as global growth worries continue.

Minutes from last month's Fed meeting, published late on Wednesday, showed the world's biggest economy would have to worsen further before the central bank took any more easing steps. A few officials thought further stimulus was justified, but the majority remained unconvinced.

At 0706 GMT, the FTSE 100 index was down 42.56 points, or 0.7 percent, at 5,621.92, having ended the session barely changed in low volumes on Wednesday.

Weak miners were the main drag on blue chip sentiment as copper prices edged lower, falling for a fifth session in seven, hit by the Fed minutes and caution ahead of key China GDP data, to be released on Friday.

Fund manager Ashmore Group was the biggest individual blue chip faller, down 4.7 percent, as it reported a fall in the amount of money it manages in its fourth quarter after weak performance and the exit of clients saw it lose more than a fifth of its equity assets. (Reporting by Jon Hopkins; Editing by Atul Prakash)


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