Wednesday 18 September 2019

FTSE 100 closes in the red ahead of crunch G20 summit

London’s top flight closed down by 14.06 points at 7,402.33 points on Thursday.

General view of the City of London from Greenwich Park, south London. (PA)
General view of the City of London from Greenwich Park, south London. (PA)

By PA City Staff

The FTSE 100 closed the day in the red after it failed to recover from a mid-morning slump, despite optimism from traders ahead of the G20 summit.

London’s top flight closed down by 14.06 points at 7,402.33 points on Thursday.

Fiona Cincotta, senior market analyst at City Index, said: “A mixed start on Wall Street has helped dig the FTSE off session lows.

“US stocks were trading broadly higher in early trade on Thursday lifted by gains in tech shares ahead of the key G20 meeting.”

In the US, the Dow Jones opened down slightly lower as it was dragged down by a poor performance by aeroplane giant Boeing, despite some optimism ahead of the G20 summit.

The European markets were largely mixed as traders showed cautious optimism ahead of the world leaders’ summit.

The German Dax increased by 0.21% and the French Cac fell back by 0.13%.

Sterling was broadly flat, dipping slightly towards the end of the day, as traders remain confused over how the UK is likely to break with the EU.

The pound was down 0.19% at 1.267 versus the US dollar and declined 0.15% to 1.114 against the euro.

In stocks, pub group Greene King saw shares rise after it said it was being boosted by its increased vegan and healthy offering.

Greene King revealed that total sales grew 1.8% to £2.2 billion in the year to April 28, although pre-tax profits fell 12.6% to £172.8 million after a series of write-downs against its property portfolio.

Shares in the company closed up 31.6p at 611.6p on Thursday.

B&Q owner Kingfisher saw shares jump after it announced the appointment of Thierry Garnier as its new chief executive to replace outgoing boss Veronique Laury.

Mr Garnier has spent 20 years working in senior roles at French retail giant Carrefour, where he currently heads up the Asia operations responsible for more than 350 stores in China and Taiwan and 55,000 employees.

The retail group saw shares rise by 8.5p to 214.3p at the end of trading.

Elsewhere, shares in car dealer Pendragon slid after it was rocked after new chief executive Mark Herbert drove off into the sunset less than three months after taking the top job.

Mr Herbert confirmed his plan to walk away from the struggling business two weeks after it posted a major profit warning.

Shares in Pendragon fell by 1p to 16.7p at the close of trading.

Outsourcing firm Serco saw shares close higher after it hailed strong revenue growth as it continued its turnaround following years of decline.

Shares in Serco closed up 7p at 142.8p.

The price of oil rose marginally as the market was subdued in the wake of Wednesday’s rally on account of the drop in US stockpiles.

The price of a barrel of Brent crude oil rose by 0.21% to 66.4 US dollars.

The biggest risers on the FTSE 100 were easyJet, up 47.4p at 910p, Kingfisher, up 8.5p at 214.3p, Ocado, up 29.5p at 1,165.5p, and Tui, up 17.4p at 755.6p.

The biggest fallers on the FTSE 100 were Glencore, down 13.5p at 263.0p, Rightmove, down 18.8p at 535.2p, Auto Trader, down 18p at 546p, and Croda, down 135p at 5,150p.

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