Tuesday 23 April 2019

FTSE 100 in the red as economic gloom weighs on European stocks

The pound was also lower.

London stocks were lower amid the weaker economic outlook (PA)
London stocks were lower amid the weaker economic outlook (PA)

By Press Association City Staff

Top-flight shares in London finished the day in the red on Tuesday, but losses were pared by a dip in the value of the pound.

The FTSE 100 index was 26.32 points, or 0.35% lower, at 7,425.57.

David Madden, market analyst at CMC Markets UK, pointed to trade tensions and a global growth downgrade from the IMF as factors which weighed on European stock markets.

“Trade tensions between the EU and the US have heated up, and either side have accused the other of subsidising the aerospace sector,” he said.

“The EU economy is cooling, and the prospect of 11 billion US dollars (£8.44 billion) worth of tariffs on European goods is likely to sour sentiment even further. 

“The IMF have trimmed their 2019 growth forecast for the eurozone and the UK by 0.3% each, the German forecast was lowered by 0.5% and that was a major blow to investor sentiment given Germany’s dominance in Europe.”

The French Cac was also lower, dipping 0.65%, while the German Dax was down 0.94%.

Markets were also weaker on the back of a decline in oil prices, following Monday’s surge to the highest level so far in 2019.

Prices slipped from five-month highs after Russia signalled its wish to raise output ahead of the next Opec meeting in June.

A barrel of Brent crude oil was trading 0.45% lower at 70.72 US dollars.

The London market declined less than its European peers due to the decline in the pound as Brexit uncertainty continued to hang over the currency.

Sterling fell 0.28% against the euro to 1.157 and was down 0.13% at 1.304 US dollars.

The Debenhams saga came to an apparent end for shareholders, as the retailer went into pre-pack administration.

It wipes out the value of shares in the company.

Prior to the appointment of administrators, the listed company’s shares were suspended.

Standard Chartered was fined more than £800 million by UK and US authorities over its compliance and financial crime controls.

The bank will pay 947 million US dollars (£725.2 million) to US agencies and £102 million to Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Much of the charge has already been accounted for in the final quarter of 2018.

Shares climbed 1.8p to 647.4p.

Hornby is to post another loss this year after sales at the model rail toymaker were hit by stock shortages.

The group, which is also behind the Scalextric and Corgi brands, said that revenue for the year is set to come in lower than last year’s £35.7 million because of a shortage of stock arriving on time and in full in the first half.

The share price was 1.7p lower at 34.6p.

Cake Box reported a rise in full-year sales as the retailer continues to enjoy stellar growth.

The firm, which debuted on London’s junior market in June, said like-for-like sales grew 6.5% in the year to March 31, with total revenue set to rise 30% to £17.1 million.

Its shares climbed 2.5p to 159p.

The biggest risers on the FTSE 100 were ITV up 3p to 136.5p, NMC Health up 54p to 2,471p, WPP up 17.8p to 870.8p and Hiscox up 19p to 1,565p.

The biggest fallers on the FTSE 100 were Smurfit Kappa down 91p to 2,275p, Tui down 23p to 715.8p, Just Eat down 18.4p to 720p, Barratt Developments down 14.6p to 605.2p.

Press Association

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