Stocks surrendered early gains to finish another week firmly in the red ahead of the quarterly expiry of financial derivatives contracts for individual stocks and indices in the States.
The event, known in financial circles as ‘quadruple witching’, was often preceded by market volatility in the days running up to it, and this time around was taking place amid a more uncertain backdrop.
London’s top-flight index fell 0.91% or 63.84 points to 6,963.64, although the second-tier index managed to eke out a gain of 0.11% or 26.10 points to 23,658.94.
“By and large the buyers have had it all their own way this year, and in a calm fashion, so a bit of volatility would not go amiss from a price discovery perspective; the bounce in the Vix today suggests next week could see additional volatility, and one with more of a unidirectional feel to it too,” said IG chief market analyst Chris Bueachamp.
“Profit-taking in crude oil is adding to the gloomy atmosphere, an indication that the extensive wave of selling in risk assets probably has further to go.”
Dampening the mood from the start of the session, the Office for National Statistics released data revealing a fourth consecutive monthly drop in UK retail sales – their worst stretch since at least 1996.
Combined with a host of other expected headwinds for the UK consumer, those numbers “should” make investors doubt the Monetary Policy Committee’s ability to hike Bank Rate as soon as February, said Samuel Tombs, chief UK economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics.
Nevertheless, across the Pond, a preliminary reading on the University of Michigan’s consumer confidence index revealed that it stabilised at the beginning of September.
On the broker front, analysts at Berenberg upgraded their recommendation for shares of InterContinental Hotels from ‘hold’ to ‘buy’ and Barclays’ theirs for StanChart from ‘underweight’ to ‘equalweight’.
Hurricane Energy finds a bid
Shares of Hurricane Energy jumped after the oil exploration said in an operational update that, as of 15 September, the Lancaster field was producing at a rate of nearly 10,800 barrels per day from the P6 well alone. It also reported a jump in its net free cash position from $122m as of 31 July to $144m by 31 August.
Martin Sorrell’s digital-only advertising group S4 Capital said it was buying technology services company Zemoga for an undisclosed sum. Sorrell, who founded ad giant WPP, said the move was a “significant first step towards building a third practice area around technology services”. Zemoga provides product design, engineering and delivery services to clients including Bridgestone, Sony, Roku and Morningstar, he added.
Virgin Wines UK entered into a marketing partnership with Moonpig Group to launch a range of products with the UK’s leading online greeting card and gifting platform. The UK’s largest direct-to-consumer online wine retailer said it woud launch a range of 32 different wines as part of the first of a kind partnership with Moonpig.
FTSE 100 (UKX) 6,963.64 -0.91%
FTSE 250 (MCX) 23,658.94 0.11%
techMARK (TASX) 4,669.94 0.17%
FTSE 100 – Risers
International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 149.50p 4.94%
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) 4,626.00p 1.97%
HSBC Holdings (HSBA) 376.05p 1.94%
Flutter Entertainment (CDI) (FLTR) 15,315.00p 1.93%
Rolls-Royce Holdings (RR.) 111.00p 1.78%
Next (NXT) 8,122.00p 1.50%
Entain (ENT) 1,956.00p 1.43%
Pershing Square Holdings Ltd NPV (PSH) 2,625.00p 1.16%
BAE Systems (BA.) 560.20p 1.08%
BT Group (BT.A) 156.15p 0.94%
FTSE 100 – Fallers
Anglo American (AAL) 2,591.00p -8.07%
BHP Group (BHP) 1,873.80p -4.80%
Weir Group (WEIR) 1,703.00p -4.59%
Ocado Group (OCDO) 1,700.00p -3.90%
Rio Tinto (RIO) 4,829.50p -3.60%
Smiths Group (SMIN) 1,371.50p -3.52%
Mondi (MNDI) 1,903.50p -3.42%
CRH (CDI) (CRH) 3,642.00p -2.83%
Ashtead Group (AHT) 5,988.00p -2.82%
Intermediate Capital Group (ICP) 2,176.00p -2.77%
FTSE 250 – Risers
Restaurant Group (RTN) 112.20p 9.11%
TUI AG Reg Shs (DI) (TUI) 301.80p 5.99%
Indivior (INDV) 207.60p 5.33%
Cineworld Group (CINE) 63.62p 5.02%
Energean (ENOG) 790.50p 4.90%
SSP Group (SSPG) 266.40p 4.47%
easyJet (EZJ) 630.40p 3.92%
Playtech (PTEC) 436.40p 3.66%
Coats Group (COA) 76.30p 3.53%
Civitas Social Housing (CSH) 100.00p 3.41%
FTSE 250 – Fallers
Oxford Biomedica (OXB) 1,448.00p -7.14%
Harbour Energy (HBR) 361.60p -3.62%
Games Workshop Group (GAW) 11,120.00p -3.45%
Wood Group (John) (WG.) 206.30p -3.24%
Workspace Group (WKP) 872.50p -3.00%
Currys (CURY) 131.30p -2.96%
Grainger (GRI) 309.80p -2.88%
Rank Group (RNK) 169.00p -2.87%
Tate & Lyle (TATE) 672.80p -2.80%
Electrocomponents (ECM) 1,088.00p -2.77%