London close: Stocks fall amid broad global sell-off

by | Aug 17, 2023

(Sharecast News) – Markets in London faced a tough session on Thursday, under the dark clouds of US inflation and intensifying concerns over the Chinese debt crisis.
The FTSE 100 slipped 0.63% to close at 7,310.21, while the FTSE 250 saw a sharper decline, dropping 1.21% to end the trading day at 18,356.07.

In currency markets, sterling was last up 0.18% on the dollar to trade at $1.2755, while it edged up 0.21% against the euro to change hands at €1.1726.

“Aside from a small gain for the Dow, global stock markets remain on the back foot,” said IG chief market analyst Chris Beauchamp.

“Bond yields continue to move higher, unsettling investors and diminishing the appeal of equities after their generally positive year so far.

“Signs of fear are everywhere, from a rising Vix to a surging put/call ratio, and for the moment buyers are few and far between.”

Weekly US jobless claims show expected decline

Amid a lack of fresh economic measures on this side of the Atlantic, an update from the US Department of Labor showed weekly jobless claims decreasing, aligning closely with forecasts.

The data showed that for the week ended 12 August, initial filings for unemployment insurance benefits amounted to 239,000.

That marked a reduction from the prior week’s adjusted figure of 250,000, which was originally reported at 248,000.

Economic analysts had anticipated the week’s numbers to be in the vicinity of 240,000.

Looking at the four-week moving average, which smooths out weekly fluctuations, the measure had climbed 2,750 to reach 234,250.

Continuing jobless claims meanwhile showed a slight uptick, as for the week ended 5 August, they stood at 1.72 million, up from 1.68 million in the prior week.

Mixed equity performance amid acquisitions, dividends and profit announcements

On London’s equity markets, BAE Systems dipped 4.66% after the announcement of its acquisition of Ball Corporation’s aerospace business for $5.55bn in cash.

Analysts at Shore Capital emphasised that the acquisition would firmly position BAE Systems within a rapidly-expanding defence market segment, allowing it to benefit from anticipated growth in defence products.

Additionally, a number of stocks were trading without entitlement to the dividend, sending Abrdn down 4.63%, Schroders off 2.76%, and Anglo American 0.89% lower.

On the upside, the FTSE 100 was defended against heftier losses by strong performances from some financial and mining names.

Rio Tinto was up 1.69%, while Standard Chartered and Glencore saw increases of 0.49% and 0.97%, respectively.

On the second-tier index, Bank of Georgia Group surged 13.24% after a robust 33.5% rise in half-year profits, with the key driver being a significant increase in net interest income.

Empiric Student Property also drew attention with a 2.92% uptick.

The momentum came after the company announced a raise in its full-year guidance, which followed what the company described as a “very strong” start to the year, during which it reported a 19% growth in earnings.

Reporting by Josh White for

Market Movers

FTSE 100 (UKX) 7,310.21 -0.63%
FTSE 250 (MCX) 18,356.07 -1.21%
techMARK (TASX) 4,227.99 -1.03%

FTSE 100 – Risers

Rio Tinto (RIO) 4,636.00p 1.69%
Glencore (GLEN) 423.55p 0.97%
Smith & Nephew (SN.) 1,082.50p 0.89%
Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY) 42.41p 0.77%
Centrica (CNA) 144.35p 0.73%
Admiral Group (ADM) 2,375.00p 0.72%
NATWEST GROUP (NWG) 227.60p 0.53%
Standard Chartered (STAN) 732.20p 0.49%
HSBC Holdings (HSBA) 592.40p 0.44%
Hargreaves Lansdown (HL.) 775.80p 0.41%

FTSE 100 – Fallers

Ocado Group (OCDO) 767.40p -5.54%
Entain (ENT) 1,174.00p -4.82%
BAE Systems (BA.) 955.80p -4.66%
Abrdn (ABDN) 165.90p -4.63%
Melrose Industries (MRO) 503.20p -3.27%
Berkeley Group Holdings (The) (BKG) 4,053.00p -3.22%
Persimmon (PSN) 1,028.00p -2.88%
Hiscox Limited (DI) (HSX) 1,006.00p -2.80%
Schroders (SDR) 406.80p -2.76%
IMI (IMI) 1,500.00p -2.72%

FTSE 250 – Risers

Bank of Georgia Group (BGEO) 3,635.00p 13.24%
Empiric Student Property (ESP) 88.10p 2.92%
W.A.G Payment Solutions (WPS) 87.40p 2.58%
Marshalls (MSLH) 263.20p 2.17%
Apax Global Alpha Limited (APAX) 168.20p 1.57%
IntegraFin Holding (IHP) 227.80p 1.52%
Bakkavor Group (BAKK) 103.00p 1.48%
Playtech (PTEC) 530.00p 1.34%
Ibstock (IBST) 156.00p 1.30%
Fidelity China Special Situations (FCSS) 209.00p 1.21%

FTSE 250 – Fallers

Bridgepoint Group (Reg S) (BPT) 174.20p -5.84%
Vanquis Banking Group 20 (VANQ) 113.60p -5.36%
TI Fluid Systems (TIFS) 127.00p -5.22%
Just Group (JUST) 77.20p -5.04%
Molten Ventures (GROW) 240.20p -4.46%
Wetherspoon (J.D.) (JDW) 644.50p -4.23%
Investec (INVP) 444.00p -4.21%
Digital 9 Infrastructure NPV (DGI9) 51.00p -4.14%
Diploma (DPLM) 3,156.00p -4.07%
UK Commercial Property Reit Limited (UKCM) 49.45p -3.98%

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