London close: Stocks in risk-off mood ahead of Fed decision

by | Jul 26, 2023

(Sharecast News) – London’s stock markets closed in a mixed state on Wednesday, with the top-flight FTSE 100 in the red as investors looked ahead to the policy announcement from the US Federal Reserve.
The banking sector notably felt the pressure, with Lloyds and NatWest bearing the brunt of the market’s unease.

At the close, the FTSE 100 was down 0.19% at 7,676.89 points, while the FTSE 250 inched up 0.19% to settle at 19,186.54.

In currency markets sterling was last up 0.25% on the dollar to trade at $1.2934, while it rose by a modest 0.07% against the euro to change hands at €1.1677.

“Investors have taken some risk off the table this afternoon, and indices are trading lower across the board save for a tiny gain for the Russell 2000,” said IG chief market analyst Chris Beauchamp.

“Losses have been much sharper in Europe, where poor figures from LVMH have put the CAC 40 on the back foot once again, dragging other indices with it.

“In London the hefty upgrade to Rolls-Royce’s forecasts have seen the shares make impressive gains, recouping their March 2020 highs and seemingly bringing the tough post-pandemic era to a definitive close.”

US new home sales fall short of projections

There was a dearth of local economic news for market participants to sink their teeth into, but across the pond, new home sales in the US fell 2.5% month-on-month in June, failing to meet economists’ predictions and settling at an annual rate of 697,000, according to the Department of Commerce.

May’s new home sales were meanwhile revised downwards from the previously-reported figure of 763,000, to 715,000.

Despite the slowdown in sales pace, the inventory of new homes available for purchase increased, equating to 7.4 months’ worth of sales, a slight uptick from May’s 7.2 months.

New home prices stateside showed a mixed trend, meanwhile, with the median sales price experiencing a minor decline from $417,300 to $415,400, while the average price of new homes went in the opposite direction, climbing from $488,700 to $494,700.

Equities experience mixed performances; Rolls-Royce surges as banking giants slip

On London’s equity markets, Lloyds Banking Group was down 1.66% even after it announced substantial interim profits and upgraded its net interest margin guidance.

Sector peer NatWest Group saw a larger slump of 3.74%, following the resignation of chief executive officer Alison Rose over a public dispute about former UKIP leader Nigel Farage.

Elsewhere, Reckitt Benckiser Group – the producer of household brands such as Dettol, Lysol and Nurofen – slipped 1.08% despite reporting a rise in first-half like-for-like net revenue due to strong performances across its product portfolios.

The mining sector also experienced a rough day, with Rio Tinto’s shares falling 3.06% after reporting a decrease in half-year profits due to a drop in global commodity prices.

Fellow miners Glencore and Antofagasta also saw their shares decrease by 2.61% and 1.15%, respectively.

Fresnillo, a gold and silver miner, dipped 1.42% despite reconfirming its full-year guidance.

On the upside, Rolls-Royce Holdings soared 21.19%, after it raised its full-year guidance following a strong first half.

Luxury car maker Aston Martin Lagonda also gained, up 2.88%, after it reported narrowed interim losses and steady annual guidance thanks to increased revenue from strong demand.

Shares of refractory specialist RHI Magnesita climbed 6.62% after it posted strong revenue and earnings performance in its interim results.

Window and door parts maker Tyman gained 4.7% after Berenberg upgraded the stock from ‘hold’ to ‘buy’ and raised the price target from 250p to 360p following the company’s first-half results.

Gold miner Centamin enjoyed a 4.38% gain as it reported a rise in first-half profits, maintaining its annual guidance, and posted revenue of $426m from gold sales.

Reporting by Josh White for

Market Movers

FTSE 100 (UKX) 7,676.89 -0.19%
FTSE 250 (MCX) 19,186.54 0.19%
techMARK (TASX) 4,441.72 -0.21%

FTSE 100 – Risers

Ocado Group (OCDO) 960.40p 24.82%
Rolls-Royce Holdings (RR.) 185.00p 21.19%
Entain (ENT) 1,360.00p 4.70%
International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 152.50p 2.31%
Vodafone Group (VOD) 77.53p 2.11%
Sainsbury (J) (SBRY) 286.30p 2.00%
Frasers Group (FRAS) 779.00p 1.90%
WPP (WPP) 839.00p 1.82%
Unite Group (UTG) 979.50p 1.82%
BT Group (BT.A) 126.45p 1.77%

FTSE 100 – Fallers

NATWEST GROUP (NWG) 241.80p -3.74%
Rio Tinto (RIO) 5,229.00p -3.06%
Glencore (GLEN) 469.45p -2.61%
Anglo American (AAL) 2,450.00p -2.23%
Diageo (DGE) 3,399.50p -1.66%
Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY) 45.33p -1.66%
Croda International (CRDA) 5,844.00p -1.45%
Fresnillo (FRES) 623.00p -1.42%
RS Group (RS1) 760.00p -1.27%
Halma (HLMA) 2,245.00p -1.23%

FTSE 250 – Risers

RHI Magnesita N.V. (DI) (RHIM) 3,060.00p 6.62%
Tyman (TYMN) 312.00p 4.70%
Centamin (DI) (CEY) 97.65p 4.38%
Mobico Group (MCG) 106.90p 3.99%
Ascential (ASCL) 216.60p 3.74%
Lancashire Holdings Limited (LRE) 628.50p 3.71% Group (MONY) 266.20p 3.42%
Primary Health Properties (PHP) 97.80p 3.38%
Bridgepoint Group (Reg S) (BPT) 196.20p 2.99%
Chemring Group (CHG) 293.50p 2.98%

FTSE 250 – Fallers

FDM Group (Holdings) (FDM) 560.00p -8.94%
Digital 9 Infrastructure NPV (DGI9) 57.50p -4.96%
Darktrace (DARK) 380.00p -4.55%
Rathbones Group (RAT) 1,848.00p -4.05%
Kainos Group (KNOS) 1,270.00p -3.13%
Renishaw (RSW) 3,868.00p -2.72%
Spectris (SXS) 3,542.00p -2.61%
Me Group International (MEGP) 156.00p -2.01%
GCP Infrastructure Investments Ltd (GCP) 75.80p -1.94%
BlackRock Greater Europe Inv Trust (BRGE) 532.00p -1.66%

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