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London close: Stocks recoup some earlier losses

Fri 17 May 2024 15:52 | A A A

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FTSE 100 | FTSE 250 | Paris CAC 40 | Dow Jones | NASDAQ

8237.72 | Negative 34.74 (0.42%)
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(Sharecast News) - London stocks remained in negative territory by Friday's close, although they managed to recoup some of the losses seen earlier in the session as Wall Street opened with positive momentum.

The FTSE 100 was down 0.22%, closing at 8,420.26 points, while the FTSE 250 dropped 0.35% to finish at 20,749.90.

In currency markets, sterling was last up 0.28% on the dollar, trading at $1.2706, while it gained 0.26% against the euro to change hands at 1.1688.

"Following a week of record stock index highs in Europe and the US, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average briefly hitting the 40,000 mark, profit taking amid Fed commentary pointing to a possible 'rates for longer scenario' led to losses on Friday while bond yields and the greenback recovered from their four-to-six week lows," said IG senior market analyst Axel Rudolph.

"The German 10-year yield's rise has taken it back above the 2.50% level as the German DAX 40 gave back over a percentage point from Thursday's record high.

"The FTSE 100 remained within half a percent of this week's record high, though."

Rudolph added that the price of silver broke through the $30 per troy ounce mark, reaching its highest level since January 2013, fuelled by solid investment and industrial demand.

"Meanwhile the gold price also added to this week's gains and trades back above the $2,400 level, close to its April record high while nickel prices shot up on supply worries to levels last traded in September.

"The crude oil price's recovery off its two-month lows did just enough to end the week in positive territory as well, following this week's inventory data."

US jobless claims decline by more than expected

In economic news from across the Atlantic, US firms continued to retain their workers last week, with initial unemployment claims falling by 10,000 to 220,000 for the week ended 11 May according to the Department of Labor.

That decline exceeded economists' expectations.

However, the four-week moving average of jobless claims, a more stable indicator, rose by 2,500 to 217,750.

Secondary unemployment claims, referring to ongoing claims for the week ending 4 May , increased by 13,000 to 1.794 million.

Elsewhere, Japan's economy experienced an unexpected contraction in the first quarter, as consumer spending slowed due to stagnant wages, corporate investment declined, and exports fell.

The Cabinet Office reported a 2% annualised decrease in GDP for the three months ended 30 March, surpassing the forecasted 1.2% decline.

That downturn would be complicating the Bank of Japan's plans to raise interest rates.

Economic growth was further affected by a government-mandated production halt at Toyota's subsidiary Daihatsu over faked safety tests and a devastating earthquake near Tokyo on New Year's Day, which claimed over 200 lives.

Additionally, fourth-quarter GDP data was revised down to flat growth, marking nine consecutive months without economic expansion.

Land Securities in the red, miners rise on copper price jump

On London's equity markets, Land Securities Group dropped 2.61% despite reporting a halving of its full-year losses.

Auto Trader Group fell 3.31% following a downgrade by Morgan Stanley to 'underweight' from 'equalweight'.

The bank expressed concerns over optimistic market expectations regarding near-term Deal Builder monetisation and competitive threats.

GSK and Haleon saw declines of 0.48% and 0.85% respectively, after GSK sold its remaining 4.2% stake in Haleon, raising about £1.25bn.

International Distributions Services fell 0.62%, influenced by Chancellor Jeremy Hunt's statement that any bid to take over Royal Mail would face national security scrutiny, following a revised offer from Daniel Kretinsky's EP Group.

On the upside, mining companies performed well with Rio Tinto gaining 2.41%, Anglo American up 1.91%, and Antofagasta inching up 0.13%, all benefiting from firmer copper prices.

BT Group added 1.24%, continuing its upward trend as investors responded positively to cost-saving plans aiming to save £3bn annually by the end of the decade.

Unilever advanced by 0.84% after announcing the start of its 1.5bn share buyback programme, initiating the first tranche of up to 850m worth of shares.

Sage Group recovered with a 1.98% rise, bouncing back after a drop on Thursday following trimmed revenue guidance.

Reporting by Josh White for Sharecast.com.

Market Movers

FTSE 100 (UKX) 8,420.26 -0.22%

FTSE 250 (MCX) 20,749.90 -0.35%

techMARK (TASX) 4,781.23 -0.23%

FTSE 100 - Risers

Antofagasta (ANTO) 2,366.00p 3.55%

Fresnillo (FRES) 615.00p 3.36%

Rio Tinto (RIO) 5,785.00p 2.41%

Sage Group (SGE) 1,106.00p 1.98%

Anglo American (AAL) 2,677.50p 1.84%

Tesco (TSCO) 310.90p 1.37%

Smith (DS) (SMDS) 374.20p 1.30%

BT Group (BT.A) 134.25p 1.24%

London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) 9,336.00p 1.15%

United Utilities Group (UU.) 1,108.00p 1.00%

FTSE 100 - Fallers

Entain (ENT) 724.40p -5.52%

Ashtead Group (AHT) 5,764.00p -4.51%

Burberry Group (BRBY) 1,100.00p -3.51%

Auto Trader Group (AUTO) 730.00p -3.31%

Spirax-Sarco Engineering (SPX) 9,275.00p -3.18%

JD Sports Fashion (JD.) 121.50p -3.15%

Land Securities Group (LAND) 672.00p -2.61%

Flutter Entertainment (DI) (FLTR) 16,215.00p -2.29%

Phoenix Group Holdings (PHNX) 515.00p -2.00%

Unite Group (UTG) 960.00p -1.90%

FTSE 250 - Risers

Hochschild Mining (HOC) 165.60p 5.66%

Premier Foods (PFD) 176.20p 3.65%

Auction Technology Group (ATG) 584.00p 3.55%

Mobico Group (MCG) 66.85p 3.32%

Dr. Martens (DOCS) 85.00p 2.60%

Hammerson (HMSO) 29.00p 2.26%

Endeavour Mining (EDV) 1,751.00p 2.22%

Energean (ENOG) 1,185.00p 2.16%

Greggs (GRG) 2,804.00p 2.02%

Trainline (TRN) 323.80p 1.82%

FTSE 250 - Fallers

Wizz Air Holdings (WIZZ) 2,020.00p -4.54%

Savills (SVS) 1,110.00p -4.31%

W.A.G Payment Solutions (WPS) 67.40p -4.26%

Balanced Commercial Property Trust Limited (BCPT) 78.00p -3.25%

Direct Line Insurance Group (DLG) 197.10p -3.10%

Rathbones Group (RAT) 1,754.00p -2.66%

TUI AG Reg Shs (DI) (TUI) 558.50p -2.53%

IP Group (IPO) 52.00p -2.47%

North Atlantic Smaller Companies Inv Trust (NAS) 4,000.00p -2.44%

Syncona Limited NPV (SYNC) 107.60p -2.36%

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