Coronavirus - we're here to help
From how to access your account online, scam awareness, your wellbeing and our community we're here to help.

Skip to main content
  • rainbow over text: 'thank you NHS'
  • Register
  • Help
  • Contact us
  • Log out of your HL account

London close: Benchmark finishes lower amid China concerns, poor UK data

Fri 22 May 2020 16:18 | A A A

No recommendation

No news or research item is a personal recommendation to deal. Hargreaves Lansdown may not share ShareCast's (powered by Digital Look) views.

Market latest

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

6484.30 | Positive 142.86 (2.25%)

Prices delayed by at least 15 minutes

(Sharecast News) - London's benchmark pared back some earlier losses on Friday afternoon, but still closed in the red following news that Beijing was planning to impose a new security law on Hong Kong, and after the release of uninspiring UK data.

The FTSE 100 ended the session down 0.37% at 5,993.28, while the FTSE 250 eked out gains of 0.08% to 16,398.86.

Sterling was mixed against its major trading pairs, last weakening 0.34% against the dollar to $1.2181, while strengthening 0.2% on the euro to €1.1183.

Sentiment took a hit earlier in the day, after it emerged that China is planning to introduce a national security law on Hong Kong that would ban "treason, secession, sedition and subversion" of the central government in Beijing.

US president Donald Trump said he would "react strongly" if China goes ahead with the plan.

"This is a potentially significant flash point that will stir local protests and will anger the US," said Neil Wilson, chief market analyst at

"At a time of already strained relations between China and the West, this decision will only isolate Beijing even more.

"Investors will need to add renewed Hong Kong-Beijing tensions into their mix of geopolitical risks, whilst the way it fits into the broader US-China rivalry will be closely watched."

Also weighing on the mood was China's decision to scrap its annual growth target for the first time since records began in 1990, due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

On home shores, the latest data releases did nothing to boost investor morale.

Figures from the Office for National Statistics showed retail sales tumbled 18.1% in April, marking the biggest fall since records began in 1988 amid the coronavirus lockdown.

Meanwhile, government borrowing hit its highest level on record last month at £62.1bn.

Unsurprisingly, Asia-focused Prudential and HSBC were under the cosh, falling 9.29% and 4.99%, respectively.

Elsewhere, investment platform AJ Bell was 15.13% lower after fund manager Invesco sold a 7.6% stake in the company.

Passenger transport operator Go-Ahead lost 10.6% as it warned that full-year operating profit will fall short of consensus expectations due to the pandemic.

On the upside, luxury fashion brand Burberry rallied 3.27% despite pulling its final dividend and saying it took a £241m hit as a result of the virus outbreak.

Future added 10.05% after it said operating profits surged in an "exceptionally strong" first half despite the Covid-19 pandemic impacting trading at the end of the period.

Market Movers

FTSE 100 (UKX) 5,993.28 -0.37%

FTSE 250 (MCX) 16,398.86 0.08%

techMARK (TASX) 3,722.32 -0.09%

FTSE 100 - Risers

Whitbread (WTB) 2,577.00p 5.57%

Burberry Group (BRBY) 1,420.00p 3.27%

DCC (DCC) 6,694.00p 3.18%

Auto Trader Group (AUTO) 521.00p 3.17%

Just Eat Takeaway.Com N.V. (CDI) (JET) 8,846.00p 2.95%

Fresnillo (FRES) 794.00p 2.72%

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) 3,647.00p 2.62%

M&G (MNG) 123.55p 2.36%

3i Group (III) 813.20p 2.14%

Taylor Wimpey (TW.) 140.90p 2.06%

FTSE 100 - Fallers

Prudential (PRU) 1,015.00p -9.29%

International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 190.80p -7.42%

HSBC Holdings (HSBA) 379.00p -4.99%

United Utilities Group (UU.) 882.20p -4.32%

Severn Trent (SVT) 2,371.00p -3.93%

Centrica (CNA) 35.29p -3.29%

National Grid (NG.) 880.60p -3.12%

easyJet (EZJ) 554.00p -3.03%

Standard Chartered (STAN) 382.00p -2.43%

Pennon Group (PNN) 1,114.50p -2.37%

FTSE 250 - Risers

Marston's (MARS) 66.00p 102.70%

Future (FUTR) 1,216.00p 11.36%

Helios Towers (HTWS) 138.00p 6.05%

IP Group (IPO) 61.10p 5.70%

Avast (AVST) 507.00p 5.67%

Biffa (BIFF) 234.50p 5.36%

Bakkavor Group (BAKK) 73.50p 5.00%

Kainos Group (KNOS) 886.00p 3.63%

Centamin (DI) (CEY) 179.60p 3.31%

Trainline (TRN) 512.00p 3.18%

FTSE 250 - Fallers

AJ Bell (AJB) 378.50p -15.13%

Go-Ahead Group (GOG) 1,099.00p -10.58%

Investec (INVP) 145.15p -5.90%

Rank Group (RNK) 132.00p -4.35%

FirstGroup (FGP) 53.40p -4.30%

Aston Martin Lagonda Global Holdings (AML) 35.46p -4.16%

TBC Bank Group (TBCG) 730.00p -4.07%

Greencore Group (GNC) 127.00p -3.93%

Marks & Spencer Group (MKS) 94.56p -3.75%

Spectris (SXS) 2,593.00p -3.57%

    Daily market update emails

    • FTSE 100 riser and faller updates
    • Breaking market news, plus the latest share research, tips and broker comments

    Register now for free market updates

    The value of investments can go down in value as well as up, so you could get back less than you invest. It is therefore important that you understand the risks and commitments. This website is not personal advice based on your circumstances. So you can make informed decisions for yourself we aim to provide you with the best information, best service and best prices. If you are unsure about the suitability of an investment please contact us for advice.