- FTSE 100 closes 23.21 points lower at 6,754.64
- Iraq tensions escalate, oil prices
- Bad new for UK high street
techMARK 2,797.06 -0.64%
FTSE 100 6,754.64 -0.34%
FTSE 250 15,706.73 -0.68%
London's blue chips ended today's session broadly lower, hit by weak investor sentiment amid mounting tensions in Iraq.
The FTSE 100 closed 23.21 points lower at 6,754.64.
As noted by Chris Beauchamp, IG Market Analyst, the market's "underlying sentiment has not really shifted from the doom of last week".
According to the most recent reports, more than 270 rebels were yesterday killed by Iraq's army, with tensions escalating as further areas in the north of the country are seized.
The turmoil has raised concerns about oil supply, pushing prices significantly higher.
"Geopolitics is still at the top of the list of worries, with investors decidedly unconvinced that US assistance would make any real difference to the situation," Beauchamp continued.
"Mark Carney's comments last week seem to have kick-started speculation on rate increases by major central banks, and with the Federal Reserve meeting on the agenda for the week the focus has shifted from the Bank of England to Washington. Any changes to the statement will be in the form of subtle tweaking to the Fed's view, but as at the last meeting the net result is likely to be no change."
UK asking prices rise just 0.1% in June, Rightmove says
In today's macro news, property website Rightmove revealed that asking prices for homes in the UK were virtually unchanged in June, rising by 0.1% month-on-month to reach £272,275.
That followed a 3.6% increase in the previous month. Prices were left standing 7.7% higher versus last year.
Meanwhile, UK workers' productivity has failed to bounce back since the financial crisis, casting doubt on prospects for more jobs, the Bank of England said today.
Productivity, or the quantity of goods and services produced per worker or per hour, has been exceptionally weak since 2007/8, with whole economy output per hour still 16% below the level reached before the crisis, the Bank said in its quarterly bulletin.
Retail figures in focus
Retail insolvencies hit a five-year high last year as competition from supermarket convenience stores took its toll on street corner shops, a study out on Monday showed.
The number of shops going out of business in England, Scotland and Wales rose 12% to 1,287 in the year to March 31st against the previous year, according to accountants Wilkins Kennedy.
That comes as figures also showed that the number of people venturing onto the UK high street fell last month, fuelling concern about the sustainability of consumer spending.
Shopper numbers dropped 0.9% in May against the same month last year, although it was up on April's fall of 1.4%, data from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) and retail research group Springboard showed.
Over in the States, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) cut its forecast for US economic growth to 2% from 3%, due to the impact of the harsh winter.
In brighter news, industrial production grew 0.6% last month following a 0.3% fall in April, exceeding forecasts for a 0.5% increase.
Miners and oil stocks lead the upside
Fresnillo, Randgold Resources, Glencore, BHP Billiton and Anglo American were all tracking metals prices higher.
Glencore was also lifted by Investec, which moved its target price from 302p to 319p and upgraded the stock from 'reduce' to 'hold'.
Driven higher by supply concerns, rising oil prices prompted yet another jump in oil stocks today, with Tullow Oil and Petrofac both strong gainers. As well, shares
of Tullow Oil might be benefitting as traders look to get in ahead of a progress update from the firm on its Hanssen project.
Meanwhile, telecoms group BT was firmly in the red after The Sunday Times indicated that the company's pension costs may rise.
Rolls-Royce was lower after analysts at Societe Generale cut their rating on the stock from 'hold' to 'sell', saying that there is "some risk of a further earnings downgrade" at the engine maker.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Fresnillo (FRES) 822.00p +1.86%
Tullow Oil (TLW) 856.50p +1.78%
Glencore (GLEN) 322.50p +1.42%
Aberdeen Asset Management (ADN) 445.10p +1.39%
Next (NXT) 6,320.00p +1.12%
Randgold Resources Ltd. (RRS) 4,615.00p +1.12%
William Hill (WMH) 340.70p +1.01%
Petrofac Ltd. (PFC) 1,268.00p +0.88%
Anglo American (AAL) 1,422.00p +0.85%
BHP Billiton (BLT) 1,865.00p +0.81%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
London Stock Exchange Group (LSE) 1,920.00p -2.39%
BT Group (BT.A) 384.90p -2.38%
Melrose Industries (MRO) 273.90p -2.25%
Experian (EXPN) 1,005.00p -2.24%
Morrison (Wm) Supermarkets (MRW) 188.30p -2.08%
St James's Place (STJ) 768.00p -2.04%
Carnival (CCL) 2,307.00p -2.00%
Persimmon (PSN) 1,187.00p -1.98%
Royal Mail (RMG) 488.70p -1.89%
TUI Travel (TT.) 384.70p -1.84%
FTSE 250 - Risers
PayPoint (PAY) 1,140.00p +4.30%
Kazakhmys (KAZ) 284.00p +3.09%
Infinis Energy (INFI) 217.00p +2.89%
Premier Oil (PMO) 351.60p +2.84%
African Barrick Gold (ABG) 224.20p +2.66%
Debenhams (DEB) 73.00p +2.46%
Dechra Pharmaceuticals (DPH) 704.50p +1.73%
Centamin (DI) (CEY) 63.10p +1.45%
Hunting (HTG) 856.00p +1.24%
AL Noor Hospitals Group (ANH) 1,006.00p +1.16%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Supergroup (SGP) 905.00p -9.50%
Evraz (EVR) 92.00p -5.20%
888 Holdings (888) 113.00p -3.83%
Dignity (DTY) 1,341.00p -3.80%
St. Modwen Properties (SMP) 353.70p -3.76%
Ferrexpo (FXPO) 124.60p -3.71%
Howden Joinery Group (HWDN) 297.40p -3.32%
Tullett Prebon (TLPR) 268.80p -3.31%
Ted Baker (TED) 1,812.00p -3.10%
Rathbone Brothers (RAT) 1,997.00p -3.06%