- FTSE ends 34.68 lower at 6,838.87
- World Bank lowers global forecast
- Airlines, Rolls-Royce drag
techMARK 2,840.73 -0.65%
FTSE 100 6,838.87 -0.50%
FTSE 250 16,087.63 -0.76%
London's blue chips finished today's session firmly lower, weighed down by stocks going ex-dividend, airlines, and a reduction in the World Bank's global forecast.
The FTSE 100 closed down 34.68 points at 6,838.87.
"It is becoming increasingly difficult to believe that this market will see 6,930 in the near future, having begun to inexorably falter the closer it gets to 6,880," Chris Beauchamp, Market Analyst at IG said.
"Previous guarded bullishness has given way to increased caution, making it increasingly likely that we see a retest of 6,800."
The main macro news of the day was that the World Bank has downgraded its forecast for global economic growth.
The Bank sees the global economy expanding 2.8% this year, down from a January prediction of 3.2%. The organisation projected slower growth for the US, Russia, China, Brazil and India. It left forecasts for world growth in 2015 unchanged at 3.4%.
Also firmly in focus was the bigger-than-expected drop in the UK unemployment rate to a five-year low of 6.6%, although this failed to have a positive effect on the market as it came alongside figures that showed that wages were rising at a rate well below inflation.
The annual growth in average weekly earnings slowed to just 0.7% in the three months to April, compared with the current consumer price inflation rate at 1.8%.
According to Jasper Lawler, Market Analyst at CMC Markets UK: "The news on unemployment is on the face of it very good for the UK economy. More worrying though is that a large percentage of the jobs created are self-employed perhaps indicating companies are not investing into their workforce as much as the headline number implies.
"With consumer price inflation last reported at 1.8%, inflation is rising at more than twice the rate of wages. The bank of England will be concerned that even though unemployment is falling, if real wage growth is slowing in the UK, the only way to keep up the same growth in spending is by using credit, and that becomes a problem when interest rates rise."
Randgold tracks price of gold higher
Mining group Randgold Resources was a top performer today, carried on the back of a recovering gold price.
J Sainsbury was also higher after coming in slightly ahead of expectations with a 1.1% first-quarter fall in like-for-like (LFL) retail sales, excluding fuel. Outgoing Chief Executive Justin King blamed the fall on lower food price inflation and reduced fuel prices for the group's second straight quarterly drop in sales.
On the downside, the cancellation of Emirates Airlines' major order for 70 new Airbus hit shares
of engineer Rolls-Royce, whose order book is to reduce by 3.5% or £2.6bn as a result.
Meanwhile, a number of stocks were trading lower today after going ex-dividend, including heavyweights Vodafone and Johnson Matthey.
Airline groups IAG and easyJet were falling sharply after German peer Lufthansa plummeted in Frankfurt following the news that it would not hit profit guidance for the next two years.
Brewer SABMiller was lower as the stock pulled back after an M&A-inspired boost yesterday when it was reported that a merger with European peer Anheuser-Busch InBev could be on the cards.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Randgold Resources Ltd. (RRS) 4,482.00p +1.70%
Coca-Cola HBC AG (CDI) (CCH) 1,406.00p +1.22%
AstraZeneca (AZN) 4,400.00p +1.20%
Sainsbury (J) (SBRY) 333.00p +0.97%
Anglo American (AAL) 1,464.50p +0.86%
Friends Life Group Limited (FLG) 330.90p +0.79%
Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY) 79.06p +0.78%
Admiral Group (ADM) 1,510.00p +0.67%
Fresnillo (FRES) 792.50p +0.63%
Morrison (Wm) Supermarkets (MRW) 195.50p +0.51%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Rolls-Royce Holdings (RR.) 1,017.00p -5.48%
Vodafone Group (VOD) 199.40p -4.52%
easyJet (EZJ) 1,530.00p -3.95%
International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 400.00p -3.05%
Smiths Group (SMIN) 1,307.00p -2.97%
Mondi (MNDI) 1,067.00p -2.73%
SABMiller (SAB) 3,395.00p -1.88%
Land Securities Group (LAND) 1,074.00p -1.83%
Sage Group (SGE) 403.20p -1.75%
Aberdeen Asset Management (ADN) 445.50p -1.72%
FTSE 250 - Risers
esure Group (ESUR) 274.20p +4.54%
Polymetal International (POLY) 555.00p +3.45%
African Barrick Gold (ABG) 223.20p +2.86%
Perform Group (PER) 270.10p +2.70%
Fenner (FENR) 351.20p +2.66%
Dechra Pharmaceuticals (DPH) 717.50p +2.65%
Genus (GNS) 1,072.00p +2.58%
IP Group (IPO) 184.20p +1.82%
Dairy Crest Group (DCG) 477.40p +1.70%
Barr (A.G.) (BAG) 638.00p +1.59%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Supergroup (SGP) 1,063.00p -7.57%
Intermediate Capital Group (ICP) 397.70p -5.20%
Afren (AFR) 144.20p -4.50%
Bank of Georgia Holdings (BGEO) 2,370.00p -3.66%
Halfords Group (HFD) 492.80p -3.66%
Ferrexpo (FXPO) 132.40p -3.64%
Greencore Group (GNC) 273.00p -3.36%
Ocado Group (OCDO) 367.40p -3.32%
JD Sports Fashion (JD.) 1,698.00p -2.97%
Homeserve (HSV) 329.60p -2.92%