FTSE 100 slips lower as European financial markets cool

17 May 2024, 17:44

London Stock Exchange
London Stock Exchange trading. Picture: PA

The FTSE 100 finished 18.39 points, or 0.22%, lower to end the day at 8,420.26.

London’s top index finished the week in the red as it was affected by profit-taking from investors after recent record levels.

The FTSE 100 finished 18.39 points, or 0.22%, lower to end the day at 8,420.26.

It came despite a strong session for mining and commodity firms as metal prices improved again, with Fresnillo, Rio Tinto and Antofagasta all firmly higher.

Axel Rudolph, senior market analyst at IG, said: “Major stock indices cooled down on profit-taking at the end of a week which saw new record highs being made.

“Profit-taking amid Federal Reserve commentary pointing to a possible ‘rates for longer scenario’ led to losses on Friday while bond yields and the US greenback recovered from their four-to-six- week lows.

“The FTSE 100 remained within half a percent of this week’s record high, though.”

Elsewhere in Europe, the main German index stepped back from its record high as bond yields in the country increased.

The German Dax index was down 0.18% at the close and the Cac 40 in France ended down 0.26%.

Across the Atlantic it was a broadly flat opening in the US, although tech stocks performed strongly, with Reddit stock jumping after the social media firm announced a new partnership with OpenAI.

Meanwhile, sterling moved higher ahead of a key week for economic updates, including the latest UK CPI inflation data.

The pound was up 0.26% at 1.270 US dollars and was up 0.22% at 1.168 euros at market close in London.

In company news, commercial real estate giant LandSec slipped in value on Friday despite heavily cutting its losses for the past year.

The FTSE 100-listed firm, whose portfolio includes office space and retail destinations such as White Rose shopping centre in Leeds and The O2 Centre in London, reported pre-tax losses of £341 million for the year to March 31, against losses of £622 million in 2022-23.

Shares fell by 2.61% to 672p as it also announced a decrease in the value of its property portfolio.

FRP Advisory shot higher after a spike in insolvencies meant that both its revenues and profits for the year are on track to surpass expectations.

The insolvency practitioner and advisory firm said revenues will have grown by 23% to £128 million over the year to April, amid a spike in administrations, with the group working on high-profile failures such as The Body Shop.

FRP shares were up 12.1% to  143.5p at the close of play on Friday.

Elsewhere, toothpaste maker Haleon was lower after GSK (GlaxoSmithKline) sold its last remaining stake in the consumer healthcare business for about £1.2 billion.

Haleon shares closed down 1.02% at 329p after it confirmed it sold the shares for 324p each, completing its entire stake sale in the firm after about a year.

The price of a barrel of Brent crude oil was up by 0.5% to 81.21 US dollars as markets were closing in London.

The biggest risers on the FTSE 100 were Antofagasta, up 81p to 2,365p, Fresnillo, up 20p to 615p, Rio Tinto, up 136p to 5,785p, Sage Group, up 21.5p to 1,106p, and Anglo American, up 48.5p to 2,677.5p.

The biggest fallers of the session were Entain, down 42.2p at 722p, Ashtead Group, down 272p to 5,764p, Burberry, down 40p to 1,100p, Auto Trader, down 25p to 730p, and Spirax-Sarco, down 305p to 9,275p.

By Press Association