UK stock markets lag behind Europe and US as oil prices slide

15 April 2024, 17:44

London Stock Exchange sign
Market report. Picture: PA

The FTSE 100 closed 30.05 points lower, or 0.38%, at 7,965.53.

UK stock markets lagged behind their international peers on Monday as the FTSE 100 was dragged down by miners and energy giants, in a reversal of Friday’s industrial-fuelled rally.

The FTSE 100 closed 30.05 points lower, or 0.38%, to 7,965.53.

It came after the blue-chip index came just a few points away from hitting a new all-time high on Friday, amid surging gold and oil prices.

But oil prices dropped on Monday, as investors continued to weigh up the possibility of conflict in the Middle East escalating, following Iran’s missile and drone attack on Israel over the weekend.

Other top European stock markets fared better on Monday. In Frankfurt, the Dax climbed 0.41% and in Paris, the Cac 40 closed 0.34% higher.

Over in the US, the S&P 500 was up about 0.3% and Dow Jones up 0.4% by the time European markets closed.

It followed the release of data which showed US retail sales increased more than expected in March.

Alex Rudolph, senior market analyst at IG, said: “Following two straight weeks of falling stock prices, European and US indices ended the session in positive territory amid de-escalation hopes in the Middle East, a rebound in Eurozone industrial output, much stronger-than-expected US retail sales and solid Goldman Sachs earnings which beat estimates.”

The pound was up 0.1% against the US dollar to 1.2465, and up about 0.1% against the euro to 1.171.

The price of Brent crude oil was down 1.2% to 89.30 US dollars (£71.67) at close.

In company news, shares in Inchcape moved higher after the firm said it was selling its UK retail operations for about £346 million to US-based rival, Group 1 Automotive.

Its boss said the “strategic importance of the UK retail operations has become limited” as a result of the group growing internationally. Shares in the London-listed company were 4.1% higher at close.

Shares in PageGroup fell on Monday afternoon after the recruiter revealed further trading woes and more job cuts, with profits down in recent months.

The firm said said general economic uncertainty was impacting recruitment in most of its markets around the world. Its share price was down 9.1% at close.

The biggest risers on the FTSE 100 were: Beazley, up 19.5p to 673.5p; Ocado, up 7.2p to 363.9p; IMI, up 35p to 1,800p; B&M European, up 9.6p to 510.6p; and Admiral Group, up 40p to 2,711p.

The biggest fallers on the FTSE 100 were: Fresnillo, down 24.5p to 598p; BP, down 11.8p to 527.3p; Centrica, down 2.8p to 130.5p; BT, down 2.1p to 105p; and Pershing Square, down 78p to 4,004p.

By Press Association