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London Markets: London’s main stock index under pressure pressured as commodity prices fall

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London’s equity bourse was under pressure on Thursday as investors monitored geopolitical headlines and shares of companies tied to commodities fell. A surging British pound also weighed on multinational companies.

The FTSE 100 index
UKX,
-1.31%

dropped 1.2% to 7,515, and the British pound
GBPUSD,
+0.25%

climbed 0.3% to $1.3635. A stronger pound can impact the main index by weighing on blue chips that derive revenue from overseas.

Both Brent
BRN00,
-2.07%

and U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate
CL00,
-2.07%

crude prices fell 2% as investors balanced reports of progress toward a nuclear agreement with Iran against fears of a Russian invasion of Ukraine. Shell stock
SHEL,
-2.06%

SHEL,
-2.06%

was down nearly 1%.

Stocks in London were also tracking early losses on Wall Street that came amid increased concerns over a conflict breaking out on European soil due to the Russia-Ukraine tensions.

Read: Blinken to speak at U.N. Security Council on Russia’s ‘threat to peace,’ says State Department

And: Here’s the technology being used to watch Russian troops as Ukraine invasion fears linger

Among the bright spots, shares of Reckitt Benckiser
RKT,
+4.89%

climbed 5% to the top of the gainer’s list after the consumer-goods group gave upbeat margin guidance, and revenue on a same store basis beat expectations. The company also swung to a pretax loss for 2021.

Elsewhere, luxury goods retailer Burberry
BRBY,
+0.99%

got a 1.6% lift after positive results from French luxury conglomerate Kering
KER,
+6.20%
.

Banks and the metals sector were also adding to downward pressure in London, with HSBC
HSBC,
-1.83%

HSBA,
-2.48%

dropping 1% after rival Standard Chartered
STAN,
-1.35%

reported profits that fell short of expectations.

Walmart says shoppers are on alert as grocery bills climb

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