Markets quiet ahead of MPC rate decision
Markets were relatively quiet yesterday as traders awaited the upcoming interest rate decision from the Bank of England.
The FTSE 100 closed the session 0.46 points lower, remaining at the 7,700 mark it reached by the end of last week.
On Thursday, the Bank of England will announce its latest interest rate decision, with analysts widely expecting the Monetary Policy Committee to raise the benchmark rate to 0.75%.
In currencies markets, sterling was up 0.3% against the dollar at 1.314, and was up 0.07% against the euro at 1.122 in late afternoon.
Oil prices rose amid fears about supply levels, with planned sanctions for Iran looming over the market.
In afternoon trading, Brent crude was up 0.8% at 74.917.
Shares in Hiscox jumped by 7% or 107p to 1,580p when the insurance firm unveiled a rise in profits, having navigated eyewatering costs on the back of multiple natural disasters in 2017.
For the six months ended June 30, Hiscox’s profit before tax was $163.6 million (£124.8m), up 27% year-on-year from $129.1m (£98.5m).
The other biggest risers were Vodafone Group up 6.5p to 186.5p, St James’s Place up 28p to 1,216.5p and Smurfit Kappa Group up 48p to 3,124p.
The biggest fallers were Sage Group down 33.2p to 612.8p, Pearson down 27.4p to 930p, Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust down 14p to 535p and Taylor Wimpey down 3.85p to 172.5p.