Lon­don’s top tier fin­ishes week in red

Western Daily Press (Saturday) - - Business -

THE FTSE 100 ended the week in the red as con­cerns over the prospect of ris­ing US in­ter­est rates and the stand­off be­tween Rome and Brus­sels con­spired to hit stocks.

Lon­don’s top tier closed down 35.34 points, or 0.49 per cent, at 7,105.34.

It came fol­low­ing the US Fed­eral Re­serve meet­ing, where pol­i­cy­mak­ers sig­nalled that in­ter­est rate hikes are on the cards.

David Mad­den, mar­ket an­a­lyst at CMC, said: “Traders are wor­ried about in­ter­est rate hikes from the Fed, and the po­lit­i­cal sit­u­a­tion in Italy.

“The US cen­tral bank an­nounced that ad­di­tional in­ter­est rate hikes are in the pipe­line, and this has soured sen­ti­ment.

“Rome and Brus­sels are at log­ger­heads over the pro­posed bud­get. Italy’s econ­omy min­is­ter, Gio­vanni Tria, said that the EU’s pro­posal to re­duce the deficit would be eco­nomic ‘sui­cide’.”

In stocks, SSE was in the dol­drums amid fears its merger with ri­val npower has been left “in a sham­bles” af­ter be­ing de­layed due to the in­com­ing cap on de­fault tar­iff prices.

The pair said they are rene­go­ti­at­ing the terms of their tie-up as a re­sult of the cap, which is set to see the deal de­layed.

En­ergy ex­perts at Jef­feries said the merger was left in a “sham­bles”, with wor­ries for the fu­ture vi­a­bil­ity of the

35 Points lost by the FTSE 100 In­dex, which closed at 7,105.34 last night

deal, which aims to cre­ate the UK’s sec­ond-big­gest gas and elec­tric­ity sup­plier.

The two firms had been hop­ing to seal the merger of their re­tail op­er­a­tions in the first quar­ter of 2019 af­ter it was re­cently given the green light by the com­pe­ti­tion watch­dog. SSE shares were down 30p at 1,152.5p at the close.

In­forma shares were in the as­cen­dancy af­ter the events busi­ness booked un­der­ly­ing rev­enue growth of 3.9 per cent in the first 10 months of the year of ri­val UBM.

This puts the com­pany on track to meet its un­der­ly­ing rev­enue growth tar­get of 3.5 per cent. In­forma also con­firmed that it is on track to make sav­ings of at least £50 mil­lion in 2019, with more syn­er­gies pen­cilled in.

In­vestors lapped up the news, send­ing shares to the top of the FTSE 100, clos­ing up 18.4p at 710.6p.

The British cur­rency was down 0.6 per cent ver­sus the US dol­lar at 1.297. Against the euro, the pound was trad­ing down 0.3 per cent at 1.146.

The big­gest other risers on the FTSE 100 were Easy­Jet up 26p at 1,254p, Im­pe­rial Brands up 56p at 2,750p and Na­tional Grid up 15.7p at 855.7p.

The big­gest fall­ers on the FTSE 100 were Burberry down 91p at 1,773.5p, Antofa­gasta down 39.8p at 778.2p, DS Smith down 18.2p at 357.8p and Fres­nillo down 42p at 861p.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.