THE FTSE 100 ended the week in the red as concerns at the prospect of rising US interest rates and the budget stand-off between Rome and Brussels conspired to hit stocks.
London’s top tier closed down 35.34 points, or 0.49%, at 7,105.34.
In stocks, 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 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.
shares were in the ascendancy after the events business booked underlying revenue growth of 3.9% 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%. Informa also confirmed that it is on track to make savings of at least £50m 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.
Sterling, meanwhile, took a dive off the back of more Brexit uncertainty and the resignation of Jo Johnson from Theresa May’s Government. Mr Johnson – brother of Brexit backer Boris – quit as transport minister and minister for London in order to vote against the EU divorce deal whenever it comes before Parliament and called for a second referendum.
The British currency was down 0.6% versus the US dollar at 1.297. Against the euro, the pound was trading down 0.3% at 1.146.
In Europe, Germany’s DAX was up a meagre 0.02% and France’s CAC was down 0.48%.
The biggest risers on the FTSE 100 were up 18.4p at 710.6p, up 26p at 1,254p, up 56p at 2,750p and
up 15.7p at 855.7p.
The biggest fallers on the FTSE 100 were down 91p at 1,773.5p, down 39.8p at 778.2p, down 18.2p at 357.8p and down 42p at 861p.