London close: FTSE labours through Friday as sterling gains on underwhelming dollar
(ShareCast News) - Stocks in London laboured through Friday as sterling made gains against an underwhelming US dollar a day after PM Theresa May met with European leaders in Brussels.
The FTSE 100 closed down 0.20% at 7,424.13 and the FTSE 250 ended up 0.14% to 19,685.09. In the US, key equity indices were rising at the start of the session there, while Europe was lower at the end of its.
"Stock markets have fallen yet again as the disinflation fear is still doing the rounds," said David Madden, market analyst at CMC Markets UK.
"Oil may have recouped some of its losses today but the commodity has dropped a considerable amount since the start of the year," he said. "Dealers are worried take it will put downward pressure on inflation."
Over in Europe, the EU's flash manufacturing purchasing managers index (PMI) for June was 57.3 and ahead of the 56.8 forecast. Its 'flash' services PMI was 54.7, versus views for 56.1.
It was now a year since the UK had voted to quit the European Union, and in that time there had been plenty of Tory bravado, but little of Brexit consequence actually delivered.
May -- after her botched snap election and handling of the Grenfell Tower -- coughed up what she said was a "fair and serious" offer for EU citizens living in the UK.
May said about 3.0m EU citizens living in the UK would be allowed to stay on after Brexit, but this would depend on Britons being granted the same rights by EU states.
Brexit negotiations had only just begun and there were likely plenty more political and financial chicanes to negotiate.
In the market place, crude oil looked to be rising firmly, but it remained in bear territory and the percentage rises in both WTI and Brent were off low bases.
Gold and silver were doing well, and copper especially so. Sterling was up almost half a percent on the greenback. The dollar-spot index was down.
Spreadex analyst Connor Campbell said sterling had focused on whatever slim positives it could muster.
"That there appears to be an open dialogue between Theresa May and her European counterparts about the position of EU nationals in the UK and vice-versa has cheered up the currency.
Among the stocks, broadcaster ITV rose after Morgan Stanley upgraded the stock to 'overweight' from 'equalweight', citing an attractive valuation and news flow about to improve.
Centrica was underpinned as JPMorgan Cazenove lifted it to 'neutral' from 'underweight' and upped the price target to 205p from 180p, noting that the worst case scenario was now off the table after the Queen's Speech left out any mention of an energy price cap.
Rio Tinto eased after saying it has completed its bond tender and redemption exercises and has cut gross debt by a further $2.5bn (£1.97bn).
BAE Systems retreated as JPMorgan Cazenove cut the stock to 'neutral' from 'overweight' and removed it from its Analyst Focus List, mostly on valuation grounds.
AstraZeneca retreated even as it said the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use of the European Medicines Agency had adopted a positive opinion, recommending the marketing authorisation of Faslodex for the treatment of hormone receptor-positive, locally-advanced or metastatic breast cancer in postmenopausal women.
Glencore was on the back foot after it bumped up its offer for Rio Tinto's interest in Coal & Allied Industries (C&A) to $2.68bn in cash plus a coal price-linked royalty, from a previous offer of $2.55bn.
FTSE 100 (UKX) 7,424.13 -0.20%
FTSE 250 (MCX) 19,685.09 0.14%
techMARK (TASX) 3,629.71 -0.32%
FTSE 100 - Risers
ITV (ITV) 182.80p 3.34%
Fresnillo (FRES) 1,605.00p 2.88%
Ashtead Group (AHT) 1,620.00p 2.47%
Old Mutual (OML) 198.40p 2.16%
Admiral Group (ADM) 2,036.00p 1.55%
BT Group (BT.A) 285.90p 1.38%
Next (NXT) 4,047.00p 1.28%
Rolls-Royce Holdings (RR.) 942.00p 1.24%
Sainsbury (J) (SBRY) 253.40p 1.20%
Marks & Spencer Group (MKS) 342.90p 1.18%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Smurfit Kappa Group (SKG) 2,359.00p -2.48%
Shire Plc (SHP) 4,518.50p -2.32%
Mediclinic International (MDC) 757.00p -2.26%
BAE Systems (BA.) 650.00p -2.18%
AstraZeneca (AZN) 5,401.00p -1.94%
Coca-Cola HBC AG (CDI) (CCH) 2,363.00p -1.42%
Diageo (DGE) 2,305.00p -1.33%
Paddy Power Betfair (PPB) 8,665.00p -1.03%
Smith & Nephew (SN.) 1,369.00p -0.94%
Glencore (GLEN) 279.50p -0.83%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Man Group (EMG) 157.30p 4.52%
Ascential (ASCL) 327.00p 3.61%
Hochschild Mining (HOC) 284.50p 3.27%
Entertainment One Limited (ETO) 222.00p 2.78%
Drax Group (DRX) 338.20p 2.55%
Carillion (CLLN) 198.10p 2.54%
TalkTalk Telecom Group (TALK) 176.70p 2.20%
Sports Direct International (SPD) 290.50p 2.11%
RPC Group (RPC) 734.50p 1.94%
SIG (SHI) 149.30p 1.91%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Inmarsat (ISAT) 787.00p -3.55%
Go-Ahead Group (GOG) 1,747.00p -3.27%
NMC Health (NMC) 2,227.00p -2.84%
Domino's Pizza Group (DOM) 282.60p -2.79%
Spire Healthcare Group (SPI) 330.30p -2.14%
Pershing Square Holdings Ltd NPV (PSH) 1,197.00p -2.13%
SSP Group (SSPG) 484.80p -2.08%
Hunting (HTG) 466.00p -1.83%
Dechra Pharmaceuticals (DPH) 1,801.00p -1.80%
PayPoint (PAY) 929.50p -1.80%