London close: FTSE mired in range trade as oil majors drop after Opec pledge
(ShareCast News) - Shares in London flickered around their starting levels for most of the day, mimicking the disappointing pattern of range-bound trade also seen among Europe's main indices.
The FTSE 100 closed up by 0.04% to 7,517.17, while the FTSE 250 was higher by 0.09% to 19,967.58. The Euro Stoxx 50, Dax and Cac 40 on the other hand ended slightly lower.
"The major indices in Europe have been flickering in between positive and negative territory but the common theme is a small trading range," said David Madden of CMC Markets UK.
Chris Beauchamp at IG also noted the sideways trade.
"In a bull market, you buy the strongest performing assets -- with the Nasdaq 100 nearly a fifth higher year-to-date, it is clear that momentum lies here, leaving the staid S&P 500 and FTSE 100 far behind," he said.
Wall St began positively after the US Fed last night released minutes from its May meeting that showed it wanted to make sure the recovery continued before lifting rates again.
In commodities the spot prices for gold, silver and copper were ahead, but both classes of crude fell as Opec extended its production cuts for a well flagged nine-months.
This disappointed some who were looking for a larger extension, and encouraged others to take profits. Shares of major oil companies Shell and BP were heavily down.
"We see a better than 50/50 chance Opec pre-announces additional cuts before the next scheduled meeting in November," said Jasper Lawler at London Capital Group.
If oil chat dominated the afternoon session, it was the fall in the UK's first-quarter GDP growth to 0.2%, from a previous estimate of 0.3% and 0.7% in the last quarter of 2016.
"There's a strong likelihood that growth will pick up in the second quarter, but whether robust growth can be sustained further ahead remains highly uncertain," said Chris Williamson, chief business economist at IHS Markit.
Elsewhere, British Bankers Association data showed British high street banks approved fewer mortgages in April from March, but consumer lending via credit cards bounced back.
In corporate news, progress in London was hampered by a catalogue of stocks going ex-dividend, including Bunzl, Capita, Carnival, DCC, Morrisons, Whitbread and Worldpay.
On the list of FTSE 100 gainers, consumer goods, high-street retail and pharmaceuticals shares tended to do well, while banks, commercial property and insurers congregated among fallers.
BT retreated as Exane BNP Paribas downgraded the stock to 'underperform' from 'neutral', saying the underlying business appears to be "teetering on the edge".
British Land and Oxford Properties confirmed they had completed the sale of The Leadenhall Buildinhg to C C Land.
Aviva announced it would begin a share buy-back of its ordinary shares for a maximum consideration of up to £300m.
United Utilities fell as it upped its dividend 1.1% after a year where revenue and profit both leaked modestly lower but it remained confident of meeting its long-term targets.
3i got a boost as Canaccord Genuity bumped up its price target on the stock to 975p from 875p following strong full-year results earlier this month.
FTSE 100 (UKX) 7,517.71 0.04%
FTSE 250 (MCX) 19,967.58 0.09%
techMARK (TASX) 3,606.55 -0.01%
FTSE 100 - Risers
3i Group (III) 871.50p 3.69%
easyJet (EZJ) 1,381.00p 2.75%
Royal Mail (RMG) 438.10p 2.12%
Antofagasta (ANTO) 827.50p 1.66%
Tesco (TSCO) 187.00p 1.66%
International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 616.00p 1.48%
Informa (INF) 650.50p 1.40%
Unilever (ULVR) 4,269.50p 1.35%
Burberry Group (BRBY) 1,774.00p 1.26%
British American Tobacco (BATS) 5,500.00p 1.25%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Anglo American (AAL) 1,057.50p -2.44%
DCC (DCC) 7,425.00p -1.26%
BT Group (BT.A) 313.00p -1.22%
BP (BP.) 472.95p -1.16%
Experian (EXPN) 1,647.00p -1.14%
Barclays (BARC) 214.05p -1.11%
Paddy Power Betfair (PPB) 8,300.00p -1.07%
Marks & Spencer Group (MKS) 389.40p -1.02%
GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) 1,618.00p -0.95%
British Land Company (BLND) 630.50p -0.94%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Intermediate Capital Group (ICP) 920.00p 14.00%
Wizz Air Holdings (WIZZ) 2,204.00p 13.26%
UDG Healthcare Public Limited Company (UDG) 811.50p 3.38%
QinetiQ Group (QQ.) 318.70p 3.21%
Halfords Group (HFD) 370.20p 3.18%
Paysafe Group (PAYS) 496.60p 3.14%
Rank Group (RNK) 218.90p 3.06%
Just Group (JUST) 137.00p 3.01%
Ferrexpo (FXPO) 175.20p 3.00%
Evraz (EVR) 199.00p 2.95%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Petrofac Ltd. (PFC) 430.80p -29.95%
Acacia Mining (ACA) 265.80p -12.85%
OneSavings Bank (OSB) 434.00p -7.17%
Amec Foster Wheeler (AMFW) 504.00p -5.62%
Capita (CPI) 547.00p -5.28%
Tate & Lyle (TATE) 749.00p -5.19%
Wood Group (John) (WG.) 715.00p -4.22%
Tullow Oil (TLW) 204.90p -3.80%
Polypipe Group (PLP) 421.10p -3.53%
Greencore Group (GNC) 237.00p -3.15%