Digital Look Sharecast | 31 May, 2017 17:23
London close: FTSE 100 ends lower as sterling advances and resources stocks weigh
UK blue chips inched their way to a lower close on Wednesday as sterling shrugged off its most-of-day weakness to nip higher, while falls among heavyweight resources stocks told.
The FTSE 100 closed the day down 0.09% to 7,519.95, and the FTSE 250 slipped 0.10% to 19,972.17. Europe was on a mixed footing, and Wall St was faltering early on.
Early rises in blue chips had been helped by sterling weakness, triggered by election polls that suggested a runaway Tory win was perhaps not as likely as previously thought.
That, however, changed as the session approached its end.
"The pound has made a surprise recovery today, with the FTSE 100 pulling back from its early gains as a result," said Joshua Mahoney, market analyst at IG.
"Ultimately, the (election) polls remain largely in favour of a Theresa May win, despite her uninspiring and surprisingly out of touch decisions," he said.
The YouGov/Times poll raised the prospect of a hung parliament, while a PanelBase one gave the Tories a 15-point lead over Labour.
"It looks like the FX market has decided to shrug off that YouGov survey which indicated a hung parliament is the most likely outcome from the June 8th poll," said Neil Wilson, senior market analyst at ETX Capital.
"Instead the pound was buoyed by a PanelBase poll that gives the Tories a very healthy 15-point lead over Labour," he said, also noting the "usual" month-end rebalancing taking place.
Connor Campbell, financial analyst at Spreadex, suggested that the FTSE wanted a Tory win just as badly as sterling.
This was "even if the weakened pound has been the main driver behind the UK index travelling to its current record levels."
UK macro data out earlier on Wednesday did little to inspire the overall mediocre sentiment in the countdown to the election on June 8.
Among this data, monthly UK mortgage approvals slipped, while net lending to individuals fell and M4 money supply increased more than expected.
A GfK survey revealed UK consumer confidence surprisingly improved marginally in May.
Taking a closer look at the FTSE, house builders such as Barratt Developments and Taylor Wimpey were lower. In the wider retail sector, Unilever, Reckitt Benckiser, Burberry, Sainsbury and Kingfisher did well.
By contrast, general miners were firmly lower amid falling iron ore prices, with Glencore, Anglo American, Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton among the worst hit.
These were followed by oil stocks BP and Shell, which suffered with crude prices on renewed oversupply fears and worries about the effectiveness of Opec's output curb extension.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Randgold Resources Ltd. (RRS) 7,365.00p 2.79%
Mediclinic International (MDC) 808.50p 2.41%
Barratt Developments (BDEV) 612.50p 1.83%
Merlin Entertainments (MERL) 529.00p 1.83%
GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) 1,703.50p 1.82%
Burberry Group (BRBY) 1,815.00p 1.62%
Whitbread (WTB) 4,291.00p 1.47%
Wolseley (WOS) 5,110.00p 1.39%
Intertek Group (ITRK) 4,299.00p 1.15%
Vodafone Group (VOD) 231.50p 1.03%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Rio Tinto (RIO) 3,102.50p -2.53%
BHP Billiton (BLT) 1,173.00p -2.45%
Glencore (GLEN) 285.10p -2.36%
Anglo American (AAL) 1,031.50p -2.32%
Old Mutual (OML) 188.20p -1.62%
ITV (ITV) 195.70p -1.61%
Worldpay Group (WPG) 310.60p -1.55%
Severn Trent (SVT) 2,500.00p -1.34%
United Utilities Group (UU.) 1,029.00p -1.15%
BP (BP.) 466.70p -1.14%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Nostrum Oil & Gas (NOG) 531.50p 7.68%
IG Group Holdings (IGG) 584.00p 5.51%
NMC Health (NMC) 2,272.00p 3.89%
Ibstock (IBST) 252.30p 3.87%
Pets at Home Group (PETS) 166.40p 3.29%
Marshalls (MSLH) 409.10p 3.26%
TalkTalk Telecom Group (TALK) 177.50p 3.14%
Just Eat (JE.) 671.50p 2.99%
Dechra Pharmaceuticals (DPH) 1,944.00p 2.91%
Capita (CPI) 582.50p 2.73%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Hunting (HTG) 506.00p -6.22%
Ferrexpo (FXPO) 170.90p -5.97%
Vedanta Resources (VED) 611.50p -5.71%
Tullow Oil (TLW) 182.80p -5.14%
Nex Group (NXG) 644.50p -4.45%
Petrofac Ltd. (PFC) 380.00p -4.09%
Kaz Minerals (KAZ) 485.20p -3.83%
OneSavings Bank (OSB) 407.30p -3.83%
Cobham (COB) 134.00p -3.46%
Wood Group (John) (WG.) 715.50p -3.31%