Financials drive London lower as Paris boosted by Macron-Le Pen face off
Sharp losses among financial stocks drove London’s top indexes lower yesterday.
The capital’s premier FTSE 100 index lost 0.7 per cent to fall to 7,615.79 points, while the domestically-focused mid-cap FTSE 250 index, which is more aligned with the health of the UK economy, fell 0.35 per cent to 21,099.50 points.
Insurers, fund managers and credit checkers were among the steepest fallers in the City.
Insurer Prudential dropped 3.81 per cent after a damning analyst’s note warned investors to ditch the firm’s shares.
Fund supermarket Hargreaves Lansdown tumbled 3.02 per cent, while the Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust, which has a large exposure to US tech stocks that have been battered by looming rate hikes from the US Federal Reserve, was the worst performer on the FTSE 100 during opening exchanges.
Credit checker Experian closed 3.75 per cent lower.
The prospect of the world’s top central banks sending borrowing costs higher over the coming months to get on top of historically high inflation also weighed on market sentiment.
Stocks tend to perform badly amid higher interest rates.
London’s weak performance bled into the Continent, with the pan-European Stoxx 600 index dipping a shade over 0.6 per cent.
France’s Cac 40 bucked the trend, edging 0.12 per cent higher, driven by investors responding well to news that incumbent French President Emmanuel Macron will take on contender Marine Le Pen in the French election.
The pound was broadly flat against the dollar.