London’s FTSE 100 was muted on a quiet trading day globally due to Wall Street being shut for US Independence Day.
The capital’s premier index edged 0.10 per cent lower to 7,519.73 points, while the domestically-focused mid-cap FTSE 250 index, which is more aligned with the health of the UK economy, added 0.14 per cent to hit 18,533.79 points.
Britain’s index of its largest companies struggled for conviction in opening exchanges in the City, a theme that analysts said could be a fixture of the day.
“The FTSE 100 started Tuesday flat and with the US markets largely closed for Independence Day it could struggle for direction throughout the trading session,” Russ Mould, investment director at broker AJ Bell, said.
London markets have been on a downward spiral since the US banking crises in March shook investor appetite. The FTSE 100 had breached the 8,000 point mark for the first time ever at the beginning of the year, before losing a large chunk of those gains.
So far in 2023, it is up a little over one per cent. The FTSE 250 is deep in the red.
One the UK’s largest supermarkets, Sainsbury’s, this morning said in results it had notched a near 10 per cent increase in like-for-like sales over the last quarter.
Despite that uplift, the grocer’s FTSE 100-listed shares tumbled, down near two per cent.
Food retailers have come under the microscope for supposedly not passing on falls in global commodity prices to customers. The Competition and Markets Authority yesterday said a lack of competition among retailers who operate petrol forecourts has kept prices higher than they could have otherwise been.
Budget Hungarian airline and FTSE 250-listed Wizz Air soared in the City this morning after it posted a 23 per cent boost in holidaymakers using their planes. That was bigger than competitor Ryanair’s uplift.
Wizz Air’s shares climbed 1.52 per cent on the news.
Pound sterling was up sharply against the US dollar by around 0.3 per cent.
Oil prices leapt around two per cent.