The FTSE 100 continued Friday in sluggish fashion as UK retail sales fell almost double the amount expected.
London’s premier blue-chip index dipped as much as 0.8 per cent in early trading, slouching at 7,251.32, 0.8 per cent down by midday.
Nearing market close, it fluctuated between 0.8 and one per cent with largest caller Airtel Africa down 4.4 per cent.
The slump follows a small rise of 0.6 in June, one of the hottest months on record.
“The Great British washout dealt a huge blow to retailers as would be shoppers shunned soggy high streets,” said Danni Hewson, head of financial analysis at AJ Bell.
“Unseasonably wet and cold weather meant there was no need for new summer togs as people instead ferreted out winter jackets if they were brave enough to leave the house at all,” Hewson added.
Speaking of not leaving the house, grocery deliverer Ocado led the pack of risers this morning, up 1.7 per cent.
Towards the end of the afternoon, Tesco also started ticking upwards encroaching on a one per cent lift.
Also up was defence giant BAE Systems, around 0.4 per cent, following the announcement of its $5.6bn Ball Aerospace acquisition yesterday.
As close drew near it nudged up 0.5 per cent.
“BAE has seen £1.5bn wiped off its valuation, with little respite from that pressure in early trading, as investors mull its decision to buy Ball Aerospace,” said Sophie Lund-Yates, lead equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown.
“While it’s widely acknowledged the foray into space tech is an exciting one, there are lingering questions about the price being paid, with the multiples looking expensive,” she explained.
RS Group and Antofagasta were the biggest losers for the droopy FTSE 100 this morning, falling around four and three per cent respectively.
AJ Bell investment director Russ Mould said: “China-exposed stocks on the FTSE 100 like Prudential and the miners are taking heat on Friday morning, helping to put the index on course for yet another down day.
“The FTSE is currently demonstrating all the pep and get up and go of a teenager at 8am on a school day.”
The FTSE 250 fell similarly to its bigger brother, also down about 0.8 per cent, thanks to fallers like the Bank of Georgia Group, HG Capital Trust and Wood Group, all dropping over three per cent.
UK Commercial Property REIT helped lift the UK’s more domestic index, up nearly two per cent.
Later in the morning, the FTSE 250 dropped further below one per cent as Bank of Georgia group spiralled down nearly 8 per cent.
By the end of the day, W.A.G. topped the risers of the 250, stretching over five per cent skywards – although the whole index dipped down further by 1.5 per cent.