The FTSE 100 fell today after four straight sessions of gains as a clutch of miners and industrial heavyweights weighed on London’s premier index.
The blue-chip index closed down 0.35 per cent at 7,124.98 points, with miners dragging the FTSE down.
Having hit record highs yesterday amid a surge of takeover activity, the FTSE 250 of midcaps dropped 0.14 per cent this morning to 23,952.39 points.
The falls come ahead of the Federal Reserve’s annual Jackson Hole symposium, where investors will be looking for hints as to whether the central bank will begin to ease off its monetary stimulus packages.
Interactive Investor head of markets Richard Hunter said: “Investors [are] choosing to react to further weakness in Asian markets, as opposed to the further strength of Wall Street. From a technical perspective, the usual slew of FTSE100 stocks being marked ex-dividend on a Thursday also weighs on the index.”
“Even so, the progress of the major indices is reflective of the general move towards a return to normality, with the imminent Jackson Hole symposium providing an opportunity for the Federal Reserve to assure investors that the punch bowl will not be taken away just yet.”
Risers and fallers
Industrials lurched into the red today, with miner Polymetal the worst performer on the FTSE, sliding 3.61 per cent to 1,468.50p
Melrose dropped 3.32 per cent to 165.95p and Chilean miner Antofagasta slipped 2.73 per cent to 1,427.50p.
Broadcaster ITV, which could leave the index soon, was the second best performer, rising 1.63 per cent to 118.35p. Middle class favourite Ocado added 0.88 per cent to reach 1,067p.
On the FTSE 250, recruitment firm Hays topped the table of risers, climbing 4.08 per cent to 163.40 after it said the recovery in the jobs market had boosted its financials.
But a raft of travel stocks were close behind, with Tui down 2.65 per cent and Hungarian flier Wizz Air dropping 3.79 per cent.
Around the world
London’s poor performance was extended across the pond, with all three of the US’s main benchmarks down today.
The S&P 500 slipped 0.35 per cent to 4,480.31 during early afternoon trading, while the Dow Jones lost 0.33 per cent to fall to 35,290.48 points.
The tech-heavy Nasdaq pulled back from yesterday’s record highs, slipping 0.34 per cent to 14,992.69 points.
The falls come as chair of the US Federal Reserve is set to deliver his keynote speech at the monetary policy symposium at Jackson Hole tomorrow.
Jerome Powell is expected to provide more clues on when and how the central bank will start to taper its bond purchases.