US stocks edged down during the open today after official figures showed US retail sales were much weaker than expected in July.
The blue-chip S&P 500 dropped 0.55 per cent to 4,455.46 points and the Dow Jones lost 0.83 per cent to fall to 35,328.87 points.
The tech-heavy Nasdaq extended the traditional benchmark’s losses to slip 0.55 per cent to 14,712.03 points.
Market sentiment was hit by retail sales plunging 1.1 per cent in July, much lower than analysts’ expectations.
Yields on 10-year Treasuries hovered around 1.26 per cent during early exchanges.
FTSE 100 rises on industrials rally
A strong industrials rally helped to lift London’s FTSE 100 in afternoon trading.
The capital’s premier index added 0.41 per cent to rise to 7,183.35 points during late afternoon exchanges.
The gains helped to partly reverse the blue-chip index’s poor performance yesterday which saw the FTSE fall by almost 100 points, reversing last week’s gains.
Figures released this morning by the Office for National Statistics showing the UK labour market recovered sharply from the Covid crisis over the last quarter helped to strengthen sentiment, with the unemployment rate falling by more than experts expected.
The mid-cap FTSE 250 edged into the red this afternoon, dipping to 23,711.91 points, while AIM shares lost 0.23 per cent to fall to 1,257.26 points.
Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell, said: “Some well-received corporate results helped balance out wider downbeat sentiment linked to the signs of a Chinese slowdown which emerged at the beginning of the week and the turmoil in Afghanistan.”
Winners and losers
Industrial stocks led the table of the FTSE’s biggest risers. Miner BHP shot up 4.87 per cent to 2,391.50p in the first couple hours of trading after it posted a strong set of results this morning showing it had pulled in $25.9bn in profit from its operations in the year to 30 June.
Takeaway delivery service company Just Eat Takeaway.com was the seond best performer stock in the morning, climbing 2.85 per cent to 6,309p driven by the business announcing revenues had risen 52 per cent over in the first six months of the year.
Royal Dutch Shell ‘B’ rose 2.23 per cent to 1,441.80p.
B&Q parent company Kingfisher notched the largest losses on the FTSE, dipping 2.83 per cent to 354.30p.
British Airways parent company IAG was the second worst performer, slipping 2.35 per cent to 160.60p, while hospitality services company, Whitbread, lost 2.1 per cent drop to 3,035p.