Equities Indices UK

FTSE 100 watch: Lower oil and China worries hit Footsie

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The UK benchmark index has slipped into the red in today’s session, pressured by a fall in oil prices and worries over China’s stimulus policy. Investors are also digesting FTSE 100 company updates, including results by Primark owner Associated British Foods (LON:ABF).

FTSE 100 in negative territory

As of 12:23 BST, the Footsie had given up 31.35 points to stand 0.42 percent lower at 7,491.72. Sentiment has been subdued, with oil prices slipping lower after yesterday’s surge. Shares in oil major BP (LON:BP) are down by 1.35 percent to 574.64p, while blue-chip peer Royal Dutch Shell (LON:RDSA) is 0.93 percent worse off at 2,497.50p.

Mining shares are also in the doldrums, with Anglo American (LON:AAL) leading the sector lower, having given up 2.82 percent to 2,104.00p. Reuters reports that concern is growing that China, the world’s biggest metals consumer, will ease up on its economic stimulus efforts, reducing demand.

“Having last night hit a six-month high, the FTSE 100 took a small step back on Wednesday,” AJ Bell investment director Russ Mould commented, as quoted by Proactive Investors. “Key detractors were mining, oil and insurance companies.”

Individual blue-chip movers

In individual stock news, shares in AB Foods have been in demand even as the company posted a fall in half-year profit. The Primark owner, however, lifted its payout for shareholders and said that it expected its sugar profitability to improve. AB Foods’ shares are 1.76 percent up at 2,550.00p.

Aviva (LON:AV), which today announced senior management changes, meanwhile is 0.60 percent down at 423.05p. Direct Line Group (LON:DLG) meanwhile is 0.38 percent down at 423.05p, having traded more than one percent lower earlier in the session, following a downgrade at JPMorgan.

The FTSE 100 was 0.54 percent down at 7,482.34 points as of 13:08 BST on Wednesday, 24 April 2019.

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