Commodity, financial stocks drag FTSE 100 lowerwritten by Bella Palmer
The FTSE 100 edged down 0.2% for a third consecutive session of losses, while the midcap FTSE 250 index reversed an earlier drop to a new five-week low to close unchanged
Commodity and financial stocks dragged the UK's FTSE 100 lower on Wednesday on worries about a slowdown in global economic growth, although a jump in AVEVA Group on buyout news and a weaker pound helped limit losses on the exporter-heavy index.
The blue-chip FTSE 100 edged down 0.2% for a third consecutive session of losses, while the midcap FTSE 250 index reversed an earlier drop to a new five-week low to close unchanged.
AVEVA soared 27% after French industrial conglomerate Schneider, which owns nearly 60% of the software company, said it was considering buying out minority shareholders.
Business surveys released the previous day showed the global economy increasingly at risk of sliding into recession, while in Britain a fall in factory output slowed private sector activity in August.
What is driving the FTSE 100 down is natural gas prices getting back close to record highs in the UK which is potentially feeding into the negativity in the index, Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets said.
People have suddenly realised that there are certain parts of the FTSE 100 that are likely to be fairly negatively affected by shrinking consumer incomes, he said.
British wholesale gas prices rose on Wednesday, further exacerbating concerns about a cost-of-living crisis in the country.
Investors are betting on another 50-basis-point rate hike from the Bank of England next month as inflation climbs past 10%.
More broadly, markets are waiting for the Kansas City Federal Reserve's annual summit in Jackson Hole, Wyoming later this week with the U.S. central bank looking like it could manage a ‘soft landing’, but the outlook for Europe is far more worrying.
Among stocks, HSBC slipped 1.9% after China's Ping An Insurance Group defended its call to spin off the lender's Asia business, saying it cared about investment returns from its large stake but was not an activist investor.
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