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FTSE 100 hit by economic worries, ex-dividend trades

08/20/2020 | 10:19am EST
FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen outside the entrance of the London Stock Exchange in London

UK shares ended lower on Thursday after the U.S. Federal Reserve struck a cautious note over the U.S. economic recovery, while several big companies going ex-dividend added to pressure on the bluechip index.

The FTSE 100 ended down 1.6%, with insurer Prudential and miner Anglo American among those trading ex-dividend. The midcap index fell 0.5%.

Minutes from the Fed's July 28-29 policy meeting warned of a highly uncertain path for recovery from the global health crisis that has hammered economic growth across the world.

(GRAPHIC: FTSE 100, S&P 500 and STOXX 600 - https://fingfx.thomsonreuters.com/gfx/mkt/azgvonmzqpd/FTSE%20YTD.PNG)

"(Fed) minutes are casting a shadow over markets and underline that any recovery is not going to be a straight line of advances," Markets.com analyst Neil Wilson said.

U.S. stocks have hit record highs despite the worries over the economic recovery, while in Europe and Britain stock indexes are yet to recover from falls caused by fallout from the virus. The FTSE 100 is lagging its peers in Europe and in the United States.

Real estate stocks <.FTNMX8670> <.FTUB8600> were one of the few sectors that gained on the day, benefiting from safe-haven demand.

On corporate news-driven moves, miner Antofagasta fell more than 5% after reporting a plunge in half-year earnings.

Along with Antofagasta's results, a drop in copper prices from a more than one-year high also hit miners, with Glencore, BHP and Rio Tinto falling between 2% and 4%.

Losses in the midcap index were limited by gains in Mike Ashley's Frasers Group along with a number of real estate stocks.

Frasers jumped 13% after it forecast growth of up to 30% in its new financial year, while electricals maker AO World added more than 3% as it said demand for its products and services continued even after its rivals reopened stores in July.

Infrastructure group John Laing plummeted 7%, marking its worst day since early-July after reporting a half-year loss and saying it was unlikely to meet its 1 billion pound investment target by the end of 2021.

By Muvija M and Ambar Warrick


© Reuters 2020
Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
ACCOR 4.62% 31.7 Real-time Quote.-27.43%
ANGLO AMERICAN PLC 5.60% 2311.5 Delayed Quote.0.74%
ANTOFAGASTA PLC 7.40% 1226 Delayed Quote.24.51%
AO WORLD PLC -9.65% 379 Delayed Quote.364.56%
BHP GROUP 5.84% 1780.8 Delayed Quote.-5.30%
DJ INDUSTRIAL 1.52% 30041.14 Delayed Quote.2.54%
GLENCORE PLC 5.97% 211.6 Delayed Quote.-15.16%
INTERCONTINENTAL HOTELS GROUP PLC 2.17% 4696 Delayed Quote.-12.31%
JOHN LAING GROUP PLC 1.24% 325.6 Delayed Quote.-15.37%
MSCI UNITED KINGDOM (STRD, UHD) 2.05% 1007.138 Real-time Quote.-16.96%
NASDAQ 100 1.49% 12083.989631 Delayed Quote.36.33%
NASDAQ COMP. 1.35% 12041.672977 Delayed Quote.32.12%
PREMIER OIL PLC 13.27% 23.9 Delayed Quote.-78.51%
PRUDENTIAL PLC -0.63% 1257 Delayed Quote.-12.70%
RIO TINTO PLC 3.84% 5053 Delayed Quote.8.06%
S&P 500 1.63% 3635.6 Delayed Quote.10.73%
SPORTS DIRECT INTERNATIONAL -4.73% 451.2 Delayed Quote.3.27%
STOXX EUROPE 600 0.91% 392.39 Delayed Quote.-6.49%
STOXX EUROPE 600 NR 0.92% 863.91 Delayed Quote.-4.62%
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