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British shares log weekly loss as commodity, travel stocks weigh

11/19/2021 | 04:48am EST

(For a Reuters live blog on U.S., UK and European stock markets, click LIVE/ or type LIVE/ in a news window)

* Travel stocks slammed by lockdown fears

* UK retail sales rise by 0.8% in October

* Kingfisher slips as Q3 sales drop

* FTSE 100 down 0.5%, FTSE 250 off 0.4%

Nov 19 (Reuters) - London stocks slipped on Friday, dragged down by commodity and travel shares on concerns around fresh COVID-19 curbs in Europe, while rising bets about rate hikes following strong economic data pushed the FTSE 100 index to its first weekly loss in four.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 closed 0.5% lower, while the domestically focussed mid-cap FTSE 250 index ended 0.4% down.

Oil majors BP and Shell slipped 2.9% and 3.1%, respectively, as crude prices sank amid a resurgent pandemic in Europe. Banks dropped 1.7%.

Carriers Ryanair, British Airways-owner IAG , Wizz Air, EasyJet, Holiday Inn owner , Premier Inn owner Whitbread and caterer Compass Group slipped between 2.3% and 5.2% after Austria said it will reimpose a full COVID-19 lockdown, while neighbouring Germany warned it may follow suit to tackle a new wave of infections.

Lockdown anxiety also overshadowed data showing British retail sales in October rose by more than expected, adding to recent signs that a slowdown in the economy might have abated slightly.

Retailers like WH Smith PLC and Ocado Group rose 1.2% and 6.8%, respectively.

"People are bringing forward purchases they would have made in November and December. Consumers are being very cautious because of the uncertainty around the economy, high inflation, squeezing household incomes, squeezing disposable incomes and higher taxes," said Craig Erlam, analyst at Oanda.

"We should not get carried away with today's retail sales figures because it's not indicative of a big consumer driven rebound to come."

The data came at the heels of a hotter inflation reading and solid jobs report earlier this week which cemented expectations of an interest rate hike in December.

Bogged down by inflationary pressures and supply chain problems, the FTSE 100 has gained just 11.9% this year, underperforming its European and U.S peers. The index also logged its biggest weekly drop since mid-August.

Among other stocks, Kingfisher tumbled 4.4% after the home improvement retailer reported a 2.4% fall in like-for-like sales in the three months to Oct. 31.

(Reporting by Bansari Mayur Kamdar in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu and Shailesh Kuber)

ę Reuters 2021
Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
BP PLC 3.41% 376.2 Delayed Quote.10.17%
COMPASS GROUP PLC 0.03% 1618.54 Delayed Quote.-2.00%
EASYJET PLC 1.18% 601.6 Delayed Quote.6.98%
KINGFISHER PLC -0.09% 316.4 Delayed Quote.-6.44%
OCADO GROUP PLC 2.98% 1401.5 Delayed Quote.-19.04%
WH SMITH PLC 2.03% 1675 Delayed Quote.11.22%
WHITBREAD PLC 0.44% 2953.6 Delayed Quote.-1.77%
WIZZ AIR HOLDINGS PLC -0.49% 4275 Delayed Quote.2.60%
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