Economic news

FTSE 100 Muted as Miners Offset Declines in Consumer Stocks

  • Frasers Group jumps on share buyback program
  • Darktrace up after announcing third-party finance review
  • Miners shine on higher metal prices
  • FTSE 100 off 0.1%, FTSE 250 slips 0.2%

Feb 20 (Reuters) - UK's FTSE 100 was muted on Monday, as strength in mining stocks negated losses in consumer stocks, while Frasers Group jumped after the retailer announced a share buyback program.

The blue-chip index slipped 0.1%, trading just below the 8,000 point-mark it hit last week. The domestically focussed FTSE 250 midcap index slipped 0.2%.

Frasers Group climbed 3.1% to the top of the FTSE 100 after the sports goods retailer said it intends to commence a new share buyback programme.

Industrial metal miners rose 0.9% as investors bet on a recovery in demand from top consumer China amid support from global mining supply disruptions.

"A lot of it is probably stemming from the reopening we've seen in China," said Stuart Cole, head macro economist at Equiti Capital.

"The anticipation is that if we see Chinese manufacturing activity pick up, then we're going to see increasing demand for commodities and we're seeing it reflected in their stock prices."

On the flip side, declines in consumer stocks such as Unilever and Reckitt Benckiser Group weighed on the FTSE 100.

The blue-chip index has risen more than 7% so far this year, hitting a series of record highs on the way, supported by upbeat earnings, a weak pound and rising commodity prices.

Most European markets see-sawed on Monday. The U.S. market is closed for the President's Day holiday.

However, the Federal Reserve and its monetary policy will be back in focus later this week when it releases the minutes of its last meeting, coming as it will after recent data showed elevated inflation and strength in the U.S. economy.

Among domestic stock, Darktrace gained 2.5% after the cyber security company said it had commissioned a third-party review of its finances, weeks after a short-seller questioned its results.

Trifast plummeted 45% after the designing and engineering company said earnings would be "significantly below" expectations.

Reporting by Shashwat Chauhan in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D'Souza

Source: Reuters

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