Economic news

FTSE 100 Slips ahead of Long Weekend as Ex-Dividend Trades Weigh

  • Dr. Martens soars after revenue forecast hike
  • Ex-dividend trading hits National Grid, Vodafone
  • FTSE 100 down 0.4%, FTSE 250 off 0.1%

June 1 (Reuters) - UK stocks were set for a long weekend with mild losses on Wednesday, as ex-dividend trading impacted shares of National Grid and Vodafone, while Dr. Martens surged more than 20% after the footwear brand lifted its annual revenue forecast.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 snapped a five-session winning streak to drop 0.4%, with National Grid and Vodafone down 4.1% and 3.3%, respectively. The domestically focussed midcap index slipped 0.1%.

UK markets will be closed on Thursday and Friday for Queen Elizabeth's Platinum Jubilee.

The FTSE 100 closed out May with a 0.8% gain, boosted by commodity stocks as oil prices gained on the prospect of European Union ban on Russian oil. However, the domestically oriented FTSE 250 index marked monthly losses, hit by concerns over rapid inflation and economic slowdown.

"By the time investors have returned after the festivities they could be facing a big hangover depending on the turn Wall Street takes over the next few days and the latest U.S. jobs reading due on Friday," said Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell said in a note.

"Inflationary concerns look set to continue to dominate the market mood."

Dr. Martens soared after the company forecast upbeat annual revenue growth, underpinned by price hikes made in response to soaring inflation and stronger sales of its shoes and boots.

A British Retail Consortium report showed that retailers raised prices at the fastest pace in more than a decade last month, driven by the rapidly rising costs of food and increased energy and transport rates for stores. 

Shares of Tullow Oil added 1.7% after the London-listed energy group launched plans to acquire Capricorn Energy in an all-stock deal valued at 656.9 million pounds ($826.7 million). 

BT Group edged up 0.1% after Britain's competition watchdog said it had started investigating the telecoms group's deal to combine its sports broadcasting business with Warner Bros Discovery.

Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips

Source: Reuters

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