London close: Stocks end last day of July in the red
London stocks closed below the waterline on Friday, having taken their cue from a weak session in Asia, with miners and travel shares under the cosh.
The FTSE 100 ended the session down 0.65% at 7,032.30, and the FTSE 250 was 0.44% weaker at 22,948.83.
Sterling was in the red as well, last falling 0.36% against the dollar to $1.3909, and losing 0.14% from the euro to trade at €1.1727.
“It’s been a disappointing end to the week, and the month for markets in Europe at the end of a week and a month that has seen the FTSE 250 hit a new record high, and yet we’ve seen very little way of progress in the FTSE 100, which looks set to finish July more or less where it started,” said CMC Markets chief market analyst Michael Hewson.
“Markets in Europe have also slipped back today, at the end of a week that has lacked a clear direction overall.
“We’ve seen moves in both directions, but they’ve lacked any sort of conviction, with the overriding concern being one of concern about whether the second half of the year will be able to match up to some of the decent numbers we’ve seen from various company updates this week.”
In equity markets, inspection, product testing and certification group Intertek dropped 7.99%, despite earlier reporting a rise in half-year profits.
British Airways and Iberia parent IAG descended 7.45% after it posted a narrowing of its first-half operating losses and said capacity was set to grow, but struck a cautious note on the outlook due to Covid-19 uncertainty.
The travel and leisure sector more generally was weaker, with Premier Inn owner Whitbread down 2.43%, InterContinental Hotels losing 1.23%, tour operator TUI off 3.72%, easyJet dropping 4.02%, and Carnival 4.42% lower.
Miners were under pressure, with Rio Tinto, Glencore and Anglo American all down, by 2.94%, 1.79% and 3.11%, respectively.
Glencore fell despite lifting its 2021 EBIT expectations to the top end of its guidance.
NatWest lost 1.22% even after it confirmed the resumption of dividend payments, announced a share buyback and said it swung to a half-year profit.
Babcock International tumbled 16.02% after the defence company said full-year losses widened as it was hit by a £2bn impairment charge.
On the upside, education publisher Pearson advanced 3.03% after reporting better-than-expected first-half profit and underlying sales as demand for online learning increased.
Telecoms group BT was in the black by 0.99%, having slumped a day earlier after a first-quarter update.
Property portal Rightmove was 3.23% higher after it reported a jump in interim pre-tax profit and revenue amid strong demand from house-hunters.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Rightmove (RMV) 702.20p 3.23%
Pearson (PSON) 869.40p 3.03%
London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) 7,490.00p 2.35%
SEGRO (SGRO) 1,217.50p 1.88%
Croda International (CRDA) 8,412.00p 1.76%
Avast (AVST) 580.00p 1.36%
Sage Group (SGE) 701.60p 1.30%
United Utilities Group (UU.) 1,073.00p 1.23%
Just Eat Takeaway.Com N.V. (CDI) (JET) 6,381.00p 1.11%
Unilever (ULVR) 4,151.00p 1.07%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Intertek Group (ITRK) 5,156.00p -7.99%
International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 168.10p -7.45%
Intermediate Capital Group (ICP) 2,170.00p -3.68%
Weir Group (WEIR) 1,728.00p -3.46%
Informa (INF) 495.00p -3.28%
Anglo American (AAL) 3,190.50p -3.11%
Rio Tinto (RIO) 6,101.00p -2.94%
Antofagasta (ANTO) 1,494.50p -2.48%
Whitbread (WTB) 3,046.00p -2.43%
Rolls-Royce Holdings (RR.) 99.71p -2.42%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Airtel Africa (AAF) 88.50p 6.69%
Indivior (INDV) 165.00p 4.10%
Watches of Switzerland Group (WOSG) 1,006.00p 3.39%
National Express Group (NEX) 272.00p 2.49%
Kainos Group (KNOS) 1,738.00p 2.43%
Syncona Limited NPV (SYNC) 211.50p 2.42%
UK Commercial Property Reit Limited (UKCM) 81.30p 2.39%
Centamin (DI) (CEY) 107.05p 2.34%
Ascential (ASCL) 432.20p 2.08%
FDM Group (Holdings) (FDM) 1,188.00p 2.07%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Babcock International Group (BAB) 256.40p -16.02%
Convatec Group (CTEC) 236.90p -8.07%
Jupiter Fund Management (JUP) 270.40p -6.63%
Hochschild Mining (HOC) 156.70p -5.69%
Network International Holdings (NETW) 340.80p -5.33%
Cineworld Group (CINE) 63.56p -4.91%
Capita (CPI) 35.27p -4.60%
Carnival (CCL) 1,444.80p -4.42%
Morgan Advanced Materials (MGAM) 387.50p -4.23%
Drax Group (DRX) 403.00p -4.05%