London midday: Stocks stay down amid slowdown fears
London stocks were still in the red by midday on Tuesday as worries about a global slowdown continued to weigh on investors’ minds.
The FTSE 100 was down 0.4% at 7,171.72.
Susannah Streeter, senior investment and markets analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: ‘"There is a wariness on financial markets, as concerns about fresh Covid outbreak add to worries about a global slowdown, with investors staying cautious ahead of a fresh temperature check on the US economy.
"The latest US inflation reading is out tomorrow and already the CPI number is expected to be hot but if it comes in above the expected 8.8% year on year, it’s likely to cause a fresh bout of nervousness. Another scorching snapshot is likely to pour concrete into the path laid out by the Federal Reserve for an aggressive path of rate hikes, and cement concerns that growth will be flattened and the economy could contract.
"With shutdowns in China gathering pace as infections rise, it’s adding to nervousness about the destructive nature of Covid in the world’s second largest economy. Casinos and other businesses in Macau have been closed for the second time since the pandemic began, while millions of residents in Xi’an, Lanzhou and Haikou are in partial lockdown. In Shanghai mass testing is ominously underway yet again, just weeks after the city-wide lockdown was lifted, raising worries about the potential for more supply chain snarl ups."
On home shores, the latest BRC-KPMG Retail Sales Monitor showed that retail sales fell in June, as surging inflation and the cost-of-living crisis caused shoppers to cut spending.
Total sales fell 1.0% last month, compared to an increase of 10.4% in June 2021. On a like-for-like basis, UK retail sales were down 1.3% on June 2021, when they had jumped 6.7%.
In the three months to June, food sales increased 2.2% on a total basis or by 1.6% on an underlying basis. But non-food-sales slid 3.3% and 4.2% on a total and like-for-like basis.
Total retail sales have now declined for three months in a row for the first time since the start of the pandemic in 2020, although the falls then were considerably large.
In equity markets, miners were under the cosh again, with Anglo American, Rio and Antofagasta all lower.
British Land, Hammerson and Landsec were all dented by rating downgrades at RBC Capital Markets.
Building materials distributor Grafton was weaker despite reporting a jump in first-half revenue and backing its full-year operating profit expectations.
On the upside, Centrica and SSE rose again after the government said on Monday that it would not be extending the windfall tax to electricity producers.
Online trading platform Plus500 rallied after it said that revenue and profit for the current year were set to be ahead of market expectations following a solid performance in the first half.
FTSE 100 - Risers
BAE Systems (BA.) 829.60p 2.17%
Harbour Energy (HBR) 332.80p 1.90%
Admiral Group (ADM) 2,357.00p 1.77%
Centrica (CNA) 84.04p 1.47%
SSE (SSE) 1,771.00p 1.43%
Melrose Industries (MRO) 157.00p 1.32%
St James's Place (STJ) 1,153.00p 1.10%
United Utilities Group (UU.) 1,044.50p 1.06%
Burberry Group (BRBY) 1,667.00p 0.97%
Severn Trent (SVT) 2,824.00p 0.97%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Land Securities Group (LAND) 649.60p -3.76%
British Land Company (BLND) 445.50p -3.74%
Entain (ENT) 1,037.00p -3.58%
Flutter Entertainment (CDI) (FLTR) 7,500.00p -3.25%
Dechra Pharmaceuticals (DPH) 3,524.00p -3.03%
Anglo American (AAL) 2,668.00p -2.07%
Airtel Africa (AAF) 146.60p -1.87%
Standard Chartered (STAN) 574.60p -1.81%
Scottish Mortgage Inv Trust (SMT) 761.60p -1.81%
Rio Tinto (RIO) 4,725.50p -1.79%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Tullow Oil (TLW) 45.04p 3.16%
Energean (ENOG) 1,048.00p 2.75%
Helios Towers (HTWS) 128.70p 2.55%
VinaCapital Vietnam Opportunity Fund Ltd. (VOF) 480.50p 2.23%
Beazley (BEZ) 502.00p 1.62%
Premier Foods (PFD) 109.60p 1.48%
Spire Healthcare Group (SPI) 237.00p 1.28%
Inchcape (INCH) 722.50p 1.26%
Synthomer (SYNT) 233.40p 1.21%
AJ Bell (AJB) 285.20p 1.13%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Aston Martin Lagonda Global Holdings (AML) 440.60p -5.02%
Hammerson (HMSO) 19.19p -4.41%
Genus (GNS) 2,418.00p -4.35%
Chrysalis Investments Limited NPV (CHRY) 92.10p -4.26%
Ferrexpo (FXPO) 110.50p -3.83%
Great Portland Estates (GPE) 574.00p -3.53%
TUI AG Reg Shs (DI) (TUI) 124.75p -3.41%
IP Group (IPO) 68.75p -3.17%
Softcat (SCT) 1,279.00p -3.11%
Weir Group (WEIR) 1,346.00p -2.99%