(Alliance News) - The FTSE 100 wilted as Tuesday's session progressed, with mixed data clipping early gains and sending London's blue-chip index deep into the red while traders eye the Jackson Hole central banking symposium later in the week.
The FTSE 100 index closed down 67.72 points, or 1.1%, at 6,037.01. The FTSE 250 ended down 107.18 points, or 0.6%, at 17,577.89, and the AIM All-Share closed up 0.53 points, or 0.1%, at 961.49.
The Cboe UK 100 ended down 1.1% at 601.13, the Cboe UK 250 closed down 0.8% at 14,941.72, and the Cboe Small Companies ended down 0.4% at 9,465.34.
In European equities on Tuesday, the CAC 40 in Paris ended flat, while the DAX 30 in Frankfurt ended ever-so-slightly lower - despite having traded more than 1% higher Tuesday morning.
"Benefiting early on from positive correspondence between the US and China, then Western markets lost their way as Tuesday progressed, with some duff data serving to undermine sentiment," said Connor Campbell at Spreadex.
The Conference Board think tank said US consumer confidence dropped more than expected in August, falling to its lowest level since 2014 as the coronavirus pandemic increasingly dampens perceptions of the country's economy.
The consumer confidence index decreased for the second straight month to 84.8 in August, down from 91.7 in July.
The present situation index dropped sharply from 95.9 to 84.2, "with consumers stating that both business and employment conditions had deteriorated over the past month," according to Lynn Franco, senior director of economic indicators.
This was in contrast to German business confidence released earlier in the day, showing German firms believe the economy is on the road to recovery.
The Ifo Business Climate Index rose to 92.6 points in August from 90.4 points in July. The reading beat market consensus, cited by FXStreet, of 92.2. In addition, companies' assessment of their current situation went up, rising to 87.9 points in August from 84.5 points in July.
The Ifo data came after figures showed gross domestic product in Germany fell by 9.7% in the second quarter of 2020 on the first quarter after the novel coronavirus pandemic led to massive declines in almost all areas. However, the GDP drop in the second quarter was not as steep as reported in the first release on July 30 of 10%, according to figures published by the Federal Statistical Office on Tuesday.
While European stocks posted an upbeat start to Tuesday's session, the FTSE 100 had fallen into the red by the end of the day and gains in Frankfurt and Paris were trimmed considerably in late trade.
"The fact the strong start to the trading session couldn't be sustained points to an absence of conviction on traders' part. It feels like many market participants are sitting on their hands ahead of the Jackson Hole Symposium," said David Madden at CMC Markets.
US Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell is headlining the central banking symposium usually held in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, that this year being held as a virtual event. Also speaking at the event, on Friday, is Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey.
Stocks in New York were mostly lower at the London equities close, with the DJIA down 0.6%, the S&P 500 index flat, and the Nasdaq Composite up 0.2%.
Not even news that the US and China have agreed to "push forward" their phase one economic deal was able to lift Wall Street in morning trade.
The US and China signed the accord in January, bringing a partial truce in their lingering trade war and obliging Beijing to import an additional USD200 billion in American products over two years, ranging from cars and machinery to oil and farm products.
Washington said the parties "addressed steps that China has taken to effectuate structural changes called for by the agreement". Those changes, it said, would "ensure greater protection for intellectual property rights, remove impediments to American companies in the areas of financial services and agriculture, and eliminate forced technology transfer".
Beijing's statement said a "constructive dialogue" between the two sides had "agreed to create conditions and atmosphere to continue to push forward the implementation of phase one of the China-US economic and trade agreement".
The pound was quoted at USD1.3123 at the London equities close Tuesday, up compared to USD1.3075 at the close on Monday.
The euro stood at USD1.1818 at the European equities close Tuesday, slightly higher against USD1.1802 at the same time on Monday.
Against the yen, the dollar was trading at JPY106.50 compared to JPY105.93 late Monday.
Brent oil was quoted at USD45.83 a barrel at the London equities close Tuesday, up from USD44.88 late Monday. Gold was soft, quoted at USD1,918.27 an ounce at the London equities close Tuesday against USD1,933.88 at the close on Monday.
Unable to shunt London's FTSE 100 into positive territory on Tuesday were share price gains for AVEVA, with the stock closing up 7.3% as the best blue-chip performer.
AVEVA on Tuesday said it has signed an agreement to acquire Softbank Group Corp-backed data management software firm OSIsoft for USD5.0 billion.
San Leandro, California-based OSIsoft's PI System is a system of record for customers for data capture, storage, analysis and sharing of real-time industrial sensor-based data, AVEVA explained, adding that through the system, customers are able to draw insights, optimise operations and drive digital transformation.
Earlier in August, AVEVA, a Cambridge-headquartered engineering & industrial software firm, confirmed it was in talks with OSIsoft over the acquisition.
AstraZeneca shares edged up 0.2% after the Anglo-Swedish drugmaker said the first patients have now been dosed in its phase one trial of Covid-19 treatment, AZD7442.
The trial, named NCT04507256, will evaluate AZD7442's safety, tolerability, and pharmacokinetics. Pharmacokinetics describes the movement of a treatment into the body, as well as through and out of the body.
AZD7442 is a combination of two monoclonal antibodies and is being developed for the development and treatment of Covid-19. These antibodies are derived from convalescent patients infected with SARS-CoV-2 and were discovered by Vanderbilt University Medical Center and licensed to AstraZeneca in June.
Alongside the antibody treatment, Astra is also developing a vaccine for Covid-19 with the University of Oxford.
In the FTSE 250, James Fisher & Sons shed 9.3% after revealing its performance deteriorated in the first half of 2020 amid lower energy prices and coronavirus pandemic.
The marine service provider said pretax profit dropped by 59% to GBP7.1 million in the six months to the end of June from GBP20.9 million reported a year earlier, as revenue fell by 10% to GBP258.1 million from GBP286.9 million.
The company said the combination of Covid-19 and the sharp decline in energy prices resulted in projects in its subsea operations in both Renewables and Oil & Gas being deferred into the second half of 2020 and beyond. In response to these challenges, James Fisher said it has taken actions, which are ongoing, to restructure its Marine Support division.
Elsewhere in London, DFS Furniture shares added 11%. The firm said online and showroom trading has been strong in the past six weeks, significantly beating the living room furniture retailer's initial expectations.
The Doncaster-headquartered company reported year-on-year order intake growth for the past six weeks, equivalent to around GBP70 million of revenue. This puts trading "significantly ahead" of the company's initial expectations and sits alongside a solid opening order book that is expected to generate an additional in year revenue benefit of approximately GBP100 million.
The UK corporate calendar for Wednesday has interim results from precious metals miner Polymetal International and subprime lender Provident Financial, and annual figures from personal care, beauty and fragrance products manufacturer Creightons.
Wednesday's economic calendar has US durable goods orders at 1330 BST.
By Lucy Heming; firstname.lastname@example.org
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