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London Stock Exchange
Share Price: 1,236.00
Bid: 1,239.50
Ask: 1,241.00
Change: 0.00 (0.00%)
Spread: 1.50 (0.12%)
Open: 1,236.00
High: 1,250.00
Low: 1,233.00
Yest. Close: 1,236.00
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LONDON MARKET CLOSE: Hong Kong And Brexit Tensions Weigh On Stocks

Mon, 12th Aug 2019 16:59

(Alliance News) - Stocks in London opened the week in the red as violent clashes between protestors and police in Hong Kong and further Brexit stumbling blocks caused investors to turn away from risky assets. The FTSE 100 index closed 27.13 points, or 0.4%, lower at 7,226.72. The mid-cap FTSE 250 index ended down 179.15 points, or 0.9%, at 18,913.00, and the AIM All-Share index finished 0.9% lower at 877.79.The Cboe UK 100 closed down 0.1% at 12,264.70, the Cboe UK 250 down 0.7% at 16,855.03, and the Cboe UK Small Companies down marginally at 10,928.12."After a positive open, the FTSE wasted no time in dropping into the red," said CityIndex's Fiona Cincotta. "Trade tensions, political unrest and uncertainty weighed on risk sentiment. Whilst Brexit remains a central focus, increased political discontent in Hong Kong, an unexpected loss by Argentina's President in the primaries and growing concerns the US-Sino trade dispute won't be resolved until after the US elections next year, resulted in increased flows out of riskier assets such as equities and into safe havens," Cincotta added.At the close Monday, sterling had strengthened against the US dollar. The pound was quoted at USD1.2071 at the London close, down from USD1.2081 late Friday, though had been at USD1.2030 at midnight on Monday.Cincotta continued: "The pound is having a rare up day at the start of the week after dipping to ten-year lows versus the euro overnight. Ongoing Brexit uncertainty and a slowing global economy are clearly taking their toll on the UK economy dragging the pound lower."On Wall Street, the Dow Jones was trading 1.0% lower, the S&P 500 down 0.9%, and the Nasdaq Composite was down 0.7%. Speadex's Connor Campbell said: "After Goldman Sachs warned of the rising risk of a US recession due to the ongoing and increasingly hostile trade tensions between America and China, the Dow Jones had little reason not to unravel on Monday. This meant the index dropped more than 130 points as the bell rang on Wall Street, taking it back under 26,200."In mainland Europe, in Paris the CAC 40 equities index ended up 0.1% and the DAX 30 in Frankfurt ended up 0.2%.The euro was quoted at USD1.1222, up compared to USD1.2114 late Friday.In London, banks were taking a hit from the struggling pound and ongoing domestic and international political tensions. Asia-focused lenders HSBC and Standard Chartered lost 1.8% and 2.0% amid escalating violence in Hong Kong between anti-government protesters and police. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index closed down 0.4%. All flights in and out of Hong Kong were cancelled on Monday after thousands of pro-democracy protesters flooded the city's airport to denounce police violence.The abrupt shutdown at one of the world's busiest hubs came as the Chinese government signalled its rising anger at the protesters, denouncing some of the violent demonstrations as "terrorism".The developments marked yet another dramatic escalation in a ten-week crisis that had already become the biggest challenge to Chinese rule of Hong Kong since the 1997 British handover.Domestic blue chip lenders RBS, Lloyds, and Barclays shed 1.8%, 1.5%, and 1.6%, respectively. Domestic midcap lender CYBG lost 4.5%.Over the weekend, Sky News reported RBS is set to pick Alison Rose to be its first female chief executive officer.Rose is currently deputy chief executive of Natwest Holdings, RBS's ring-fenced holding company. She was tipped as one of the most likely internal successors to outgoing chief executive Ross McEwan, since his departure was announced in April.According to industry sources, city and banking regulators are currently considering the bank's application to appoint Rose as chief executive, Sky reported.At the other end of the blue chip index, SSE was among the best performers, adding 1.4% after the power utility confirmed it is in discussions with Ovo Group to sell its retail energy services business.In May, SSE announced plans to offload the energy services segment after more than half a million households switched to a new supplier in the year ended March 2019. The 'Big Six' energy supplier vowed to sell or float its energy services arm - which has around 5.7 million customer accounts - by the second half of 2020.SSE announced on Saturday Ovo Energy is a potential buyer. If it goes ahead, the sale would turn Ovo into one of the UK's largest energy suppliers overnight having been founded just ten years ago.Fresnillo ended the session 1.3% higher as the Mexican gold miner was tracking spot gold prices higher. Gold was quoted at USD1,505.50 an ounce at the London equities close, higher versus USD1,500.67 Friday. The precious metal hit intraday highs of USD1,508.22 on Monday, approaching the USD1,510.17 highs recorded last week, which have not been seen since early 2013, amid heightened US-China trade tensions.In the FTSE 250, Tullow Oil was the star performer, gaining 20%, after the oil and gas company announced an oil discovery by the Jethro-1 well, drilled on the Orinduik licence, offshore Guyana.Tullow owns 60% of Orinduik. AIM-listed Eco Atlantic owns 15% of the block, with France's Total SA the rest. Eco Atlantic closed Monday 68% higher in London.The well encountered 55 metres of net oil pay, after the well was drilled to a total depth of 4,400 metres in 1,350 metres of water. Evaluation of logging data has confirmed Jethro-1 is the first oil discovery on the licence, comprising high-quality oil bearing sandstone reservoirs, dating from the Lower Tertiary age, Tullow said. In addition, Berenberg has raised Tullow to Buy from Hold. Acacia Mining added 2.7% after it received approval from the government of Tanzania to resume gold exports from the North Mara mine, following an investigation conducted at the end of July.However, the Tanzanian Mining Commission also said it believes certain provisions of mining regulations from 2010 were violated and directed the gold miner to submit a North Mara feasibility study report and mine plan for approval by Friday.Dragging the midcap index lower, shipping services firm Clarkson lost 8.3% despite seeing profit and revenue rising in a "robust" first half performance. Clark said this performance was achieved despite "suppressed" markets.For the six months ended June, pretax profit widened 6.7% to GBP19.2 million as revenue rose 10% to GBP167.8 million from GBP152.6 million the year before.Profit performance was helped by acquisition-related costs falling to GBP900,000 from GBP1.2 million the year prior. Underlying pretax profit widened 4.7% to GBP20.1 million from GBP19.2 million the year before.Clarkson proposed a 25 pence per share interim dividend, up 4.2% from 24p the year prior. RHI Magnesita closed down 6.0% after the refractory products firm said tough market conditions experienced in the first half are expected to continue into the second half of 2019.For the six months to the end of June, pretax profit jumped 83% to EUR164.7 million while revenue for the period grew by 2.2% to EUR1.54 billion due to a strong dollar against the euro and Brazilian real, as well as a robust performance from RHI's Industrial division.Elsewhere in the Main Market, Thomas Cook lost 18% after the cash-strapped travel operator said it is in talks to raise an additional GBP150 million on top of the previously announced GBP750 million, as part of a capital injection agreement with the company's largest shareholder Fosun Tourism Group, its core lending banks, and noteholders.Thomas Cook said shareholders will be "significantly diluted" by the funding plans, which involve the conversion of debt to equity. In London's junior market, Burford Capital lost 11%, further extending last week's losses after the UK Financial Conduct Authority said it is aware of the ongoing war of words between the AIM-listed litigation financier and US research firm Muddy Waters Capital and is "undertaking wide-ranging enquiries".Burford said Monday it has contacted regulators and prosecutors after claiming to have found "material" illegal market manipulation around the time of the release of a critical report by Muddy Waters.Muddy Waters has hit back at the allegations by writing on Twitter the high-frequency trading has "zero to do with" the research firm.Meanwhile, another short-selling firm, Gotham City Research, has waded into the tussle, welcoming the "long overdue" scrutiny of Burford.Burford closed Monday trading at 755.00p. Just a month ago, it traded at 1,539.00p.Brent oil was quoted at USD58.36 a barrel at the London equities close, lower than USD58.74 Friday.In Tuesday's economic calendar, the Japanese domestic corporate goods price index is due overnight, with the German harmonized index of consumer prices due at 0700 BST. There is the UK ILO unemployment rate due at 0930 BST with the German ZEW economic sentiment survey expected at 1000 BST.Later in the day, there is the US consumer price index at 1330 BST with the retail Redbook index due at 1355 BST.In the UK corporate calendar on Tuesday, travel and tourism firm TUI will issue third quarter results, while greeting card retailer Card Factory and motoring association AA will release trading statements. Aviation services provider John Menzies, bingo operator JPJ Group, and online CFD trading platform Plus500 are set to release interim results. London Close is available to subscribers as an email newsletter. Contact info@alliancenews.com

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