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19 Mar 2021 | 17:01

London close: Stocks finish weaker amid concerns on inflation, recovery

(Sharecast News) - London stocks closed the last trading day of the week in negative territory, amid concerns about inflation and fresh lockdowns, after France imposed new Covid-19 restrictions. The FTSE 100 ended the session down 1.05% at 6,708.71, and the FTSE 250 was 0.69% weaker at 21,420.31.

Sterling was in the red as well, last falling 0.33% on the dollar to $1.3879, and losing 0.27% against the euro to trade at €1.1655.

"Stock markets in Europe are set to finish the session in the red," said CMC Markets analyst David Madden.

"The major indices started off lower due to the sell offs seen in Asia and the US.

"The downward pressure on equities picked up when the Fed announced they would not be extending the supplementary leverage ratio - a mechanism that requires US banks to hold less capital reserves so they could free up cash to inject into the economy in the form of loans."

Madden noted that traders reacted by selling stocks, taking the view that if banks were more restricted in terms of capital requirements, that was likely to hold back the recovery.

In equity markets, travel and leisure-related stocks were under the cosh, with engine maker Rolls-Royce down 6.06%, British Airways owner IAG losing 4.22%, Premier Inn owner Whitbread off 3.24%, and InterContinental Hotels 2.14% weaker.

Oil giants Shell and BP gushed 1.03% and 1.68% lower, respectively, as oil prices slid.

Pub chain JD Wetherspoon was down 2.35% after it swung to a heavy half-year loss as it felt the impact of Covid restrictions.

The company reported a loss before tax and exceptionals of £46.2m compared with a profit of £57.9m.

Shopping centre owner Hammerson was knocked 5.99% lower by a downgrade to 'underweight' at Barclays and to 'sell' at Goldman Sachs.

Investec slumped 9.26% after it said full-year adjusted earnings per share are expected to be around 20% to 29% behind the prior year.

On the upside, National Grid was ahead 1.57% after HSBC upgraded the shares to 'buy'.

NatWest ticked 0.47% higher after saying it is spending £1.1bn to buy almost 5% of its shares from the UK Treasury, which became the bank's majority shareholder during the financial crisis.

Market Movers

FTSE 100 (UKX) 6,708.71 -1.05% FTSE 250 (MCX) 21,420.31 -0.69% techMARK (TASX) 4,180.05 -0.98%

FTSE 100 - Risers

Ocado Group (OCDO) 2,022.00p 2.12% Sainsbury (J) (SBRY) 244.80p 1.58% National Grid (NG.) 842.00p 1.57% DCC (CDI) (DCC) 6,246.00p 1.53% Morrison (Wm) Supermarkets (MRW) 181.65p 1.44% Avast (AVST) 476.00p 1.41% Imperial Brands (IMB) 1,458.00p 1.29% Pennon Group (PNN) 981.60p 1.23% Sage Group (SGE) 586.60p 1.21% Tesco (TSCO) 228.70p 1.15%

FTSE 100 - Fallers

Rolls-Royce Holdings (RR.) 117.00p -6.06% International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 206.70p -4.22% BT Group (BT.A) 145.35p -3.93% Burberry Group (BRBY) 2,035.00p -3.74% Anglo American (AAL) 2,804.50p -3.38% Whitbread (WTB) 3,312.00p -3.24% Legal & General Group (LGEN) 277.90p -3.17% Scottish Mortgage Inv Trust (SMT) 1,115.00p -3.13% Johnson Matthey (JMAT) 2,964.00p -2.66% Taylor Wimpey (TW.) 180.00p -2.60%

FTSE 250 - Risers

Sanne Group (SNN) 641.00p 9.76% Provident Financial (PFG) 196.50p 6.79% Liontrust Asset Management (LIO) 1,385.00p 5.99% Watches of Switzerland Group (WOSG) 704.00p 4.92% FDM Group (Holdings) (FDM) 1,050.00p 3.96% AO World (AO.) 310.50p 3.50% Crest Nicholson Holdings (CRST) 375.40p 2.91% CMC Markets (CMCX) 467.50p 2.75% Vistry Group (VTY) 1,071.00p 2.39% Kainos Group (KNOS) 1,392.00p 2.35%

FTSE 250 - Fallers

Investec (INVP) 209.70p -9.26% Oxford Biomedica (OXB) 953.00p -8.02% Apax Global Alpha Limited (APAX) 194.00p -7.40% Petrofac Ltd. (PFC) 96.70p -6.55% Just Group (JUST) 90.85p -6.15% Hammerson (HMSO) 35.01p -5.99% BMO Commercial Property Trust Limited (BCPT) 70.90p -5.97% TUI AG Reg Shs (DI) (TUI) 397.60p -4.79% TBC Bank Group (TBCG) 1,100.00p -4.28% PureTech Health (PRTC) 392.50p -4.03%
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