FTSE drops as new tiers for England revealed

PA

London’s top index fared worse than its European cousins on Thursday, after the Government revealed details of new local restrictions that will be put in place next week.

The FTSE 100 fell 28.16 points to end the day at 6,362.93.

It opened as it meant to go on, dropping to around 6,360 at around 9am, and staying there or thereabouts for the entire day.

Different regions of England found out on Thursday what restrictions will look like in their areas when national lockdown lifts next Wednesday.

Much of the North of England will be put into the Tier 3 category, which includes the harshest restrictions, while London and much of the south will be slightly more free in Tier 2.

The new tiers could be seen in London trading where online supermarket Ocado, and gambler Flutter were among the FTSE’s best performers.

Stock markets were closed in New York, as Americans celebrated Thanksgiving.

On the continent the German Dax and French Cac indexes were uninspired, losing under 0.1% each.

“Without a US intervention, the European markets struggled to put on a worthwhile display this Thursday afternoon, too busy mulling over what they’re thankful for,” said Spreadex analyst Connor Campbell.

“As Brent Crude dropped 1.1% – leaving the black stuff teetering on the edge of falling under 48 dollars per barrel and BP and Shell down 1.6% and 0.6% respectively – the FTSE suffered a 0.4% decline, kicking it back to 6,360 in one of the day’s more notable moves.”

Unusually, the FTSE fell alongside sterling, which lost 0.4% and 0.3% against the euro and dollar. One pound now buys 1.3335 dollars, and 1.12 euros.

The top index is usually helped by a falling pound, as it is full of exporters who can sell their goods cheaper if the pound drops.

“Sterling is struggling with the Brexit deal mixed signals, with headlines suggesting an agreement is incoming countered by plenty of doom and gloom,” Mr Campbell said.

Clothing firm Boohoo appointed a judge to help it overcome minimum wage worries that have rocked its shares this year.

Shares rose 3.4%.

Mitchells & Butlers, which owns All Bar One, lost £123 million and cut 1,300 jobs in the year to September, it revealed on Thursday.

Shares dropped 0.7%.

Mulberry’s half-year revenues dropped 29%, but also it cut losses by around three quarters, sending shares up by 8.7%.

Britvic’s shares closed up1.4% after it revealed a nearly 9% drop in sales, but a 0.8% rise in pre-tax profit.

Fuller, Smith & Turner dropped 5.4% on the news that October sales were 43% down in October than the same time last year.

Aviva cut its dividend by a little under a third to 21p, in line with expectations.

Shares were rather flat, down 0.2%.

Lender Amigo again said there was “material uncertainty” about whether it can continue as an ongoing concern as it revealed a £63 million pre-tax loss.

Shares rose 1.5%.

Mothercare shares rose 3% after falling to a pre-tax £14 million loss in the first half of the financial year.

It is more than twice last year’s loss.

Severn Trent’s revenue dropped 2.5% after business customers used less water in the first half.

Shares fell 0.2%.

The biggest risers on the FTSE 100 were Flutter Entertainment, up 545p to 13845p, DCC, up 168p to 5822p, Polymetal, up 41.5p to 1604.5p, Reckitt Benckiser, up 158p to 6602p, and Homeserve, up 23p to 1067p.

The biggest fallers on the FTSE 100 were Persimmon, down 145p to 2689p, Intermediate Capital Group, down 83p to 1654p, Imperial Brands, down 71p to 1420p, Melrose Industries, down 6.65p to 159p, and IAG, down 6.1p to 164.65p.

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