FTSE 100 dips lower as cross-party Brexit talks fail
The FTSE 100 has ended the week on a drab note, sinking into the red after it was officially confirmed that talks have been abandoned between the Government and the Labour Party over a Brexit proposal.
London’s leading index closed down 4.89 points at 7,348.62 points.
The index threatened to remain flat during the morning session as it benefited from the weak pound, but slumped on the back of continued Brexit uncertainty.
Markets across Europe also failed to excite as positivity regarding a softer US trade stance evaporated.
Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK, said: “It’s been a disappointing end to what has been a turbulent week for European stocks with three days of gains bookended by what looks like will be two days of losses, with investors reluctant to run too much risk heading into the weekend, given how last weekend turned out, as markets fell sharply on the Monday.”
The German Dax slumped by 0.58% and the French CAC fell by 0.18%.
Sterling continued to decline after it was confirmed that Brexit talks between the Labour Party and the Government ended without agreement.
Questions over Theresa May’s future as Prime Minister have also helped to weaken sentiment.
The pound fell 0.59% to 1.273 versus the US dollar and 0.46% to 1.140 versus the euro.
In stocks, shares in easyJet jumped after the budget airline said it is on course to deliver annual profits in line with expectations, despite the impact of higher fuel prices and the Gatwick drone incident in the first half of the year.
The group reported a headline loss before tax of £275 million for the six months to March 31, while revenue was up 7.3% to £2.34 billion during the period.
Shares in the company closed higher, up 52p at 1,025p.
Metro Bank shares surged after the high street bank secured £375 million from investors who backed the firm after a major loans blunder.
The challenger bank raised more than the £350 million initially targeted in an equity raise which followed an accounting error in January which left the bank short of the capital it needed to grow.
Its shares were up 140.5p at 677p.
Shares in Restaurant Group slipped marginally after the FTSE 250-listed company reported a 2.8% jump in group like-for-like sales in the 19 weeks to May 12 ahead of its annual general meeting.
Shares in the company fell by 1p to 128.8p.
Ocado shares fell after the online retailer announced that up to 400 jobs are at risk following the impact of a fire at its Andover warehouse in February.
Shares in the company closed down 22.5p at 1,238p.
The price of oil slipped as concerns over lower demand weighed down on prices.
The price of a barrel of Brent crude oil fell by 1% to 72.1 US dollars.
The biggest risers on the FTSE 100 were easyJet, up 52p at 1,025p, Tui, up 29.2p at 828.2p, Imperial Brands, up 32p at 2,162p, and Rio Tinto, up 64p at 4,673p
The biggest fallers on the FTSE 100 were Just Eat, down 55.8p at 622, Standard Chartered, down 15.6p at 677.2p, SSE, down 22p at 1,041p, and Melrose Industries, down 3.4p at 177.6p.