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London close: Markets slip into red as geopolitical tensions tighten

By Josh White

Date: Friday 21 Jun 2019

London close: Markets slip into red as geopolitical tensions tighten

(Sharecast News) - London stocks had slipped into the red by the close on Friday, with investors remaining cautious amid escalating tensions between the US and Iran.
The FTSE 100 ended the session down 0.23% at 7,407.50, while the FTSE 250 was 0.31% weaker at 19,324.60.

In the US overnight, the S&P 500 hit a record closing high of 2,954.18 and a new record intraday peak on hopes that the Federal Reserve will cut interest rates soon.

But the mood in London was less buoyant on Friday, as investors mulled a New York Times report late on Thursday that US President Trump had approved military strikes on several Iranian targets but then pulled back from launching them.

Although not great for sentiment, the news helped to boost oil prices, which in turn lifted the likes of BP and Royal Dutch Shell, by 1.26% and 0.37% respectively.

Meanwhile, precious metals miner Fresnillo rose 1.66% and gold miners Acacia and Hochschild shone by 3.64% and 1.85% respectively, after gold prices breached the $1,400 an ounce level for the first time since 2013.

"It's been a big week of gains for bullion, with the clear dovish shift from the Fed sending both US bond yields and the buck lower and contributing to the 4% rise seen in the price of gold since Monday," said David Cheetham, chief market analyst at XTB.

"A slowing global economy, imminent US rate cuts and rising geopolitical tensions provide a near perfect storm for Gold bugs and while this trio of factors remain in place the rally seen in recent weeks will remain well supported."

Elsewhere, Ocado jumped 4.17% as Citi upped its price target on the stock to 1,450p from 1,300p and reiterated its 'buy' rating, lifting its bull case scenario to around 2,400p to include the potential for 30% online grocery penetration.

On the downside, Rolls-Royce fell 3.4% as JPMorgan reiterated its 'underweight' rating on shares of the aerospace and defence group in the wake of the Paris Air Show.

Among other things, the bank said consensus earnings per share for 2020 and 2021 looked around 20% too high, while the wide body market was said to be "clearly softening".

Carnival was back in the red by 4.16%, having tanked late in the day on Thursday after the cruise operator downgraded its full-year earnings per share guidance, citing the US ban on cruises to Cuba.

Dixons Carphone declined for the second day in a row, falling 6.22% on Friday after posting a drop in full-year profit on Thursday and warning of further falls in the current trading year.

Shares in Domino's Pizza Group slumped 3.79% after the company denied speculation that Andrew Rennie, the chief executive for Europe, was set to take over from UK and Ireland boss David Wild.

Domino's stock had risen sharply on Thursday after Sky News said the company was in advanced talks to replace Wild with Rennie.

But the company - the master franchise of the US brand in six European countries - said in a statement on the ASX on Friday that there is "no substance" to the speculation, and that Rennie had confirmed he is "committed to his current role".

Investors were also mulling the latest data released by the Office for National Statistics, which showed that public sector net borrowing came in at £5.1bn in May - higher than expected and £1bn more than a year earlier.

Economists had on average forecast a budget deficit of £4.1bn for May

The result meant that for the first two months of the current financial year the government's budget deficit was 18% higher than a year earlier at £11.9bn.

The figures suggest an incoming prime minister and chancellor may have little room for fiscal largesse on the government's own terms.

Current chancellor Philip Hammond has warned against promises of tax cuts and extra spending promised by candidates in the Conservative leadership contest.

Market Movers

FTSE 100 (UKX) 7,407.50 -0.23%
FTSE 250 (MCX) 19,324.60 -0.31%
techMARK (TASX) 3,606.45 -0.81%

FTSE 100 - Risers

Ocado Group (OCDO) 1,145.50p 4.17%
Standard Life Aberdeen (SLA) 290.40p 2.25%
Fresnillo (FRES) 879.60p 1.66%
Just Eat (JE.) 628.60p 1.52%
Next (NXT) 5,634.00p 1.44%
Spirax-Sarco Engineering (SPX) 9,110.00p 1.39%
SEGRO (SGRO) 742.80p 1.34%
BP (BP.) 556.20p 1.26%
United Utilities Group (UU.) 801.00p 1.19%
Berkeley Group Holdings (The) (BKG) 3,567.00p 1.16%

FTSE 100 - Fallers

Hikma Pharmaceuticals (HIK) 1,691.00p -3.48%
Smurfit Kappa Group (SKG) 2,330.00p -3.40%
Rolls-Royce Holdings (RR.) 882.00p -3.40%
Flutter Entertainment (FLTR) 5,864.00p -2.85%
Evraz (EVR) 633.00p -2.27%
GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) 1,576.40p -1.90%
Carnival (CCL) 3,485.00p -1.80%
AstraZeneca (AZN) 6,378.00p -1.67%
Reckitt Benckiser Group (RB.) 6,209.00p -1.60%
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) 5,131.00p -1.33%

FTSE 250 - Risers

TI Fluid Systems (TIFS) 201.50p 6.52%
Woodford Patient Capital Trust (WPCT) 56.50p 3.67%
Acacia Mining (ACA) 182.30p 3.64%
Rank Group (RNK) 160.00p 3.63%
SSP Group (SSPG) 670.00p 3.55%
PZ Cussons (PZC) 212.50p 2.91%
Spirent Communications (SPT) 151.60p 2.44%
Greencore Group (GNC) 217.30p 2.40%
Saga (SAGA) 36.32p 2.31%
Capita (CPI) 106.55p 2.26%

FTSE 250 - Fallers

Bakkavor Group (BAKK) 116.80p -9.88%
Indivior (INDV) 42.63p -6.63%
Stobart Group Ltd. (STOB) 105.00p -6.40%
Dixons Carphone (DC.) 110.85p -6.22%
Kier Group (KIE) 118.50p -6.18%
Vivo Energy (VVO) 130.60p -6.04%
Contour Global (GLO) 178.40p -4.45%
Just Group (JUST) 55.90p -4.36%
Domino's Pizza Group (DOM) 266.00p -3.79%
FDM Group (Holdings) (FDM) 920.00p -3.66%


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