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UK stock markets ended the week slightly lower after hitting all-time highs on Thursday.

The FTSE 100 edged down 0.12 per cent on Friday to 7,779 with the mid-cap FTSE 250 0.14 per cent lower at 20,990.

It was a similar tale in Europe as the Dax slipped 0.28 per cent and France's Cac shed 0.13 per cent.

Across the pond, US stocks had a mixed day: the Dow Jones was up 0.07 per cent at 5pm UK time while the tech-heavy Nasdaq was 0.15 per cent lower.

After scaling new-found heights on Thursday, traders had hoped the FTSE 100 would surpass January's intraday peak of 7,800. This, however, wasn't to be as a lacklustre Friday suggested markets already had one eye on an event-packed Saturday which includes the royal wedding and football's FA Cup Final.

SpreadEx financial analyst Connor Campbell said the FTSE 100 would have needed "magic momentum" to hit all-time intra-day highs.

"Brent Crude slunk back below $79.50 per barrel as the day went on, ruling that out as a boost," he said.

There were also notable losses for some of the FTSEs constituents, namely AstraZenecas earnings-inspired 2.5 per cent decline, and Glencores bribery probe-fearing six per cent fall.

"The Eurozone was just as uninspired. The DAX spent the day dancing around 13,100, coasting on yesterdays oil-led growth without ever really threatening to build on those gains.

"As for the Dow Jones, the indexs 50 point rise still leaves it shy of 24,800, and means it is set to end the week at a loss. The return of trade war fears on Tuesday cut the legs from underneath the Dow just as it was using its early May momentum to climb towards 25,000, with little – beyond Brent Crudes brief $80 per barrel flirtation – in the fairly barren second half of the week to help the index rediscover its mojo."

Read more: FTSE 100 hits record high

Five-month low

Sterling was trading lower against the US dollar and heading towards a five-month low, City Index market analyst Fiona Cincotta said.

"Whilst a run of soft UK economic data, a dovish BoE and growing concerns over the future health of the UK labour market has been weighing on demand for the pound over the past month, the negative sentiment intensified this week by the return of Brexit fears and an ever-stronger US dollar.

With the UK economic calendar quiet for the first part of next week, investors will need to wait until Wednesdays inflation data for any hope of a meaningful change in direction for the battered pound.

The arrival of a populist government to Italy, sent the euro southwards before it, bounced off support at $1.1750. Given that the two parties have toned down some of the Eurosceptic rhetoric, the sell-off has not been so marked, instead, the 5 Star and the League will increase focus on stepping up immigration curbs and turn more towards Russia in foreign policy.

"Whilst the euro was only down marginally albeit still hovering around 5-month lows, on the announcement of a 5 Star / League functioning government; the FTSE MIB [Italian index], has dumped over 1.6 per cent on the news. This suggests that right now euro traders are not overly concerned, whereas the populist coalition is not being viewed in a positive light for the domestic economy."

Read more: The FTSE 100 is closing the week up but sterling is showing weakness

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