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FTSE 100 ends the day on a downward trend; Wall Street mixed as


The UK blue chip index close to day’s low while US markets head south after latest data

  • FTSE 100 closes 35 points lower
  • Royal Mail rises after £400mln shareholder return
  • Mining shares under pressure

4:50pm: FTSE 100 closes 35 points lower

The FTSE 100 closed lower on Thursday as crude prices weighed down the UK’s blue chip index.

The main index finished the day at 7,256 points, a 35-point drop for a loss of 0.48% on the day.

“Stock markets, particularly in the US, continue to suffer a hangover from the end of earnings season, while the continued weakness in crude oil has meant that energy stocks are the main detractor in markets like the Dow and the FTSE 100,” IG chief market analyst Chris Beauchamp wrote.

“A late November spike in volatility seems to be on the cards, as the Vix ticks up for a second day. The earlier bounce this month didn’t too much to hit equities, but now that most of earnings season is out of the way, and with a while to go until the next Fed meeting, the stars appear to be aligning for a period of weakness within the overall strong period usually witnessed in Q4.”

3.58pm: Leading shares near day’s low

The decline in leading shares has picked up pace, with the FTSE 100 close to its lows for the day.

It has lost 41.84 points or 0.57% to 7249.36, following the lead of Wall Street where after a mixed start, the three main US indices are now all in negative territory.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 237 points or 0.66%, the more broadly based S&P 500 has dipped 0.09% and the tech heavy Nasdaq Composite is down 0.16%.

With metal prices weakening along with the strong dollar, commodity companies are among the main fallers in the UK blue chip index.

Anglo American PLC (LSE:AAL) is down 3.11%, Antofagasta PLC (LSE:ANTO) has fallen 2.2% and Rio Tinto PLC (LSE:RIO) has lost 2.17%.

Precious metals miner Fresnillo PLC (LSE:FRES) has also lost ground, down 3.85%.

A dip in the crude price following reports that the US and China might release some of their strategic reserves to take the froth out of the oil market has pushed Royal Dutch Shell PLC (A shares) (LSE:RDSA) down 2.53% and BP PLC (LSE:BP.) 2.41% lower.

Elsewhere GlaxoSmithKline PLC (LSE:GSK) is down 2.59% after its shares went ex-dividend.

But Royal Mail PLC (LSE:RMG) has risen 8.97% after it accompanied a positive update with news of a £400mln return to shareholders.

And optimistic comments from housebuilder Crest Nicholson (LSE:CRST), up 4.79%,  has helped the whole sector with Persimmon PLC (LSE:PSN) puttingt on 4.76%.

The Berkeley Group Holdings PLC (LSE:BKG) is 4% better and Taylor Wimpey PLC (LSE:TW.) is up 3.7%.

2.58pm: Strong Philly manufacturing report

US indices started mixed at the open as investors digested a strong Philadelphia Federal Reserve manufacturing index reading for November, which showed a big jump in regional activity.

In early deals, The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped around 41…


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