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London lags behind after weak trading updates from FTSE firms

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London stocks were lower at the close on Tuesday (Jonathan Brady/PA) (PA Wire)
London stocks were lower at the close on Tuesday (Jonathan Brady/PA) (PA Wire)

The FTSE finished the day in the red as a string of poor trading updates and commodity price pressure on mining firms weighed upon trading.

BP, Standard Chartered and Flutter all pulled London’s top index lower after investors were unimpressed by their morning announcements.

The FTSE 100 closed 13.81 points, or 0.19%, lower at 7,274.81 on Tuesday.

Danni Hewson, AJ Bell financial analyst, said: “London markets seem to have left the party early with all indices failing to make gains.

“Miners and BP have kept the FTSE 100 in the doldrums, the former responding to commodity prices and the latter failing to delight investors who question how long revenues can be buoyed up by the current climate.

“And updates from Standard Chartered and Flutter were met with disappointment as both, for different reasons, delivered disappointing outlooks.”

Oil giant BP finished lower on Tuesday despite a broadly positive trading update (Andrew Milligan/PA) (PA Wire)
Oil giant BP finished lower on Tuesday despite a broadly positive trading update (Andrew Milligan/PA) (PA Wire)

Elsewhere in Europe the picture was markedly different, with the key markets following on with their recent rebounds.

The German Dax increased by 0.89%, as the French Cac improved by 0.56%.

Across the Atlantic, the US markets made modest gains on the opening bell as they kept up their momentum from Monday’s stellar session.

Meanwhile, currency traders were broadly cautious ahead of key central bank meetings, with the pound edging downwards before Thursday’s Bank of England interest rate decision.

The pound was 0.03% lower versus the US dollar at 1.361, and down 0.01% against the euro at 1.175.

In company news, BP dropped lower despite notching up a better-than-expected profit haul in the third quarter as the global economic recovery sends energy costs racing higher.

The oil major also announced another 1.25 billion US dollars (£915 million) of share buybacks but saw sentiment dip after it confirmed that, on a reported basis, it tumbled to a 2.9 billion US dollar (£2.1 billion) quarterly loss.

Shares were 12.05p lower at 344.95p at the close of play as a result.

Betting giant Flutter also saw its shares fall as it cut its full-year earnings outlook after a recent run of customer-friendly sports results.

The group said it was left nursing a hit of around £60 million due to unfavourable results in the first 24 days of October, while it is also expecting a £10 million knock to earnings in the fourth quarter due to a temporary exit from the Netherlands following a change in regulations.

Shares closed 1,080p lower at 12,955p.

THG’s woes continued as it emerged the ecommerce firm’s largest institutional investor BlackRock has cut its stock in the firm by almost half.

Shares finished at a record low, dropping by 20p to 197.4p, after BlackRock sold 58 million shares in the business.

The price of oil edged back slightly from recent peaks amid continued uncertainty about the global demand outlook.

Brent crude dipped by 0.41% to 84.36 dollars per barrel.

The biggest risers on the FTSE 100 were AstraZeneca, up 289p at 9,427p, Bunzl, up 55p at 2,757p, Informa, up 10p at 534.8p, and Rentokil, up 11p at 605.8p.

The biggest fallers of the day were Standard Chartered, down 39.7p at 466.1p, Flutter, down 1,080p at 12,955p, Darktrace, down 49p at 632.5p, and Antofagasta, down 78.5p at 1,360p.

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