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Markets quiet as traders mull over last week’s rises

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Markets in London were quiet on Monday as they slowed from recent strong gains and chewed over announcements from last week.

The FTSE 100 dropped less than 0.1%, with a 3.56 point fall pushing it to 7,300.4.

It had gained around 1% throughout last week, and 3.7% since the beginning of October.

“But with earnings season in its final weeks and with the Fed and NFPs (US non-farm payrolls) now behind us there is a sense of exhaustion across equity markets that reflects the strong gains seen over the past month and more,” said Chris Beauchamp, chief market analyst at investment platform IG.

“Investors are already looking ahead to the next year, and wondering if the huge gains of 2021 can be repeated.

“It is hardly surprising that a cautious view prevails, but a look at history suggests that further strong returns are usually the norm, and despite the heady gains of the last eighteen months this rally has actually been quite normal in terms of the size of the gains and the time taken.”

He added: “It is a calm start to the week for most markets, although the Dow has already managed to poke its head into new record high territory, maintaining at least some of the momentum from last week.”

Miners, including Fresnillo, Antofagasta and Polymetal, were among the biggest winners on the FTSE 100. On the opposite end of the spectrum were hotel owners IHG and Whitbread.

Markets in the US were also subdued, with the S&P 500 and Dow Jones both trading up only 0.1% when markets had closed in Europe.

In Germany, the Dax index dropped by less than 0.1%, while the Cac 40 gained 0.1%.

JD Sports’ shares were not hugely impacted by claims that it had broken governance rules after its chairman was photographed meeting the boss of Footasylum in a car park.

The company said that it “totally refuted” the claims that it had broken rules following an article in the Sunday Times which revealed that the competition watchdog plans to launch a probe into the issue.

JD bought Footasylum in 2019, but has been told by the Competition and Markets Authority that it must sell the chain over competition worries. Shares dropped by 0.8% on Monday.

Shares in funeral provider Dignity rose by 1% after it revealed that a growing number of customers are choosing its full-service funerals.

The proportion of customers choosing the more expensive option has now nearly regained the ground it lost during the pandemic when there were heavy restrictions on funerals.

The biggest risers on the FTSE 100 were Darktrace, up 72p to 649.5p, Abrdn, up 8.2p to 263.9p, Fresnillo, up 24.8p to 925.8p, Antofagasta, up 32p to 1,399.5p, and Polymetal, up 28.5p to 1,394p.

The biggest fallers on the FTSE 100 were ITV, down 3p to 108.8p, United Utilities, down 14p to 534p, British Land, down 12p to 505.4p, IHG, down 108p to 5,228p, and Whitbread, down 68p to 3,358p.

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