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Shares tread water in London amid global sell-off

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The market was subdued in London on Monday. (Yui Mok/PA) (PA Archive)
The market was subdued in London on Monday. (Yui Mok/PA) (PA Archive)

Shares in London ended treading water on Monday as some of the UK’s biggest energy companies offset a poor day for miners.

The mining sector was hit by further worries in China, where new Covid-19 restrictions could impact around 30 million people.

By the end of the day, the FTSE 100 had gained just 0.35 points, ending at 7,196.59.

“Concerns over new Covid restrictions in China, as well as surging natural gas prices have weighed on European markets today,” said CMC Markets analyst Michael Hewson.

“These fears over an extended economic slump in China have also weighed on copper and oil prices.”

On the FTSE 100, it helped push down miners, who often rely on selling much of their produce into China.

Antofagasta, Anglo American and Fresnillo all dropped, while gambling companies and BA owner IAG also struggled.

“Airlines are also getting clobbered after Heathrow Airport warned of worse flight disruption to come and Wizz Air became the latest in the sector to cut back its flight timetable over the summer,” Mr Hewson said.

“With reports of overcrowding, lost baggage and delays becoming more commonplace the attractions of going abroad don’t look likely to improve anytime soon, with IAG, easyJet and Ryanair all lower.”

At the top of the list were some of the UK’s biggest energy companies.

SSE, Centrica and National Grid also received good news today when it was reported that the UK Government was not planning to extend the windfall tax to electricity or infrastructure companies, giving the wider sector a welcome boost,” Mr Hewson said.

Shares in Europe dropped significantly. The Dax in Germany gave back 1.4% of its value, while Paris’s Cac 40 dropped 0.6%.

On Wall Street, the S&P 500 had dropped 1.1% and the Dow Jones was down 0.5% shortly after European markets had closed.

Sterling rose 0.16% to 1.1904 dollars and 0.11% to 1.1802 euros.

In company news, Joules said that it is talking to advisers about how to boost profits and shore up its balance sheet.

The news came amid reports that the fashion retailer might tap shareholders for more cash to help it through a tough time.

The company’s already battered share price took another hit on Monday, dropping by a quarter.

Shares in Wizz Air also tumbled, down 3.7%, after it revealed that flights will be cut this summer.

The London-listed airline said that problems at airports had forced it to cut capacity by another 5% – helping it to reduce cancellations and delays.

EasyJet and Ryanair shares also closed the day down.

The biggest risers on the FTSE 100 were Centrica, up 2.9p to 82.98p, SSE, up 59p to 1,752.5p, Compass Group, up 37p to 1,797.75p, Severn Trent, up 56p to 2,792.5p, and United Utilities, up 18p to 1,031p.

The biggest fallers on the FTSE 100 were IAG, down 6.4p to 103.68p, Flutter Entertainment, down 370.0p to 7,752p, Antofagasta, down 46.0p to 1,067p, Ocado, down 31.4p to 835.6p, and Anglo American, down 100.0p to 2,724.5p.

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