SPY411.49+2.97 0.73%
DIA337.86+2.73 0.81%
IXIC13,900.19+70.88 0.51%

UPDATE 2-UK stocks dip from recent highs as the Fed takes focus

· 03/17/2021 05:30
UPDATE 2-UK stocks dip from recent highs as the Fed takes focus

For a Reuters live blog on U.S., UK and European stock markets, click LIVE/ or type LIVE/ in a news window

Miners drag FTSE 100

SSP group slumps on grim outlook

FTSE 100 down 0.6%, FTSE 250 off 1.0%

Updates to close

By Shivani Kumaresan and Amal S

- British stocks ended lower on Wednesday, retreating from recent highs as investors awaited the U.S. Federal Reserve's latest policy statement for clues about the central bank's stance on interest rates and inflation.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 index .FTSE was down 0.6% after posting a more-than two-month closing high on Tuesday, with mining stocks weighing the most.

The domestically focused, mid-cap FTSE 250 index .FTMC fell 1.0% from a near 13-month peak, dragged down by consumer discretionary and real estate stocks.

"People are just waiting to see what the Federal Reserve and the Bank of England will say before they decide whether to invest more money or not," said Chris Bailey, strategist at Raymond James.

"The same debate is going to happen with the Bank of England tomorrow in terms of will interest rates go up. I think they will accept higher inflation rates, ultimately bond yields will go up, and therefore pricing power and good balance sheets will matter more for investors in individual shares."

Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey had said on Monday that a recent rise in interest rates in financial markets was consistent with an improvement in the economic outlook. nL4N2LD2CS

While optimism about a British economic recovery has seen the midcap index trading close to highs achieved before the coronavirus pandemic, the FTSE 100 has fallen behind due to its sensitivity to international markets, particularly commodity prices, the sterling and U.S. treasury yields.

BT Group BT.L jumped 6.5%​%, topping the FTSE 100 after its mobile and internet service provider EE won a new 5G spectrum in an auction. nL4N2LF27W

Retail investment platform Hargreaves Lansdown HRGV.L rose 1.5%, after it forecast profit for the year ending June 30 to be "modestly" above analyst estimates. nASN000YN3

Upper Crust owner SSP SSPG.L shed 7.9%, after it warned that revenue from its train and bus station businesses would not recover to pre-pandemic levels before 2024. nL4N2LF1US


(Reporting by Shivani Kumaresan and Amal S in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V and Rashmi Aich; Editing by Mark Heinrich)

((Shivani.Kumaresan@thomsonreuters.com; +1 646 223 8780;))

For related prices, Reuters users may click on - *  UK stock report     .L     FTSE index:         0#.FTS6  techMARK 100 index: .FTT1X         FTSE futures:     0#FFI:  Gilt futures:       0#FLG:         Smallcap index:    .FTSC  FTSE 250 index:     .FTMC          FTSE 350 index:    .FTLC  Market digest:      .AD.L          Top 10 by vol:     .AV.L  Top price gainers:  .NG.L          Top % gainers:     .PG.L  Top price losers:   .NL.L          Top % losers:      .PL.L 
     * For related news, click on - * UK hot stocks:      HOT and GB     Wall Street:          .N Gilts report:       GB/            Euro bond report GVD/EUR Pan European stock report: .EU Tokyo stocks:       .T             HK stocks:           .HK Sterling report:    GBP/           Dollar report:      USD/
     * For company prices, click on - * Company directory:  UKEQ          By sector:          FTAX 
     * For pan-European market data, click on - * European Equities speed guide................ EUR/EQUITY  FTSE Eurotop 300 index........................... .FTEU3  DJ STOXX index................................... .STOXX  Top 10 STOXX sectors........................ .PGL.STOXXS  Top 10 EUROSTOXX sectors................... .PGL.STOXXES  Top 10 Eurotop 300 sectors.................. .PGL.FTEU3S  Top 25 European pct gainers.................... .PG.PEUR  Top 25 European pct losers..................... .PL.PEUR