Bulletin
Investor Alert

London Markets Archives | Email alerts

May 31, 2018, 1:42 p.m. EDT

FTSE 100 ends lower as European woes deepen, but locks in monthly win

U.K. consumer borrowing expands in May

new
Watchlist Relevance
LEARN MORE

Want to see how this story relates to your watchlist?

Just add items to create a watchlist now:

  • X
    FTSE 100 Index (UKX)
  • X
    British Pound (GBPUSD)
  • X
    STOXX Europe 600 Index (SXXP)

or Cancel Already have a watchlist? Log In

By Carla Mozee, MarketWatch


AFP/Getty Images
The London skyline seen from Waterloo Bridge

U.K. stocks ended lower Thursday, swept down along with European equities as the U.S. imposed tariffs on European steel and aluminum imports, and as Spain’s prime minister appeared on the brink of being ousted from office.

How markets performed

The FTSE 100 index /zigman2/quotes/210598409/delayed UK:UKX +0.06% slipped 0.2% to end at 7,678.20, giving up earlier gains. On Wednesday, the benchmark rose 0.8%.

Trading in May left the FTSE 100 higher by 2.7%. That added to April’s leap of 6.4%, a move aided by pound weakness.

The pound /zigman2/quotes/210561263/realtime/sampled GBPUSD +0.1115% lost its grip on the $1.33 handle versus the dollar on Thursday and fell to $1.3286, leaving it little changed from $1.3283 on Wednesday in New York. Sterling was down roughly 3.4% against the dollar in May.

What drove markets

U.K. stocks felt the pain inflicted on the broader European equity market /zigman2/quotes/210599654/delayed XX:SXXP -0.84% Thursday afternoon after U.S. President Donald Trump made good on his threat to place tariffs on European steel and aluminum, while in Spain, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy was set to face a parliamentary vote of no-confidence.

Last-minute efforts by the EU — overall, the U.K.’s largest trading partner — were seen as failing to offer the concessions the U.S. wanted for it to hold off imposing a 25% tariff on EU steel imports and a levy of 10% on aluminum. Trump has said the tariffs will protect the U.S. steel industry. Read: Moody’s upwardly revises outlook for U.S. steel industry

Shares of Russian steelmaker Evraz PLC /zigman2/quotes/202291633/delayed UK:EVR +0.82%  topped the FTSE 100, rising 5.8%. The U.S. is Evraz’s second-largest market in terms of revenue, according to FactSet data.

Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission, wrote in a tweet that it will defend Europe’s interests.

Check out: Trump pulls the tariff trigger on EU — what analysts say investors should expect

Click to Play

How we got here: A history of U.S. steel wars before Trump

President Trump is considering imposing steep tariffs on foreign steel and aluminum, sparking fears of a trade war with China and other nations. But he is not the first U.S. President to impose tariffs and quotas on foreign steel.

In Spain, Rajoy may be forced to leave office after the center-left Socialist Party on Thursday appeared to have won support hold a parliamentary no-confidence vote against Rajoy on Friday. The Socialist Party called for the vote after a corruption case ended in convictions for senior members of Rajoy’s People’s Party.

In addition to political developments in Europe, traders on Friday will also have to weigh the closely watched monthly jobs report from the U.S.

Read: Here’s why markets are worried about Italian politics — again

/zigman2/quotes/210598409/delayed
UK : FTSE UK
6,179.75
+3.56 +0.06%
Volume: 703,449
July 14, 2020 4:56p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210561263/realtime/sampled
US : Tullett Prebon
1.2569
+0.0014 +0.1115%
Volume: 0.0000
July 14, 2020 11:18p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210599654/delayed
XX : STOXX
367.40
-3.10 -0.84%
Volume: 0.00
July 14, 2020 11:03p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/202291633/delayed
UK : U.K.: London
307.80 p
+2.50 +0.82%
Volume: 3.11M
July 14, 2020 4:35p
P/E Ratio
17.82
Dividend Yield
19.47%
Market Cap
£4.42 billion
Rev. per Employee
£140,781
loading...
1 2
This Story has 0 Comments
Be the first to comment
More News In
Markets

Story Conversation

Commenting FAQs »

Partner Center

World News from MarketWatch

Link to MarketWatch's Slice.