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April 3, 2018, 12:25 p.m. EDT

FTSE 100 books loss, starts 2nd quarter in the red as worries over tech, trade war persist

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By Carla Mozee, MarketWatch


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Stocks in London are in the red.

U.K. stocks ended lower Tuesday, as investors returned from a long holiday weekend to see worries surrounding the tech sector and a potential trade war were lingering as the second quarter of 2018 got under way.

How markets moved

The FTSE 100 index /zigman2/quotes/210598409/delayed UK:UKX +0.34% fell 0.4% to end at 7,030.46, led by losses in the utility sector. On Thursday, the index rose 0.2% and wrapped up first-quarter trading with a slide of 8.2%.

See: Brace for more ‘poor’ action by U.K. stocks, says world’s largest asset manager

The pound /zigman2/quotes/210561263/realtime/sampled GBPUSD +0.0157% on Tuesday traded at $1.4067, up from $1.4045 late Monday in New York.

U.K. financial markets were closed Friday and on Monday in observance of the Good Friday and Easter holidays.

What drove markets

U.K. and European /zigman2/quotes/210599654/delayed XX:SXXP -0.10%  equity investors stepped back into the markets after U.S. stocks sold off Monday, led by a fall for the tech sector, which has been under considerable pressure in recent weeks.

The FTSE 100 managed to pare its decline as U.S. stocks /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX +1.60% /zigman2/quotes/210598065/realtime DJIA +1.34%  showed signs of recovery during Tuesday’s session after the tech-focused Nasdaq Composite Index /zigman2/quotes/210598365/realtime COMP +2.26%  was pushed into negative territory for the year on Monday. Amazon Inc. /zigman2/quotes/210331248/composite AMZN +2.49%  remains a big focus after U.S. President Donald Trump took aim at the online retail giant.

The tech group on the FTSE 100 is small, with just two stocks. Both closed higher, with business software maker Micro Focus /zigman2/quotes/207956281/delayed UK:MCRO -2.56%  gaining 2.5% and enterprise software maker Sage Group PLC /zigman2/quotes/204528931/delayed UK:SGE +0.06%  rose 0.9%.

Read: Trump’s attacks on Amazon break with history of presidents keeping hands off

Concerns about a trade war remained present as well, after China said it would slap tariffs on about 130 U.S. goods. China had warned it may issue levies in retaliation against the Trump administration’s tariffs on Chinese steel and aluminum imports. Trade-war worries contributed to losses for equity markets world-wide last month. The FTSE 100 closed trading in March down by 2.4%.

Check out: Who’s going to win? Chinese workers or robots?

What strategists are saying

“Investors who were hoping that the volatility of quarter one was behind them have been left sadly disappointed as tariff tensions and tech turmoil saw U.S. markets tumble, the VIX soar, the S&P fall below technical levels to five-month lows and European markets start April lower,” said Rebecca O’Keeffe, head of investment at Interactive Investor, in a note.

/zigman2/quotes/210598409/delayed
UK : FTSE UK
5,842.67
+19.89 +0.34%
Volume: 699,068
Sept. 25, 2020 4:57p
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/zigman2/quotes/210561263/realtime/sampled
US : Tullett Prebon
1.2746
+0.0002 +0.0157%
Volume: 0.0000
Sept. 25, 2020 4:59p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210599654/delayed
XX : STOXX
355.51
-0.34 -0.10%
Volume: 0.00
Sept. 25, 2020 11:03p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime
US : S&P US
3,298.46
+51.87 +1.60%
Volume: 2.18B
Sept. 25, 2020 5:06p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210598065/realtime
US : Dow Jones Global
27,173.96
+358.52 +1.34%
Volume: 391.73M
Sept. 25, 2020 5:06p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210598365/realtime
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
10,913.56
+241.30 +2.26%
Volume: 3.38M
Sept. 25, 2020 5:16p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210331248/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 3,095.13
+75.34 +2.49%
Volume: 4.62M
Sept. 25, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
118.97
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$1512.58 billion
Rev. per Employee
$359,671
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/207956281/delayed
UK : U.K.: London
247.10 p
-6.50 -2.56%
Volume: 2.14M
Sept. 25, 2020 4:35p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
0.00%
Market Cap
£848.89 million
Rev. per Employee
£159,552
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/204528931/delayed
UK : U.K.: London
714.80 p
+0.40 +0.06%
Volume: 1.36M
Sept. 25, 2020 4:35p
P/E Ratio
23.37
Dividend Yield
2.39%
Market Cap
£7.80 billion
Rev. per Employee
N/A
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