By Emily Horton
Shares of London-listed challenger bank Metro Bank PLC /zigman2/quotes/206637465/delayed UK:MTRO +2.46% plunged 28% on Wednesday, following poor fourth-quarter earnings, while continued uncertainty over global trade weighed on the broader U.K. markets.
What are markets doing?
The U.K.’s FTSE 100 /zigman2/quotes/210598409/delayed UK:UKX +0.25% fell by 0.4% to 6,877.11, after finishing down 1% on Tuesday. The British pound /zigman2/quotes/210561263/realtime/sampled GBPUSD -0.0324% was up to $1.2973 from $1.2955 late Tuesday in New York.
What’s driving the market?
A combination of the lower global growth forecasts from the International Monetary Fund on Monday and a fresh set of economic data from China earlier this week, continued to weigh on U.K. investor market sentiment this week.
In Brexit news, George Osborne, the former U.K. Chancellor who campaigned for the country to remain part of the European Union, thinks that a delay to Brexit is the most likely outcome from weeks of political deadlock.
Meanwhile, Britain’s opposition Labour Party is reportedly likely to back an amendment that could prevent a no-deal Brexit, shadow chancellor John McDonnell told the BBC.
In the U.S., optimism over a potential trade truce between the U.S. and China dissolved on Tuesday evening, after reports emerged that White House officials had canceled a planned trade meeting with China.
What stock are active?
On the FTSE 250, Metro Bank PLC /zigman2/quotes/206637465/delayed UK:MTRO +2.46% lost 28% after it announced weaker growth in the fourth quarter. However, the challenger bank still saw profits more than double in 2018.
FTSE 100, heavyweight miner Antofagasta PLC /zigman2/quotes/200173667/delayed UK:ANTO -1.81% fell by almost 1%, despite predicting that 2019 will be a record year. Gold miner Fresnillo PLC /zigman2/quotes/201300065/delayed UK:FRES -2.65% also fell by almost 1%.
WH Smith PLC /zigman2/quotes/201823422/delayed UK:SMWH +0.22% gained 3%, after the company said that strong growth in its travel division more than offset a slight decline in its high-street unit in early fiscal 2019.
U.K. listed supermarkets were up on Wednesday. Tesco PLC /zigman2/quotes/203761082/delayed UK:TSCO +0.28% gained just over 1%, Wm. Morrison Supermarkets PLC rose by 2% and J Sainsbury PLC /zigman2/quotes/206038250/delayed UK:SBRY +4.08% increased by 1%