By Barbara Kollmeyer
London stocks fell on Tuesday as investors returned from a bank holiday on the last trading day of the month. The biggest decliners were banks and energy companies.
The FTSE 100 index /zigman2/quotes/210598409/delayed UK:UKX +0.34% slid 0.5% to 7,112.71, but was poised to gain 1% for August, after a flat performance in July. The pound /zigman2/quotes/210561263/realtime/sampled GBPUSD -0.0796% rose 0.2% to $1.3787. On the economic side, a survey from Lloyds revealed a four-year high for business confidence, though concerns about a shortage of workers.
Banks overall were under pressure, with heavily weighted HSBC /zigman2/quotes/208272822/composite HSBC +0.86% /zigman2/quotes/203901799/delayed UK:HSBA +1.87% down over 2%, Lloyds Banking Group /zigman2/quotes/202285510/delayed UK:LLOY +1.77% fell 1.5% and Standard Chartered /zigman2/quotes/200125072/delayed UK:STAN +2.73% dropped 1%.
Those losses came as Bank of England data released Tuesday showed individuals paid back £1.4 billion ($1.9 billion) of mortgage debt on net in July following record net borrowing of £17.7 billion in June. Mortgage approvals for house purchase were 75,200 in July, down from 80,300 in June.
Heavily weighted energy companies were also pressuring the index, as they struggled alongside weak oil prices /zigman2/quotes/209723049/delayed CL00 +0.62% . Many refineries in the Gulf Coast are struggling to get back online in the wake of Hurricane Ida, one of the biggest hurricanes to ever hit the U.S. Investors were also looking ahead to Wednesday’s meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, known as OPEC+.
Travel-related stocks fell a day after the European Union announced it was recommending a restriction on nonessential travel from the U.S. Shares of International Consolidated Airlines /zigman2/quotes/208070069/delayed UK:IAG +3.92% slid over 3%, along with Wizz Air /zigman2/quotes/210449062/delayed UK:WIZZ +4.76% . Cruise operator Carnival /zigman2/quotes/210414141/delayed UK:CCL +6.00% is down 2% and easyJet /zigman2/quotes/202825892/delayed UK:EZJ +3.03% dropped 1.7%.
Among the gainers, shares of food delivery group Just Eat Takeaway.com /zigman2/quotes/216303066/delayed UK:JET +4.27% rose over 2%, along with those of plumbing and heating distributor Ferguson /zigman2/quotes/209006722/delayed UK:FERG -0.22% /zigman2/quotes/202546598/composite FERG +0.33% .