By Barbara Kollmeyer
London stocks were set to end the week with a small gain, with losses for banks and energy names and investment fund Pershing Square Holdings Ltd., while travel-related names continued to suffer on new rules for traveling to Portugal.
The FTSE 100 index /zigman2/quotes/210598409/delayed UK:UKX +0.73% was flat at 7,059.08, with the index poised for a weekly gain of 0.5%. While the Stoxx Europe 600 /zigman2/quotes/210599654/delayed XX:SXXP +0.36% and the DAX /zigman2/quotes/210597999/delayed DX:DAX +0.20% have managed record highs this week, the FTSE 100 has failed to return to last month’s highs above 7,100. The index slipped after slightly disappointing U.S. jobs data that suggest widespread labor shortages.
Elsewhere, the U.K. announced a new £21 billion ($29.6 billion) trade deal with Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein. The deal will slash Norwegian tariffs on cheese, wine and spirits, pork, poultry and other goods.
There were hardly any gainers on the FTSE 100, with losses centered on banks. Shares of HSBC /zigman2/quotes/208272822/composite HSBC -0.86% /zigman2/quotes/203901799/delayed UK:HSBA +0.32% , Lloyds Banking Group /zigman2/quotes/202285510/delayed UK:LLOY +0.80% and Barclays /zigman2/quotes/206581728/composite BCS +2.32% /zigman2/quotes/208409333/delayed UK:BARC +1.89% were all down by 1%.
While oil prices /zigman2/quotes/209723049/delayed CL00 +0.66% were modestly higher, energy companies were under pressure, with shares of BP /zigman2/quotes/202286639/delayed UK:BP +1.63% /zigman2/quotes/207305210/composite BP +0.62% and Royal Dutch Shell /zigman2/quotes/206428183/delayed UK:RDSA +3.51% /zigman2/quotes/205095589/composite RDS.A +0.59% off around 1% each.
Shares of investment holding company Pershing Square Holdings /zigman2/quotes/205672702/delayed UK:PSH -0.79% fell over 2%, leading the FTSE 100 decliners. On Friday, shares of Pershing Square Tontine Holdings /zigman2/quotes/219769662/composite PSTH +0.20% , the special-purpose acquisition corporation, or SPAC, created by billionaire investor Bill Ackman, fell 9% after French media group Vivendi /zigman2/quotes/202179234/delayed FR:VIV +1.32% confirmed it is in talks to sell Pershing a 10% stake in Universal Music Group.
Pershing Square Tontine is sponsored by Pershing Square TH Sponsor LLC, which is wholly owned by investment funds — Pershing Square Holdings, Pershing Square LP and Pershing Square International Ltd. — all managed by Ackman’s hedge fund Pershing Square Capital Management. If the SPAC deal is approved, it would be the biggest on record.
Elsewhere, travel shares were down again after the U.K. government removed Portugal from its quarantine-free travel list , just weeks after reopening it to British tourists. The government cited concerns over rising cases and mutations of the virus.
Shares of British Airways operator International Consolidated Airlines Group /zigman2/quotes/210132433/delayed ES:IAG -0.94% fell nearly 1% on the FTSE 100, with cut-rate airlines Wizz Air dropping more than 3% and Ryanair /zigman2/quotes/202851567/delayed UK:RYA -0.88% /zigman2/quotes/204098489/composite RYAAY +1.86% down 0.6%.