Shares fall on China data | Post Office deal with DPD
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5pm: Blue chips hit by Chinese slump
Blue chip shares closed lower as sentiment was hit by weak Chinese data. The FTSE 100 index ended the session 64.73 points, or 0.9%, down at 7,153.
Commodity giants were among the big losers. Glencore shed 2.12% to 329.7p. Evraz lost 2.75% to close at 572.2p. Miners Glencore, BHP Group, Rio Tinto and Anglo American were down 2.1%, 1.8%, 2.2% and 2.4% respectively.
Wall Street shares were also lower in early trade.
Danni Hewson, AJ Bell financial analyst, said: “London markets just couldn’t shake the dampener thrown over them by weak Chinese data, and Wall Street did nothing to lighten the mood.
“Few stocks on the FTSE 100 managed to make any kind of gains today and the FTSE 250 looked similarly woeful despite decent gains for both Ultra Electronics [see below] and the publisher Future [a £300m deal which will see it add titles such as The Week to its portfolio]… though not everyone is happy with the former and questions are being asked about whether the government should take a closer look.
“How deep will Delta cut, how long will China’s slowdown linger and will COVID’s grip tighten elsewhere? Commodities bore the brunt of investor concern on both sides of the Atlantic amidst worry that demand would be hit if recovery is derailed; oil prices were similarly depressed.
“So far, the August silliness has been broadly benign, but the scale of today’s losses demonstrate how fragile global economies are and how easily optimism can sour. Safe havens have begun to look appealing, something reflected in todays’ gold price.”
9am: Ultra shares rise on bid
Shares in Ultra Electronics have risen to £32.98 after an agreed bid from private equity-owned Cobham worth £2.57 billion or £35 a share.
The FTSE 100 index fell sharply at the open and is trading at 7,167.90, down 50.81 points (0.70%).
7am: Post Office deal with DPD
The Post Office has delivered a blow to Royal Mail, its historic partner, by partnering with French company DPD to offer click-and-collect services for online shoppers.
DPD is owned by La Poste and is Britain’s second largest van delivery company. From this month it will start delivering parcels directly to post offices for the public to pick up.
The deal comes eight months after the Post Office ended its exclusive parcel-handling relationship with Royal Mail.
It is the first time that the Post Office, which was part of Royal Mail until its stock market flotation in 2013, has had a formal agreement with an independent delivery firm.
7am: Nunn starts work at Lloyds
Charlie Nunn starts work today as group chief executive of Lloyds Banking Group.
William Chalmers has been interim CEO over the last three and a half months following the retirement of Antonio Horta-Osorio and will now focus on his role as chief financial officer.
Mr Nunn joins from HSBC which he joined in 2011 and has been global chief executive, wealth and personal banking since February 2018.
At Lloyds he will earn a basic salary of £ 1,125,000 and a fixed share award of £ 1,050,000 as well as a flexible benefit funding of 4% of basic salary.
Shares in China edged higher, led by financial firms, after disappointing economic data lifted expectations of more policy support to bolster a shaky recovery. The Shanghai Composite was up 0.3%, while weakness in technology shares weighed on Hong Kong’s benchmark Hang Seng index, down 0.74%.
In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 index was 1.7% lower.
The FTSE 100 index is to open 43.21 points lower at 7,175.50 after closing up 25.48 points, or 0.4%, at 7,218.71 Friday.
Brent Crude oil was trading at $69.80 a barrel against $70.94 on Friday marking a three-day decline of 2.35%.