Surging COVID-19 cases, US-China tensions keep London stocks muted
07 Aug 2020
Picture use for illustrative purpose. File
Trading in London-listed shares was subdued on Friday as rising COVID-19 cases and U.S.-China tensions dented sentiment at the end of a week marked by largely upbeat quarterly earnings and improving economic data.
The blue-chip FTSE 100 was down 0.1% but still on course for its first weekly gain in three as investors bet on more stimulus to drive a post-pandemic economic rebound.
The mid-cap FTSE 250 dipped 0.3%, with losses in industrial, energy and tech-related stocks offsetting gains for consumer goods, healthcare and utility firms.
Stocks in Asia took a hit earlier in the day as Sino-U.S. tensions escalated with U.S. President Donald Trump banning transactions with two popular Chinese apps, Tencent's WeChat and ByteDance's Tiktok.
Hikma Pharmaceuticals Plc jumped 7.4% to the top of the FTSE 100 after raising its annual sales forecast for two of its biggest divisions and reporting higher first-half profit.
But TP ICAP Plc, the world's largest inter-dealer broker, fell 5.4% as it signalled a tepid start to the second half of the year.