FTSE closes higher as Chinese spending slowdown weighs on rest of Europe

The FTSE 100 ended the day up 46.65 points, or 0.63%, at 7,464.8 points.

Pa City Staff
Monday 16 May 2022 17:23
Waterloo Bridge and the City of London in fine spring weather. London’s markets swung higher on Monday (Ian West/PA)
Waterloo Bridge and the City of London in fine spring weather. London’s markets swung higher on Monday (Ian West/PA)

London stocks recovered to make solid gains on Monday, despite wider concerns over a slowdown in consumer activity in China.

The commodity sector once again came to the FTSE’s rescue to ensure it finished in the green while its European counterparts remained lower despite lifting slightly from lows seen during morning trading.

The FTSE 100 ended the day up 46.65 points, or 0.63%, at 7,464.8 points.

“After an early dip prompted by a sharp slowdown in Chinese retail sales in April, markets in Europe have recovered to some extent from their intraday lows, however, there has been a big mismatch between how the FTSE 100 is performing and weakness in the Dax,” commented Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC markets UK.

The German Dax decreased by 0.67% by the end of the session, while the French Cac was also down 0.49% due to weaker sentiment on the continent.

Mr Hewson added: “To give an indication of how badly the Chinese economy has been hit by lockdowns, the latest car sales data for April showed that no cars were sold in Shanghai through the entire month, compared to 26,311 a year ago.

“For a major exporter like Germany that’s not good news, with weakness in the likes of Porsche, BMW and Mercedes-Benz.”

On Wall Street, the main markets pulled back after traders witnessed new manufacturing data showing a drop off in economic activity in April.

Meanwhile, sterling made slight inroads against the dollar, although the US currency continues to hover near 20-year highs.

The pound increased by 0.12% against the dollar to 1.226, and dipped 0.01% against the euro to 1.177.

In company news, Vodafone shares made gains after confirming that Emirates Telecommunications Group had bought a 9.8% stake in the company over the weekend.

The investor will now become the biggest shareholder in the UK telecoms company as a result of 4.4 billion dollar (£3.6 billion) deal.

Shares in Vodafone finished the day up 2.24p at 120.06p.

Elsewhere, online furniture retailer Made.com plunged in value after it slashed its sales outlook and said trading would remain “highly challenging” this year.

The company, which floated less than a year ago, also said its finance chief was stepping down, less than three months after it replaced its chief executive.

Shares were 9.4p lower at 54.2p on Monday.

Steak bake seller Greggs saw shares dip after it warned it was facing pressure from soaring costs and could therefore pass further increases on to customers.

The Newcastle-based business saw shares decline by 10p to 2,160p despite highlighting that sales jumped by more than 27% over the past 19 weeks as it continues its post-pandemic recovery.

The price of oil had another lift as European leaders continue to put pressure on other nations to enforce Russian oil embargos.

Brent crude increased by 1.38% to 112.75 US dollars per barrel when the London markets closed.

The biggest risers on the FTSE 100 were Fresnillo, up 33.4p at 756.8p, Glencore, up 15.65p at 477p, Phoenix, up 17p at 633.8p, Antofagasta, up 34p at 1,382.5p, and GSK, up 43p at 1,798.4p.

The biggest fallers of the day were Rolls-Royce, down 3.17p at 80.68p, Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust, down 27p at 778.8p, Aviva, down 13.55p at 394.65p, DS Smith, down 9.8p at 304.8p, and RS group, down 23.5p at 898.5p.

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