FTSE ends session lower despite partial recovery on mixed trading day

London’s top flight closed 3.8 points, or 0.05%, lower at 7,249.47 on Thursday.

Pa City Staff
Thursday 28 October 2021 17:30 BST
London’s leading index closed marginally lower on Thursday (Jonathan Brady/PA)
London’s leading index closed marginally lower on Thursday (Jonathan Brady/PA) (PA Archive)

The FTSE 100 finished just in the red as it clawed back most of its losses following a shaky trading session.

Strong trading updates from firms including WPP and Lloyds helped bolster London but a weak showing from commodity businesses, weighed down by price swings, kept the markets lower.

London’s top flight closed 3.8 points, or 0.05%, lower at 7,249.47 on Thursday.

Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK, said: “European markets have had a mixed session, with the FTSE 100 and Dax lagging the rest of Europe.

“The UK index has underperformed due to weakness in the oil and gas sector, while the Dax has been dragged by Volkswagen after the company reduced expectations on full-year revenues for its autos business due to supply shortages of key components.”

Shell’s poor showing in the third quarter helped weigh on other oil and gas sector firms, with rival BP also tipping lower as a result.

Mr Hewson described Shell’s latest earnings figures as a “particularly poor outcome” as its shares slipped to the bottom of the FTSE 100.

The oil giant announced a worse-than-expected 4.13 billion dollar (£3 billion) profit for the latest quarter as it also set out new climate commitments, pledging to reduce absolute emissions from its operations by 50% by 2030 compared with 2016 levels.

Royal Dutch Shell A shares closed 52.4p lower at 1,713.2p, while Royal Dutch Shell B fell 61.4p to 1,706.6p.

Elsewhere, the mixed trading session on the continent saw the German Dax decrease by 0.06% as the French Cac climbed by 0.75%.

Across the Atlantic, the US markets witnessed modest rebounds at the start of trading following Wednesday’s pullback in the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones as traders digested the latest quarter GDP data and jobless claims figures.

The rise in GDP, which came in ahead of expectations, pulled the dollar lower against the pound and other currencies.

The pound was 0.01% higher versus the US dollar at 1.38, and down 0.05% against the euro at 1.181.

In company news, marketing giant WPP made strong gains after it lifted its revenue guidance for the second time in three months.

The company hailed a “very strong performance” as it reported a 15.7% jump in net revenues to £2.6 billion for the quarter to September, significantly ahead of analyst predictions.

As a result, shares in the group lifted by 77.8p to 1,044p at the close of play.

Lloyds Banking Group also improved in value after its own quarterly figures beat market guidance, saying pre-tax profits nearly doubled to £2 billion.

Shares rose by 0.62p to 49.58p as it benefitted from the economic rebound following the easing of Covid-19 restrictions.

The price of oil posted another significant decline as bigger than expected increases in weekly oil inventories acted as a drag.

Brent crude increased by 0.98% to 83.75 dollars per barrel.

The biggest risers on the FTSE 100 were WPP, up 77.8p at 1,044p, Darktrace, up 49p at 779.5p, GlaxoSmithKline, up 57.2p at 1,499p, and Smurfit Kappa, up 90p at 3,861p.

The biggest fallers of the day were Royal Dutch Shell B, down 61.4p at 1,706.6p, Royal Dutch Shell A, down 52.4p at 1,713.2p, Vodafone, down 3.04p at 108.98p, and DCC, down 142p at 6,100p.

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