FTSE 100 closes the week with losses, Asian stocks open lower as Sensex down over 350 points

UK mining stocks tumble and the US drag indexes down as Covid worries spook investors

Stuti Mishra@StutiNMishra
Monday 19 July 2021 07:09
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<p>Major indexes worldwide, including FTSE 100, ended the last trading session of the week lower with rising worries of a surge in Covid infections, while Monday’s openings were also lower </p>

Major indexes worldwide, including FTSE 100, ended the last trading session of the week lower with rising worries of a surge in Covid infections, while Monday’s openings were also lower

London’s FTSE 100 declined on Friday, dragged by a fall in metal and mining stocks and rising worries of surging Covid-19 infections in the UK as the index posted a weekly loss.

The blue-chip index closed 0.7 per cent or 54 points down at 7,008, the lowest in a month after rising for as much as 0.6 per cent. Commodity trading company Glencore and metals and mining company Rio Tinto declined by 3.4 per cent respectively. Banking stocks such as Natwest and Barclays were also among the top losers.

However, the highest fall was reported in fashion house Burberry which dropped by 5 per cent even after it said its sales are up and back to pre-pandemic levels. The group posted a jump in sales by one per cent in the first quarter of this financial year with the equivalent period in 2019 before the pandemic erupted.

GlaxoSmithKline gained 1.3 per cent after the drugmaker said its anaemia drug for patients with kidney disease succeeded in late-stage trials.

The domestically-focussed mid-cap index FTSE 250 fell 0.2 per cent, dragged down by industrial stocks.

Meanwhile, coronavirus infections have worried investors all over the world as the UK’s chief medical advisor also raised alarms. Chris Whitty warned on Friday that the number of people in hospital with Covid-19 is currently doubling about every three weeks and could reach “quite scary numbers” if the trend continues.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 index ended also the session lower by 0.3 per cent with mining stocks dragging it down tumbling 2.8 per cent.

On Wall Street, the major US indexes also fell on Friday after a worse-than-expected consumer sentiment index fall. However, strong retail sales numbers and earnings reports capped losses.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.8 per cent, the S&P 500 dipped 0.7 per cent and the Nasdaq Composite shed 0.8 per cent.

The US consumer sentiment index from the University of Michigan came in at 80.8 for the first half of July, down from 85.5 last month, worse than the expectations. The US consumer price index rose 5.4 per cent in June from a year ago, the fastest pace in nearly 12 years.

On Monday, Asian shares fell across the board as pessimism kicked in following the decline in global markets at the end of last week and rising Covid-19 infections regionally.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 shed nearly 1.5 per cent in the early trading hours, while South Korea’s Kospi slipped 0.9 per cent. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 dipped 0.8 per cent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 1.6 per cent, while the Shanghai Composite edged down 0.3 per cent.

Indian stock markets also clocked a gap-down start on Monday as concerns of inflation and coronavirus infections weighed on the sentiments. The benchmark S&P BSE Sensex declined by over 250 points in early trade, while the Nifty50 started with a 100 points cut dragged by banking stocks.

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