FTSE 100 closes marginally higher as US stocks slump, Sensex snaps two-day gaining streak

The US housing data and a fall in big tech stocks drags Wall Street indices lower

Stuti Mishra
Wednesday 19 May 2021 05:53 BST
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Members of the public sit in a cafe, as pubs, cafes and restaurants in England reopen indoors under the latest easing of the coronavirus lockdown
Members of the public sit in a cafe, as pubs, cafes and restaurants in England reopen indoors under the latest easing of the coronavirus lockdown (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

London’s FTSE 100 had a positive trading session on Tuesday after better than expected jobs data strengthened hopes for an economic recovery. However, it was weighed down in the later session and closed flat as US markets opened.

The index of leading companies closed just 1 point above at 7,034, while the domestically focused FTSE 250 rose 118 points or half a per cent, to close at 22,332.

The stocks got a boost with Britain’s unemployment rate which fell again to 4.8 per cent between January and March – the three months of tight Covid-19 lockdown – showing it has remained broadly stable, as hiring rose further in April.

However, across the pond, the US homebuilding data weighed on the market sentiment, as major indexes close down with tech stocks taking a hit.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended the session 267 points, or 0.8 per cent down, to 34,060. The S&P 500 fell 0.9 per cent to 4,128 and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite fell 0.6% to 13,303.

Positive results from companies like Walmart and Home Depot pushed these stocks higher, while the big tech stocks such as Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Alphabet all fell more than 1 per cent on the day.

On Wednesday morning, the stocks in Asia-Pacific also slipped in morning trade following the cues from Wall Street, with some markets in the region closed for holidays.

The Nikkei 225 in Japan opened in red and trades around 400 points or 1.4 per cent down around noon. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 also declined 1.8 per cent. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan traded 0.3 per cent lower. China’s Shanghai Composite also traded in red, 0.4 per cent down.

Markets in Hong Kong and South Korea are closed on Wednesday for holidays.

Meanwhile, the Indian indices also opened lower, dragged down by weak global cues from Asian and American peers, snapping a two-day streak of gains.  Sensex was down over a hundred points but remained above 50,000 while the Nifty opened in red as well trading above 15,058.

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