Brent crude sprung higher to $48.25/bbl as the primary FTSE index was led lower with banking and travel stocks weighing on the index, closing -1.27%.
RBS (-5%) traded lower as it reported a sharp rise in losses in the first quarter, and warned that dividend payouts may not be as forthcoming as previously thought. This has been attributed to lower income, restructuring costs and sluggish asset sales. The stock is 8.6% down for the week, as these results indicate this financial year could well make for the 9th straight year of losses.
IAG glided lower (-4.7%) as it narrowly beat earnings estimates but pointed to reduced demand due to the tragic Brussels attacks in March, and, therefore has decided to slow down its expansion plans. This negative sentiment drifted into related travel stocks as TUI, easyjet and Intercontinental Hotel Group also traded lower.
A couple of mid cap stocks also had a torrid time of it as Restaurant Group and Ophir Energy experienced double digit losses. Restaurant Group sank almost 25% after a trading update pointed to a further deterioration in trading conditions as total sales were up 4.7%, whilst like-for-like sales were actually 2.7% down over the quarter. Ophir Energy fell 18% intraday after the oil and gas explorer ended talks to bring Schlumberger on board as a partner on its Fortuna project in Equatorial Guinea.
At the close European indices were down with the FTSE 100 -1.27%, with the CAC 40 -2.82%, and the DAX 30 -2.73%.