Thursday, February 15: miners once again led the FTSE 100 into the green, as utilities and bond proxies weighed on the index. The FTSE 100 closed +0.29%, marking a second consecutive day in the green for the primary index, as smaller UK indices also followed suit.
The largest faller on the primary index was recently consolidated Standard Life Aberdeen(-7.50%) as the investment manager announced that Lloyds Banking Group and Scottish Widows gave notice to end the £109bn investment-management arrangement agreed to in 2014. Standard Life will take an impairment charge of £40m in its 2017 accounts, with the asset management arrangement due to come to a close in 12 months, as required under the original agreements between Aberdeen Asset Management and Lloyds. The revenue associated with the AUM reportedly represents less than 5% of SLA’s FY 2017 pro-forma revenue.
Trade in gold weakened slightly to $1352/oz following yesterday’s sharp gains(+2.58%) on the back of US inflation induced volatility, though it has rarely been at comparable levels since early 2013. Oil slipped off intraday highs of $65/bbl at the open as record US production and increasing US inventories outweighed a weak dollar and Saudi Arabia’s comments that OPEC and other producers were committed to their pact on cutting supplies. The EIA declared on Wednesday that US crude output hit a record 10.27m barrels per day, rendering it a bigger producer than Saudi Arabia. Brent crude fell 2.24% on the news to $63.70, following a rally of similar magnitude only yesterday.
Across Europe, indices were up at the close with the FTSE 100 +0.29%, the DAX 30 +0.06% and the CAC 40 +1.11%.