Tuesday, 30th July: The FTSE 100 received a helping hand to break past an 11-month high today from oil major BP, defying the odds against the likes of Reckitt Benckiser, Centrica, and Fresnillo which were all dragging the index down. Centrica in particular was having a fairly wobbly day after releasing their half-year report and announcing that CEO Iain Conn is scheduled to retire in 2020. Although Centrica tried to reassure the market that results were heavily second half weighted, the market seemed to instead focus on the 19.0% fall in EBITDA, dividend cut, and of course the departure of the CEO. The snowball of bad news placed them at the bottom of the FTSE 100 and more than 18.0% lower in the afternoon.
No-deal Brexit concerns continued to weigh on sterling today, pushing it even further back to a 28-month low against the dollar. Sterling was down around 0.52% to $1.2152 at one point during the afternoon. Boris Johnson, whilst having talks with his Irish counterpart Leo Varadkar, made a stern point of leaving the EU on the 31st October “no matter what”, which continued to have negative implications towards sterling.
After starting the day in positive territory, the blue-chip index closed lower by 0.52% at 7646.77 as more of the big players on the index started to feel the pressure.